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Family-Friendly Volunteer Trips: A Summer Adventure with Purpose

VolunteerForever
Written By
By Munira Maricar
Travel Writer
VolunteerForever

Summer vacations are a cherished tradition for many families, offering a time to relax, explore, and create lasting memories. However, an emerging trend capturing the hearts of families worldwide is the concept of family-friendly volunteer trips. These unique vacations blend the excitement of travel with the fulfillment of giving back, providing a multifaceted experience that benefits both the travelers and the communities they visit.

Why Choose a Volunteer Vacation?

  • Educational Value: Volunteer trips provide a hands-on learning experience for children and adults alike. Families get to learn about new cultures, environments, and global issues in a way that’s far more impactful than reading about them in a book or watching a documentary.
  • Strengthening Family Bonds: Working together towards a common goal can strengthen family bonds. These shared experiences create deeper connections and memories that last a lifetime.
  • Personal Growth: Volunteering can instill a sense of responsibility and empathy in children. It broadens their worldview and encourages them to think about how they can make a positive impact in the world.
  • Community Impact: Volunteer vacations contribute to the welfare of the communities visited. Whether it’s helping with conservation efforts, building infrastructure, or engaging in educational activities, these trips make a tangible difference.
  • Fun and Adventure: These trips are not just about work; there’s plenty of time for fun and exploration. Families can enjoy the local sights, cuisine, and activities, making it a well-rounded vacation.

Popular Family-Friendly Volunteer Programs

Here, we explore a range of volunteer opportunities that are perfectly suited for families looking to make a meaningful impact together. Whether you’re seeking to teach English in a foreign country, engage in wildlife conservation, or contribute to community development, these programs are designed to accommodate participants of all ages, ensuring a fulfilling and enriching experience for both adults and children. Dive in to discover how your family can bond over shared experiences, learn about different cultures, and contribute to making the world a better place.

IVHQ

IVHQ

Assist with educational activities and games for children around the world

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is a leading volunteer organization established in 2007, and family volunteer vacations with IVHQ present a unique and enriching way for families to spend their summer. These trips offer an opportunity for families to bond deeply while engaging in meaningful work in diverse global communities. A highlight of their offering is a 50% discount on the registration fee for children aged 15 and under, making these trips more family-friendly financially.  The range of projects available caters to various interests, including construction, environmental conservation, working with children, or volunteering with animals. These activities not only bring families closer together but also instill values of service and global citizenship for the young ones. Here are our top picks for the best family volunteer vacation opportunities with IVHQ:

Marine Conservation in Belize

Engage in marine life conservation on a beautiful Caribbean island; ideal for young volunteers aged 12+ (with supervision) or 16+, involving 3-5 hours of daily volunteering, with programs starting every Monday and lasting 1 to 8 weeks, starting from $1050.

Andean Immersion in Cusco, Peru

Join IVHQ’s Community Support project in Cusco to immerse yourself in Andean culture. Ideal for individuals aged 16+ and families, this program offers up to 6 hours of daily volunteering in a remote village, with fees starting at $470 for 1-24 weeks. Live with local families and assist with work and chores for a unique cultural experience.

Wildlife Conservation in Victoria Falls

Participate in the Wildlife Conservation volunteer project in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, suitable for individuals aged 18+ (or 16+ if accompanied). Engage in 4 to 6 hours of daily conservation activities on a private game reserve, with program fees beginning at $1045 for durations of 2 to 12 weeks. Embrace the excitement of protecting African wildlife near the stunning Victoria Falls.

Childcare in San Jose, Costa Rica

Join the Childcare project in San Jose, Costa Rica, ideal for volunteers aged 16+ and families. Contribute 3-5 hours daily at community centers, assisting with educational activities and games for preschool and school-aged children. With program fees starting at $445 for 1 to 24 weeks, available every Monday, engage in enriching experiences that foster fun and socialization among kids in San José.

GoEco

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Discover how your family can bond over shared experiences while making the world a better place!

