Au Pair Adventures is a tour company run by an awesome guy, Joe Stebbins, who is based in Las Vegas, NV. The tour is geared towards, although not limited to, au pairs living in America. For those who don’t know what an “au pair” is, have a gander here (Wikipedia). They run several different tour packages that their official website describes as “designed to accommodate energetic travelers who want to see and experience a lot, while not having to spend too much money”. Perfect for the young and broke!
I was fortunate enough last summer to get to ride along one of their tours called Western Sun Adventure (see our route). So how does the tour work? The group meets at a designated hostel in San Francisco early on Day 1 where they meet their tour guides. In my case it was two girls in their 20’s, Elisa and Illysa (trust me, I always got the pronunciation mixed up!), who briefed everyone on what to expect. Our transportation: two 13-seater vans each with a U-Haul trailer packed with tents, camping gear, food, and everyone’s luggage. The group was 100% female, all between the ages of 19 to 27. You can just imagine the amount of luggage we had!
What’s great about the tour is you get to see so much in a short amount of time, yet it didn’t feel rushed. Sure we had early mornings, but everyone also got a lot of free time to do their own exploring at each stop. It was also pretty flexible. One of our first stops was Yosemite National Park where we were suppose to get a couple of hours to hike, bike, or swim. However, all the girls were keen on seeing the giant sequoias. And so through the power of democracy, the guides obliged and took the group to Tuolumne Grove to see them.
The camping/hosteling accommodation combo is what makes the tour affordable. Everyone is expected to pitch their own tent, help make dinner, and clean up. Nights were spent chatting around a bonfire, although since most of the au pairs are from Europe, they really loved immersing themselves in North American pastimes like making smores or playing flip cup.
Just how much fun can you have on a tour run by Au Pair Adventures? You’ll just have to see for yourself!