6 Reasons Your Family Should Take a Volunteer Vacation
When you think of the word vacation, you probably think of a beach, cruise ship, Disney World, or some European country.
It doesn’t really matter where you go, because the point of a vacation is to unwind from the daily grind and do something fun. While you can achieve what you’re looking for in an exotic trip, there’s a different, untraditional kind of family vacation you might consider taking. It’s called a volunteer vacation, or voluntourism.
A volunteer vacation is when you travel to a new area and participate in volunteer work. You can choose to spend one day—or seven—volunteering. But, the point is that you take part in the local community, and donate your time to their needs.
If you’re not quite sold on the idea just yet, no worries. I’m here to share six reasons why your family should take a volunteer vacation sooner rather than later.
1. Do something meaningful
Our day-to-day activities have us so busy that there’s hardly time to breathe, and our work starts to carry less meaning. All of a sudden, we find ourselves checking things off our list, not because we want to, but because we need to.
After all the boxes are checked, and we stumble upon a couple minutes of free time, we take a bath or drink a glass of wine to comfort ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. We can always budget time for Pinot. But, we often expect our “me time” to leave us feeling fulfilled. When, in fact, it’s taking care of others that brings meaning to our lives.
And, what better way to help others than by devoting your time to volunteer work in a community that needs it?
2. Immerse yourself in another culture
Exposing yourself, and your kids, to another culture helps you become more well-rounded. You become educated on issues outside of your local community, and get better at accepting diversity.
Our hometown communities often serve as social bubbles, and it’s when we step outside of them that we’re able to learn a great deal about the world and ourselves.
When you volunteer in a new community, whether it be here in the U.S. or abroad, you get the opportunity to understand the local culture on a deeper level than when you play tourist. You fully immerse yourself in work alongside others, while creating authentic interactions.
3. Strengthen your family
When life becomes cluttered with work, practices, and school, we tend to lose quality family time. We get so preoccupied with the things on our plate that we forget to unplug and unwind together as a family.
Volunteer vacations are a great opportunity for everyone in your travel tribe to work on something as a team—free from distractions. And, when you’re away from home, you gain separation from work (and the kids gain separation from school), making it easier to be present in the moment.
4. Broaden your perspective
When you take time to help other people, you become more aware of their needs over your own. Suddenly, it becomes easier for you to see the bigger picture and your woes seem less crippling.
This is an especially valuable take-away for children. Growing up has its own challenges—especially the years spent in middle school. And, allowing your kids the opportunity to see problems bigger than their own can help put their own challenges into perspective.
5. Rekindle your passion
Few of us get paid to follow our passion. So, we go to work doing something that simply pays the bills. Sooner or later, that leads us to fall into a monotonous routine, and likely lose site of our passions.
Setting aside time during your vacation to volunteer for a meaningful cause is a great way to keep your passion alive.
6. Set a positive example for your kids
Kids learn by example. Therefore, what better way to teach them how to be caring, selfless, responsible, and hard-working than by using your vacation time to volunteer in your destination’s community?
Not only can they learn these valuable life lessons, but they might even find something they’re passionate about in the process.
No, this obviously isn’t your traditional vacation. In fact, it’s better. As you start planning a spring break or summer trip when the kids are out of school, consider weaving some time for voluntourism into your itinerary.
If you’re curious about specific destinations to travel to that offer the best of both worlds—voluntourism and family fun—stay tuned as we’ll be sharing our favorites next month right here on the blog!
And, if you can’t wait any longer and want to book right away, give your travel BFFs at Tripbound a call at 1-888-816-5214. We’ll match you with the perfect vacation!
Have you ever volunteered within a community while on a family vacation? If so, leave us a note in the comments section below. We’d love to hear about your experience!
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