GoEco’s Family Volunteer Vacations offer a unique blend of travel, cultural immersion, and giving back to communities and environments around the world. These vacations are designed to align with each family’s individual values, creating lasting memories and a deep sense of fulfillment. Each project provides a hands-on educational experience, allowing families to engage directly with wildlife and local communities, and program fees include food, accommodation, airport transfers, and on-ground support. These programs by GoEco offer a perfect blend of vacation, education, and meaningful contribution, making your family holiday an unforgettable experience.

Here are some of GoEco’s top choices for family volunteer vacations:

Maldives Sea Turtle Conservation & Eco Tour

Join GoEco’s Family Friendly Sea Turtle Conservation & Eco Tour in the Maldives, ideal for young adventurers aged 7+. Engage in all volunteer activities, including hands-on sea turtle care and conservation, guided by marine biologists. This educational journey offers young travelers a unique opportunity to learn about marine life and contribute to environmental protection in an interactive, fun manner.

Zimbabwe Wildlife Orphanage Trip

This program provides an immersive experience for families in wildlife care and conservation. Tailored for children aged 12+, with younger ones possibly accepted on a case-by-case basis, this program enables families to collaborate closely with a local family at a premier wildlife rehabilitation center. Engage in caring for injured wildlife, aiding in releases, and educating the local community, while exploring Zimbabwe’s rich culture and natural landscapes.

Belize Private Island Marine Experience

The Family-Friendly Private Island Marine Experience in Belize offers a unique opportunity for families to contribute to the conservation of the Belize Barrier Reef. This program is ideal for families with children 12 years and older, welcoming younger children on a case-by-case basis. Highlights include living on a private island, engaging in various marine preservation tasks in turquoise waters, and enjoying activities like beach volleyball and sea kayaking. Families can also become PADI certified, relax in hammocks, and explore mainland Belize on weekends. 

Sri Lanka Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation

The Family-Friendly Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation in Sri Lanka is ideal for families with children aged six and up. Participants contribute to the conservation of endangered sea turtles through activities like feeding, cleaning, and beach cleanups. The program offers a blend of volunteer work and relaxation, creating a memorable family experience in Sri Lanka’s stunning coastal environment.

Bali, Indonesia Sea Turtle Rescue

The Family-Friendly Sea Turtle Rescue in Indonesia, located in Nusa Penida near Bali, is the perfect program for families with children aged five and up. It offers hands-on involvement in caring for and rehabilitating injured sea turtles, with activities like tank cleaning and turtle feeding. Families can also participate in educational beach cleanups. The program provides an enriching experience of wildlife conservation combined with the scenic beauty of Nusa Penida, making it an ideal choice for a family vacation with purpose.

Family- Friendly Animal Rescue and Conversation Volunteer in Costa Rica

Join the Wildlife Rescue Center in Alajuela for another opportunity for a family adventure! Here you and your family will help care for sick and injured animals (sloths, parrots, monkeys, etc.) to enable them to be released back to the wild when they are ready. For more information, click here!

Maximo Nivel

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Have fun while volunteering!

Maximo Nivel offers enriching family volunteer vacations, where families travel together in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. These programs provide a safe, fun, and international experience with a focus on community service. 

For families with young children, “Working with Kids” projects are ideal, allowing children to engage and interact with local children at the project sites. Conservation projects are also available for those who enjoy outdoor work. All children and teenagers under 17 must be supervised by an adult, and parent consent forms are required. Additional services like babysitting and chaperoning are available for an extra fee.

Here are our top picks for family-friendly vacations with Maximo Nivel:

Volunteer Working With Kids

Maximo Nivel’s Childcare Volunteer Projects in Latin America address the challenges faced by many children due to homelessness and poverty. Volunteers, who must be at least 16 years old or accompanied by a guardian if younger, work in daycare centers and community projects, providing essential care and attention. The program includes practical work for 3 to 4 hours daily, Monday to Friday, with tasks like tutoring, organizing activities, and hygiene education. 

Volunteer Teaching English

Maximo Nivel’s Teaching English volunteer program addresses the gap in ESL education in Latin America, specifically in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Participants, at least 16 years old or younger with an adult, help underprivileged kids and adults improve their English, a skill crucial for academic and professional advancement. Volunteers receive an ESL Crash Course and support in lesson planning. Work includes teaching classes, one-on-one tutoring, and creating educational activities.

