Increasingly families with kids are opting for a different kind of vacation: a volunteer trip. Of course, volunteer trips aren’t just for families, but when you have kids, and you want to show them the world but also create more meaning, a volunteer trip is a great option.
There are different ways to plan a family volunteer trip, ranging from dedicating a few hours of the trip to giving back, all the way to spending the entire trip on an organized volunteering program.
Before you go, you’ll have to think about logistics, such as how to have people back home send you money while you’re abroad if you need it, and the type of travel documents and immunizations you’ll need. Before you get to those logistics, what should you know about planning the trip?
Not every family is well-suited to take on a full-scale volunteer vacation. You may not prefer that, or your children may be too young.
One option that’s available instead is using a site like Pack For a Purpose. Pack For a Purpose lets travelers look up their destination and find community projects that they can support while they’re away.
It may be as simple as bringing supplies. Using Pack For a Purpose to connect with volunteer opportunities in local communities gives families a lot of flexibility to create their own itinerary and trip.
Does Anyone In Your Family Have Expertise in a Certain Area?
If someone in your family has expertise in a specific area, it can be great to find a volunteer trip based on this. Many organizations both domestically and abroad are looking for people who have certain skills or areas of experience. For example, if you’re a teacher, you can probably find a whole selection of programs that would love for you to lend yourself and your skills during your vacation.
Of course, if you don’t have any specific skills that would translate to volunteering, that’s okay too.
Be Aware of Program Restrictions
If you’re going with a formalized program, you need to check and make sure they’re okay with kids coming, particularly if your kids are younger.
A lot of travel volunteer programs are geared toward specific demographics. For example, there are volunteer programs for families, but also high school students, couples, and even senior volunteers.
You don’t want to bring your children into a situation that’s not going to be ideal for them, so the ages of your kids at your time of travel will play a big role in exactly what volunteering jobs you take on.
Check with Your Hotel
Finally, if you’ve already planned a trip and you want to see if there a family volunteer opportunities available, check with your hotel. There are hotel companies that do offer visitors the opportunity to volunteer in the local community.
For example, Beaches Resorts which are found in the Caribbean, partners with organizations like Reading Road Trip.
Reading Road Trip organizes opportunities for Beaches visitors to go to local schools and read and support literacy programs.