Family Volunteer Vacation

posted by Talk About Giving blog team

October 17, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

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Is your family considering a get-away trip for the holidays, winter break or spring break? Helping others while traveling in different regions and cultures can offer a new perspective and broader understanding of the needs of others in the world. Plus, it’s a rewarding experience you can share together that will enrich your family and create lasting memories.

There are numerous services available that can help you explore both domestic and international options and plan your trip, but before you get started, consider these five tips in ensuring you make the most out of your philanthropic family adventure. 

  1. Expectations. What do you hope to gain from this experience? Be clear about this as you begin exploring options for your family’s volunteer vacation. Are you looking for quality time together? The experience of a different culture? Something outdoors/indoors/etc.? Are you interested in exposing your kids to something new? If so, what?
  2. Age. Consider the age of your children and ensure that you are researching volunteer options in countries or regions that do not have age limits.
  3. Ability and Interests. You know your kids better than anyone. What are they capable of doing and what will they find interesting? Keep these thoughts in mind as you consider the options and be realistic about what will work and what won’t for your family.
  4. Research. In addition to online research and talking with others that have gone before you, call the director of the program and have a conversation. Ensure that the program works with families, verify age limits and be sure you have a good grasp on accommodations, meals, cost, medical facilities and how your group will be led.
  5. A little R&R. At the end of the day, you are on vacation and everyone should get some down time and fun. Understand how much time outside of volunteer hours you’ll have each day. What kind of activities and sites are in the area? Also, consider including a few days of true vacation in addition to your volunteer efforts.

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