Volunteer With Animals & Wildlife

Maximo Nivel’s Animal Care volunteer programs, available in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru, require participants to be at least 16 years of age. However, those under 16 can also participate if accompanied by a faculty leader, parent, or guardian. These programs provide vital assistance to a range of animals, from domestic pets to exotic species, in various settings including shelters and rescue centers. Volunteers engage in activities like veterinary care assistance, cleaning, and educational outreach, contributing significantly to animal welfare in these regions.

Volunteer In Construction & Renovation

Maximo Nivel’s Building & Construction volunteer projects in Latin America offer impactful opportunities for individuals to contribute to community development. Volunteers, at least 16 years old or younger accompanied by an adult, engage in demanding tasks such as digging, cement mixing, and bricklaying, guided by professional local foremen. Projects include building homes, schools, and clinics, promoting community solidarity, and improving access to education and healthcare. The work is physically challenging, requiring a strong work ethic and a positive attitude.

Projects Abroad

peace corps volunteer alternatives

Projects Abroad, established in 1992, specializes in offering volunteer and educational programs globally, promoting responsible travel. Their Family Volunteering Abroad programs allow families to engage in community work overseas, offering a transformative experience for children as young as six. Families can participate in ‘Flexi’ Trips, designed for diverse age groups, ensuring a meaningful and safe experience with round-the-clock support. Projects Abroad takes care of all logistics, including visas, accommodation, meals, and transportation, ensuring a hassle-free volunteering journey. They offer a 5% discount for immediate family members traveling together and accommodate various age groups, with children under 16 requiring adult supervision. Here are our top picks for the best family volunteer vacation opportunities with Projects Abroad:

Volunteer with Children in Nepal

The Projects Abroad Volunteer with Children program in Nepal allows participants to work in Kathmandu or Chitwan care centers, focusing on literacy and healthy living for disadvantaged children. Volunteers engage in activities like teaching English, reading, and games. Open to those 16 and older, the program includes cultural immersion through homestays, offering a deep understanding of Nepalese traditions and lifestyles.

Sea Turtle Conservation in Mexico

The Sea Turtle Conservation project in Mexico focuses on protecting endangered turtles like the Olive Ridley on the Pacific Coast. Volunteers, aged 16 and up, engage in beach patrols, safeguard turtle nests, relocate nests, and release hatchlings. The program, set in the coastal town of Cuyutlán, combines conservation work with cultural immersion and is ideal for those interested in marine life and outdoor activities.

Volunteer Sports Coaching in Schools in Tanzania

The Volunteer Sports Coaching program in Tanzania, set in Arusha, involves coaching sports like football, netball, and volleyball at underprivileged schools. Suitable for sports enthusiasts and those keen on child development, this program enables volunteers to plan and lead sports classes and after-school activities, fostering children’s physical and teamwork skills. Participants, aged 16 and above, stay with local host families, experiencing cultural immersion and personal growth.

Building Volunteer Work in Ghana

The Building Volunteer Work program, located in the Akuapem Hills, engages volunteers in constructing community infrastructure like classrooms and libraries. Participants, aged 16 and above (younger with family), get hands-on experience in eco-friendly construction, staying with host families for cultural immersion. The project focuses on improving living conditions and education in rural areas, offering a significant impact on communities.

African Impact

Volunteer Forever | Family & Group Volunteer Abroad Projects

Explore Africa while volunteering!

Volunteering as a family with African Impact offers a unique blend of personal growth, cultural immersion, and sustainable impact. African Impact crafts group itineraries based on specific needs, ensuring each experience is unique and impactful. Founded in 2004, African Impact is a family-run organization known for its commitment to sustainable practices. The organization’s philosophy, Ubuntu, underscores their approach – fostering compassion, fairness, and a sense of community. They are committed to ethical practices, with a zero-tolerance policy for modern slavery and human trafficking, and have ceased affiliations with orphanages not aligned with welfare standards.

Reforestation Volunteer Project In Kenya

The Reforestation Volunteer Project in Kenya, near Nairobi, engages volunteers in environmental conservation and community efforts. The project involves restoring the Brackenhurst Indigenous Forest, promoting biodiversity, educating in local schools, and supporting sustainable farming in Limuru. Volunteers also participate in health and nutrition outreach, experiencing cultural immersion in the Kenyan highlands while contributing to environmental and societal change.

