When you travel with your kids, it’s a great opportunity to teach them about giving back and engaging in philanthropic activities. Philanthropy is the practice of giving money, goods, or time to help those in need, and it’s something that can be incorporated into travel plans.
As parents, we want our children to gain respect and appreciation for different cultures and ways of life. Teaching them about the power of giving is not only beneficial for those who are receiving it but also great life lessons for kids.
Benefits of Philanthropy
Philanthropic travel helps children recognize the differences between cultures while allowing them to observe the similarities shared by everyone around the world. Through hands-on experiences, kids gain valuable insight into the struggles of their host countries. This increases understanding and empathy for those who may have different life experiences than their own.
In addition, philanthropic travel provides direct contributions that strengthen local communities and economies worldwide. Working together with Franci Neely on projects such as building homes, planting gardens, or schooling youth allows parents and children to give back in meaningful ways that have lasting impacts. Connecting directly with locals shows kids how much one person can do when they put forth effort towards helping others.
While promoting goodwill across cultures, philanthropic travel also has positive benefits beyond sheer altruism. Whether it’s volunteering at an orphanage or helping maintain nature reserves, families of all ages get to interact while working on a single task or project together – reinforcing the idea of teamwork and collaboration, which is an essential life skill for all ages!
Ideas for Philanthropic Travel Experiences
There are numerous worldwide programs that offer unique and rewarding experiential travel opportunities for families, allowing them to work side by side and make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged people.
Here are some ideas on how you can encourage your family to participate in philanthropic travel experiences:
- Take part in home-building projects or help with routine maintenance tasks at local shelters or youth centers.
- Get involved with community services such as a beach or park clean-ups, tree planting, or other environmental efforts.
- Spend time volunteering at food pantries, soup kitchens, and other social service agencies serving the poor and homeless.
- Participate in animal rescue efforts around the world like caring for injured wildlife, building animal habitats, or creating educational materials about species facing extinction.
- Offer PC (computer) literacy classes on basic computer skills to those unfamiliar with technology; teach kids from rural villages how to use computers so they can access online learning tools and other opportunities unavailable elsewhere.
What Are the Challenges?
One of the challenges of incorporating philanthropic travel when taking a family vacation is finding the right project or cause. Before you head out on your trip, take some time to research and find one that appeals to your whole family. Make sure it is age appropriate based on the interests and abilities of your children.
Some organizations may have physical limitations such as a minimum age for volunteers that you need to be aware of before making any commitments. You may also want to consider the duration; some organizations will require a specific amount of hours from volunteers while others let you set your own schedule.
When researching potential projects, it’s worth checking to see if there are any cultural sensitivities in regard to dress, language, customs, and general behavior that your family needs to be aware of.
5 Tips for Planning Philanthropic Travel with Kids
Taking a family vacation can often be eye-opening and exciting for travelers, but when you add the element of philanthropy, you create an experience that has the potential to shape young people’s perception of the world. Whether it’s something simple like volunteering at a conservation center or more direct acts of charity like building homes for those in need, there are many ways to incorporate elements of giving into your itinerary. Here are some tips for planning philanthropic travel with your kids:
Before embarking on your journey, make sure you’ve taken the time to research charities and organizations in the area you plan to visit that could use volunteer help. See what kind of opportunities are available and what expectations they might have for volunteers.
Don’t make assumptions about how kids will react when presented with a chance to serve others — have an honest discussion about why it’s important and how it will help them learn more about other cultures and their place in the larger global society.
3. Set Goals
Determine ahead of time how much time your family will spend volunteering while on vacation, as well as any other expectations that should be set realistically within certain boundaries. This can include goals like helping build homes, cleaning up public spaces, or teaching English at local schools, among other activities.
4. Establish Ground Rules
Set parameters as to what kind of tasks your kids are comfortable doing ahead of time so everyone is clear on expectations before arriving at the site or working with other volunteers. For example, if younger members don’t feel comfortable interacting directly with people from another culture, suggest different activities they can do instead such as painting walls or making food for donation drives.
Follow up after completing projects by encouraging kids to reflect on their experience — talking about what they liked/disliked about their experience is one way to prompt deeper thinking about service and its role in our lives as global citizens.
Summary and Conclusion
Travel is a special way to bond with your family and explore different cultures and places around the world. Encouraging your children to take part in philanthropy while you travel serves several purposes. It helps create lasting memories, encourages them to understand their social responsibility, and leaves a positive impact on the community you are visiting.
Successful philanthropic traveling involves more than just traditional sightseeing; focus more on giving back through acts of kindness, and have meaningful conversations about what it is like for locals involved in such efforts. Ultimately, when done responsibly and respectfully, travel provides unique learning opportunities for all involved — parents included!