Top 10 Ways Families Can Volunteer and Travel
Have you ever dreamed about taking your family on a volunteer adventure of a lifetime? Globe Aware, the nationally recognized international volunteer vacation organization that has worked with family groups since its inception, offers up ten tips to help you make the most of your family volunteer vacation:
- Search for a volunteer organization that is family friendly. Are projects safe and are there a variety of projects available that are suited to the various ages of your family members?
- Choose a location as a family. Allowing everyone to research and discuss possible locations for your volunteer vacation ensures that everyone is excited about the experience.
- Consider how much time you have to devote to a volunteer vacation as a family. If work and school schedules are tight, consider a one week volunteer vacation that coincides with a holiday.
- Do some “cultural homework” as a family before your volunteer vacation. Have your children read age appropriate literature about the country you are going to visit and give each other informal reports on information learned.
- Talk about the importance of serving others. Does your family volunteer in your local community? Talk with each other about what it means to be a global citizen.
- Don’t pack electronics. Nintendo DS, iPods, and the like should be discouraged. Try to unplug from these “Western Necessities” for the duration of your volunteer vacation.
- Do pack some snacks. A jar of peanut butter and a box of granola bars can be a lifesaver, especially if you have a finicky eater!
- Journal about the experience as a family while on your volunteer vacation. Have each family member take turns expressing themselves in the journal (even if the contribution is only a drawing).
- Remember that the ideal volunteer vacation mixes fun, cultural experiences and meaningful work projects. Make sure you encourage one another to spend downtime with the locals and really absorb the local culture.
- Post-vacation take some time to create an album to remember the trip. Online sites like snapfish.com make it easy for you to make high quality scrapbooks or albums with text and photos. Preserving your experience like this ensures that your family volunteer vacation memories are safe for years to come.