Waste Reduction Volunteer Program In Zambia

The Waste Reduction Volunteer Program in Livingstone engages participants in environmental sustainability efforts, focusing on innovative plastic waste reduction. Volunteers create EcoBricks from plastic pollution for building structures, conduct conservation workshops, and work on community projects for waste reuse and recycling, fostering local income generation. The program includes litter clean-ups around the Zambezi River to protect ecosystems and wildlife. 

Female Empowerment Volunteer Project In Zambia

The Female Empowerment Volunteer Project based in Livingstone, promotes gender equality through workshops and support groups for local women and girls. The program includes education on health, self-confidence, and career development, and also focuses on educating boys about respect and gender equality. Activities like sports clubs and nutrition talks aim to empower girls, all set near Victoria Falls.

Community School Volunteer Project In Cape Town, South Africa

The Community School Volunteer Project in Cape Town supports children in underprivileged townships through early childhood development at local pre-schools and foster care homes. Volunteers help children aged 6 months to 7 years, many impacted by HIV, with educational support, lesson planning, and life-skills programs. The project includes after-school care, offering safe, educational spaces for children and enriching local teachers and caregivers.

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)

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Family volunteering with IVI is a transformative experience, and IVI facilitates this by tailoring programs to family needs, with a special emphasis on childcare, teaching, and conservation projects. These initiatives are ideal for families, providing a platform for cultural exchange and hands-on learning. IVI’s commitment to real impact, affordability, and flexibility makes it an ideal choice for families looking to volunteer abroad. Their extensive range of projects and deep understanding of local needs ensure that volunteers make a significant and lasting impact in the communities they serve.

Alpaca and Llama Farm in Peru

This project invites volunteers to aid in caring for alpacas and llamas and support traditional Peruvian textile production. Volunteers help with feeding, cleaning pens, shearing, and assisting in textile creation. The program includes light farm construction and making educational materials about these animals. It’s ideal for those keen on experiencing Peru’s rural life and preserving traditional practices, benefiting local economies and ecology.

Alpaca and Llama Farm in Peru

This project invites volunteers to aid in caring for alpacas and llamas and support traditional Peruvian textile production. Volunteers help with feeding, cleaning pens, shearing, and assisting in textile creation. The program includes light farm construction and making educational materials about these animals. It’s ideal for those keen on experiencing Peru’s rural life and preserving traditional practices, benefiting local economies and ecology. 

Turtle Conservation Program in Bali

A critical and rewarding project that involves volunteers in turtle care, beach cleaning, and environmental education. Participants assist with nurturing turtles, gathering research data, and raising ecological awareness in local schools. This program offers an immersive experience in a stunning natural setting, ideal for those passionate about marine conservation and community engagement.

Kindergarten Teaching in Costa Rica

Volunteers assist in teaching basic English, leading creative activities, and promoting good hygiene among young learners. The project, set in the beautiful regions of Manuel Antonio and San Jose, involves volunteers in various tasks to bolster child development and bridge educational gaps in poorer communities. This initiative suits aspiring teachers or those passionate about child welfare, offering a chance to significantly impact children’s lives.

Kindergarten Volunteering in Coral Coast, Fiji

The Kindergarten Teaching Project on Fiji’s Coral Coast involves volunteers in local kindergartens near Suva and Sigatoka, focusing on teaching basic English and playful learning activities. Ideal for those passionate about children’s education, volunteers stay in communal accommodations and experience Fiji’s vibrant culture.

Volunteering Solutions

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With a vast network encompassing over 250 projects in more than 26 countries, Volunteering Solutions (VolSol) has enabled over 15,000 volunteers to contribute a staggering 817,275+ hours to date. Specifically, their family volunteer vacation opportunities are tailored to enable families to make a meaningful contribution to underprivileged communities. VolSol makes an exception for the minimum age requirement of 8 years for kids, especially when multiple families are traveling together. Additionally, kids aged 15 and under receive a 50% discount on their application fees.

