If you feel that you haven’t travelled in a long while or the kids’ need a few lessons on the real meaning of giving thanks and sharing love, a volunteer vacation might just be a good way to spend either of these holidays.
Volunteer vacation is also called volunteer travel or voluntourism, a fairly new travel concept that adds another milieu to short-term vacations and volunteerism. It is a vacation that is combined with bite-sized volunteer work for a certain beneficiary, which can be a charity, a sustainable development or environment project, or some other worthy causes.
People who want to give something back to people or groups but do not have the time to do it on a long-term basis will certainly find voluntourism suitable; having fun while doing service or learning about local cultures.
Parents who want to imbue lessons of love and sharing to their children during Thanksgiving or Christmas can arrange a volunteer vacation for the family. In the article 8 Reasons to Take Your Teens On a Volunteer Vacation published in the Huff Post The Travel – The Blog Section by Sucheta Rawal, you’ll discover that voluntourism can be more meaningful than you think.
“This type of a meaningful summer getaway can be especially useful for teenagers. Imagine a real-life lab where teens are learning as well as contributing. Choose any topic of interest to plan your themed trip, including the environment, health, education, micro lending, crafts, firefighting, sports, animals or construction. Most organizations require no prior experience or special skills but may not admit children less than eight years old.
- Learn the real culture
“… Volunteering makes you get out there and meet the locals, as well as talk to and work alongside them. When you are forced into a situation where you are interacting with the locals everyday, you start to pick up on their cultural nuances and understand their culture on a deeper level…
- Strengthen family bonds
Traveling is a family bonding experience, but doing projects while traveling builds a sense of teamwork. Kids of all ages can work together building homes in villages, sowing seeds at community farms, taking care of animals at sanctuaries or engaging street kids in sports…
- Be a positive role model
When your kids see you working hard to build toilets for village schools versus sipping margaritas on the beach, they develop a deeper admiration for you… you become a positive role model who … lend a helping hand to the global community. You empower your kids to be responsible, compassionate and good global citizens by leading by example.
- Prepare the leaders of tomorrow
Working abroad as a volunteer … helps young people … grow into responsible, caring leaders. According to certain studies, adults who volunteered as kids were twice as likely to be involved in community service as adults who did not. … volunteering at a young age, they are likely to become contributing members of society and future change agents.
These are about the most important benefits your children and you will gain from a volunteer vacation; there are more. Going to these places and helping others allows you to leave a legacy that people will remember and find use for. On your own end, do you know that many of these vacations entitle you to a tax deduction?
On your kids’ ends, they get an experience that they can share to their friends and include in their resume’ for future use. Best of all, your kids will learn so many valuable life lessons. Depending on where will you will go, they will learn how it feels like to live where there is scarcity, terminal ailments, or an environment where exotic animals are slowly becoming extinct. After a few days with orphans or kids with cancer, you will note how much more they will appreciate their health and material blessings. Aren’t these experiences more priceless than expensive traditions of festive dinners and exchange gifts?