By Robin Van Auken on Volunteer Forever

Are you time-poor, finding it difficult to juggle work with family life? Do you feel you’re on a hamster wheel, running in circles as your day flies by, a whirl of constant motion, from home to school to work to sports or other recreational activities?

You conjure visions of a relaxing vacation, imagining yourself on a beach, a cool beverage by your side, while your children frolic in the surf. This daydream seems perfect to many people, as a chance to unwind and spend quality time together.

In reality, many families separate into different interests – even when traveling – with children prone to avoiding family time in favor of playing video games or binge-watching television. How can you prevent your kids from asking for the electronic devices you might rely on for screen time?

One solution is to combine a family vacation with meaningful social travel. When you challenge yourself – and your family – on a volunteer trip abroad, you learn new things about others, yourself, and each other, and you grow as a team.

You can lessen the barriers to travel when you choose a destination and a cause that interests you all and plan your adventure together. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Environmental conservation: Explore a beautiful new country and see unique animals when you travel to New Zealand.
  2. Construction and community development: Become part of the solution when you share concepts of sustainable construction and renewable energy with your children!
  3. Teaching and childcare: Pick up a new language when you travel to Peru as a family and help teach conversational English to children.
  4. Volunteering at the beach: Still hankering for that vacay at the beach? Focus on island conservation and community development when you travel to Indonesia!

The featured programs below offer child-friendly programs and housing, both with a host family or in your own, shared space.


Volunteer Forever  is a comprehensive online resource that helps volunteers find and fund their volunteer opportunities. It advocates empowerment through information and resources.  With Volunteer Forever, you can quickly create a profile and start fundraising right away. Volunteering abroad can be expensive, but it’s also a noble endeavor that your friends, loved ones, and communities will be happy to support. Learn more about Volunteer Forever here.