Taking a volunteering trip as a family can easily become the most fulfilling, memorable, and fun vacation of your lifetime. Not only are these kinds of trips less expensive than traditional getaways, but “voluntourism” can help your children broaden their global perspectives and recognize the importance of helping others.

On any one of these family-friendly opportunities, you and your family will be able to truly make a difference during your travels. You’ll get to know the locals on a much more personal level, and your children will get to experience things far better than anything Disney World has to offer. And, of course, there will still be plenty of free time for you to relax, explore local attractions, and experience everything else the region has to offer!

Become sea turtle conservation ambassadors in Costa Rica

Several different sea turtle species are at risk around the globe, and a number of these are nearing extinction due to water pollution, poachers, and low survival rates of hatchlings. To help preserve these turtle species, you can volunteer at the Matapalo Sea Turtle Conservation, located on a gorgeous Costa Rican beach.

Volunteers are essential for the success of this conservation project, and one of the main job duties is to monitor the beach to look for any female turtles who come ashore to lay their eggs. These eggs are then transferred to a hatchery where they will be protected until the baby turtles emerge from their shells. Then, you’ll have the magical opportunity to help the baby turtles reach the ocean safely to maximize their chances of survival. It’s truly a breathtaking (and adorable) experience to witness.

You and your family will also get to participate in “sloth walks,” where you will assist conservationists monitor and record the migration of local sloth populations. If you would like to help out in other areas of Costa Rica, you can choose to take advantage of opportunities to do community service work in local schools and community areas.

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Spread joy with music in Ghana

If your family members play an instrument and love to help children grow passionate about music, this amazing volunteer program in Ghana could be the perfect fit for you! Agape provides free music lessons for local children in both small group sessions and individual lessons. Many of these children are incredibly talented, but the region lacks the proper resources to teach them learn about music theory or build upon their established skills… which is where Agape volunteers can help!

When you volunteer to teach music in Ghana, you get to play your instrument, assist in music programs at local schools, and connect with dozens of eager young musicians. You don’t need to be experienced at teaching music, but you should have a solid knowledge of at least one instrument! Your day of volunteering will be full of fun and music, but you’ll still get evenings and a few days a week to yourself. You and your family can take city tours, go hiking, or see what other adventures are waiting for you!

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Travel to a panda sanctuary in China

The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) is located in Bifengxia, near the exciting city of Chengdu. This is China’s largest giant panda sanctuary, and volunteers get the chance to work closely with the keepers at this facility. You can feel confident that you’re making a positive impact since this organization strongly believes in ethical wildlife treatment; in fact, the giant panda is no longer on the World Wildlife Federation’s endangered species list thanks to their excellent conservation efforts!

Volunteers will have a range of duties, including preparing food for the pandas, cutting bamboo, cleaning panda enclosures, and transporting bamboo. There are complimentary Chinese language lessons available to help you communicate better with the facility handlers, and once your daily shifts are over, you can experience several awesome tours and activities. Whether you’d like to hike up to a temple, learn how to make dumplings, or take a city tour of Chengdu, there are plenty of tourist attractions to pick from.

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Help out with island conservation efforts in Bali

Dreaming of a tropical getaway? Join Volunteer HQ in Bali at an eco-friendly surf resort to get involved in the preservation of Bali’s beautiful beaches! You and your family will get to stay on the lovely Simeulue Island and assist with projects such as:

  • Clearing local beaches of any debris or trash.
  • Doing reef surveys with oceanographers to monitor the quality and abundance of coral.
  • Recycling and upcycling plastic materials.
  • Setting up cameras to collect data and monitor the wide variety of island species.
  • Helping local children learn English.
  • Collecting information about the numbers of endangered birds in the region.

Once your volunteering shift is up, you can enjoy the Indonesian paradise by snorkeling, surfing, or simply lounging on one of the countless picturesque beaches.

Help rehabilitate African wildlife in Zimbabwe

At the African Wildlife Orphanage, you and your children will be equally as excited to see the numerous animals that are taken care of in this facility. This is one of Africa’s largest wildlife rehabilitation and release centers, and you will get to work side-by-side with professionals to care for injured animals and assist with releases. Animals can include anything from monkeys to lions, so there will never be a moment of boredom!

Volunteers will help conduct field studies in some of the nearby national parks and protected areas, as well as educate local children about these incredible species. This wildlife organization aims to rehabilitate the majority of animals and release them back into the wild, but there are several species that have been rescued from illegal wildlife traffickers, brought up as pets, born in captivity, or significantly injured. These species continue to stay under the organization’s ethical care.

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