Family Volunteer Adventure in Malaysia

The Family Volunteer Adventure in Malaysia, set in the Sabah region’s Borneo Rainforests, offers families the chance to engage in wildlife conservation, habitat restoration, and educational projects. Suitable for children aged 8 and above, this program combines outdoor work with cultural immersion, including experiencing Malaysian cuisine and lifestyle.

Street Children Volunteer Program in Delhi, India

The Street Children Volunteer Program in Delhi, India, is a rewarding experience for volunteers to support underprivileged street children in daycare centers and shelter homes. Ideal for students, families, and gap year travelers, this program involves informal education, promoting good habits, and organizing educational trips. Volunteers aged 17 and above can participate. This program offers a blend of social work and cultural exploration.

Volunteer Projects in Ghana for Community Development

The Community Development Volunteer Program in Tamale, Ghana, offers volunteers a chance to work in rural communities across diverse projects. Volunteers aged 17 and above will teach English and math, assist in school construction or renovation, and contribute to health and water hygiene education. This program combines cultural immersion, including an orientation on Ghanaian customs and traditional meals, with impactful community work.

2 Weeks Special Volunteer Program in Thailand – Elephant & Beaches

The Thailand Program combines volunteering with cultural exploration, perfect for making an impact while enjoying Thailand’s beauty. Volunteers, aged 17 and up, will work at an Elephant Home near Chiang Mai, assisting mahouts with elephant care, and exploring ancient temples and local culture. The program includes a beach retreat in Phuket and a cultural tour in Bangkok. No prior experience is needed, but enthusiasm for elephant care and outdoor work is essential.

Surfpop

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Volunteering with Surfpop in Muizenberg, South Africa, offers a unique opportunity that allows family members to engage together in surfing while providing support to local children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This shared experience not only enhances family relationships but also instills values of empathy, teamwork, and cultural awareness in a vibrant, natural setting.

The program’s blend of surfing lessons, exploration of Cape Town’s natural beauty, and cultural immersion in a welcoming surf hostel environment provide a perfect mix of volunteer work, adventure, and relaxation. Participating as a family in Surfpop’s mission adds a layer of enriching experience, making it an unforgettable journey of giving back and personal growth, all within the stunning backdrop of South Africa’s coastline.

Global Vision International (GVI)

Teen and high school volunteer abroad programs - under 18 mission trips - GVI

GVI’s family volunteer opportunities offer a unique blend of adventure, bonding, and purposeful work. Families engage in activities that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring that their efforts lead to positive, sustainable change. What sets GVI apart is its commitment to ethical engagement and critical science. Families learn from diverse cultures, work alongside local communities, and help build a better, more equitable future. 

Plastic Pollution and Conservation In Thailand

The Plastic Pollution and Conservation Program in Thailand’s Phang Nga Province allows volunteers to engage in marine conservation and community development. Activities include beach cleaning, marine debris data analysis, educational workshops, and sea turtle conservation. This program combines efforts against plastic pollution with environmental awareness, offering impactful work and cultural immersion in Thailand’s natural setting.

Volunteer with Children in Nepal

The Childcare Volunteer Program in the Himalayas aids childhood development and education in Pokhara. Volunteers help local children meet developmental and educational milestones while immersing in Nepali culture, partaking in educational initiatives, and enjoying the Himalayan scenery. This program promotes community development and ethical work, providing cultural exchange, lasting impact, and personal and skill growth.

Teaching English and Community Development Projects in Costa Rica

This project in Cartago involves volunteers teaching English and participating in community development. Volunteers immerse in Cartago’s culture, enhancing local English skills to boost community employment prospects. Activities range from teaching diverse age groups to ethics and personal development training. Free time is allotted for exploring Costa Rica’s natural and cultural beauty, making this program perfect for those looking to impact positively and enjoy Costa Rican life.

Let’s Get Started!

Volunteer Forever | Family & Group Volunteer Abroad Projects

Family-friendly volunteer trips offer a unique blend of adventure, education, and altruism, making them an ideal choice for a summer vacation. Not only do they provide an opportunity to travel and explore, but they also instill values of empathy, teamwork, and global awareness in young minds. By choosing a volunteer vacation, families can enjoy a meaningful and unforgettable summer experience that extends beyond the typical tourist path.