By GreatSchools Staff
Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary vacation that will provide your kids with fun, learning and a chance to help others? Many organizations specialize in family travel combined with volunteer opportunities, or what's been dubbed "voluntourism." Most ask that kids be at least 8 years of age (but exceptions are granted) and for most, no special skills are required. These trips provide an opportunity for learning about another culture or the environment, not to mention family bonding over hard work.
These trips are not for the faint of heart. "Flexibility, patience, a spirit of adventure, and a sense of humor go a long way," according to the Global Volunteers Web site. Accommodations may be spare, but the experiences can be life-changing!
Even though these are volunteer trips, they're not free. You'll pay a fee that generally includes your lodging, food and transportation from the meeting place to the location where you will be volunteering. Here's a sampling of family volunteer vacation opportunities.
Global Citizens Network sponsors trips to New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, Mexico, Nepal, Guatemala, Kenya and Tanzania. Volunteer projects are varied and might include building a health clinic, renovating a youth center, planting trees, teaching in a primary school and installing playground equipment. A big part of these trips is meeting, working and living with people from other cultures.
Accommodations are often family homestays or lodging at local community centers. Some places have indoor plumbing and electricity while others may not. You might sleep on a bed, hammock or on the floor.
Families are assigned to teams, which generally consist of six to 10 volunteers plus a trained team leader. In addition to families, you might find students, retirees, nurses, social workers and computer programmers mixed into one group.
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.