After almost two years of no traveling, you might be finally starting to plan your next family trip. Traveling with kids can be challenging at times but it can also be very fulfilling. There are various activities to do during your vacation like surfing, hiking, and camping but have you ever considered volunteering? The reasons for such a holiday abound so keep on reading to learn more about why you should volunteer while traveling with your children.
Your trip will be more meaningful
First of all, it’s true that most of your trips as a family will be meaningful as you will be traveling together with the people that matter to you most. However, while simply relaxing on a beach can be a nice escape from everything, you can’t deny the fact that giving back to the planet and other people will certainly give the trip more meaning. A quick trip to an amusement park will be forgotten in no time but making a positive impact on the environment is sure to stick with you for the rest of your lives.
It’s great to teach kids about giving back while they’re young
Unless they’re literal babies, your children can learn how to give back regardless of how young they are. Adopting this approach to volunteering will instill them with a mindset that they are more likely to take into their adulthood. No matter where you travel, there will surely be something that your little ones can do. Younger kids can play with others while you volunteer at a school while teens can help take care of animals or read to the youngest in need, for instance.
Volunteering is an amazing opportunity to gain new skills
Although traveling for fun and recreation can also provide you with a great opportunity to acquire some new skills like rock climbing and wakeboarding, volunteering can help you and your kids learn various new things. For example, from building homes to rehabilitating animals all the way to working with other kids and adults, the situations in which you might find yourselves are countless, which will lead to improved collaborative skills, feeling more comfortable in leadership roles, and knowing how to set project goals.
Children will feel more connected to the planet
We are slowly but surely realizing that this is the only planet we have and that we have to take care of it in order for future generations to be able to call it home as well. This is why instilling this notion in your kids from a young age is so important. By looking for volunteering opportunities that will allow them to protect the environment and wildlife that comes with it, your little ones will be able to feel truly connected to the planet and feel good about doing something that will make a difference. Activities you can consider include turtle conservation in Sri Lanka and stray dog rehabilitation in Bali as well as marine conservation in Vanuatu and environmental conservation in Tanzania.
Kids get to learn about other cultures
Besides learning more about the planet and the animals that inhabit it, your little ones can also familiarize themselves with other cultures as well. For example, if you’re looking for a chance to volunteer with children while taking a trip with your own kids, there are various destinations to consider. From teaching English in the Philippines and Thailand to volunteering in Fiji orphanages all the way to working with kids with special needs in Vietnam, the choices truly abound so pick the one that suits you most. As you will live in the area for a while, you can interact with the locals and learn more about various customs and traditions of the location you are visiting.
You will learn more about each other
In addition to getting to know more things about the world, you will also be spending more time together with your kids, which is sure to result in all of your learning more about each other. If you have teens, you know how hard it can be to get them to sit down with you and tell you about everything that’s going on with them. By volunteering together, you will be together for most of the day and you will have more opportunities to get them to open up. Chat along while you take care of animals or build homes and schools for those in need and you will surely enhance your bond in no time.
This can be a fun family activity
You always want a family vacation to be fun but sometimes hiking or chilling on a beach is simply not engaging and entertaining enough for kids. When volunteering, you will not only put yourself outside your comfort zone and try something new, you will also meet new people, which can make the whole trip much more fun for everyone, especially if you’re extroverts that enjoy spending time with others. Plus, there are always fun and educational spots you can visit during your trip that will both entertain and teach you various new things.
Keep these things in mind before you go
However, while deciding to volunteer when traveling with your kids can be an enriching experience for everyone involved, there are still a few things that you need to keep in mind for a smooth trip.
For starters, it’s essential that you look for a trustworthy organization to volunteer with. Do a lot of research and read various reviews and experiences to avoid getting scammed or working with someone who doesn’t prioritize the act of volunteering and is in it only for the money. Plus, make sure you opt for the destination and project that suits your family best. Here, it’s important to consider age restrictions as not all places accept kids. In some cases, your little ones will have to be at least four to be able to participate.
Then, you need to handle transportation and accommodation. You want lodging that meets your needs and budget but that is still close to the area where you will be volunteering. Furthermore, consider the costs of living while there and check if there are any group discounts that you can make the most of.
Volunteering while traveling with children can be very fun and fulfilling. Carefully consider your destination and do your part for the planet, animals, and people in need.