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 free newsletter and we'll send you
more just like it every week.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
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!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
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.