Giving Back to the Community while Traveling

Raising a compassionate child starts with parents leading by example. However, acts of kindness do not have to be an individual effort. Working as a family on a community service project is not only a great way to help others, but also a way to bond as a family. I know that many of us work on community service projects as a family, doing things like working in soup kitchens, visiting nursing homes, beautification projects and more. But have you considered taking those efforts on the road? There are many ways to incorporate volunteerism or giving back into your family travels.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give back, or any money in some instances. Often times, the only cost is your time – the most valuable commodity of all.

Giving Back to the Community while Traveling

Have you heard the term voluntourism before? It is defined by the act of giving back to the places you travel. More and more people are looking for ways to combine volunteering efforts with scheduled holiday trips. Giving back to the community while traveling is guaranteed to enhance your itinerary and manifest lasting memories. Have you or a family member vacationed with the sole intention to give back to the community?

We’re having a great conversation about giving back to the community over in the Family Travel Talk Forum by Residence Inn on Facebook. I hope you’ll stop by and join the conversation. If you’re not already a member of the forum, just ask for an invite and we’ll get you added right away.

In what ways does your family give back to the community while traveling or at home?

This post is brought to you through by our partnership with Residence Inn.

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  1. Sandra VanHoey says:

    Our family makes donations to many organizations. We are also teaching the grandkids to help others whenever possible. No good deed is ever to small. It’s great seeing a smiling face in return

    • Sandra VanHoey says:

      We had not heard of this before but another great way for our children to learn and help out other communities

  2. I have never heard of volunteerism before. I’ll definitely keep it in mind the next time we travel. Love it!

  3. I had not heard of this and we just traveled recently. I will keep this in mind for our next trip.

  4. I had not heard of voluntourism before. What a fantastic way to have the entire family give back to an area you are visiting.

  5. I’m a big believer in being a gracious guest and always leaving the community you visit a better place either through a donation to a local charity or volunteering your time. Great post.

  6. Love it! I must see if we can do something like this as our kids are growing older and would appreciate the experience.

  7. When I was single I wanted to do this…I thought it would be WONDERFUL! If I were not a mom I would do it now.

  8. saminder gumer says:

    i usually take a trip where i like to just go to volunteer and enjoy the people and culture. i don’t always volunteer where i travel, but this is a great idea. thanks.

  9. I’ve never heard about voluntourism before. But is sounds great. A great way to benefit the places that you visit.

  10. I love the idea of volunteerism! I have seen a few programs like this but they usually cost more than a real vacation so we haven’t found one we can afford yet.

  11. Haven’t heard of voluntourism before. But I know that leaving a place better then how you found it is a good thing.

  12. This sounds like a great way to give back… I will have to check it out… thanks so much

  13. I love this.. what a great post and I had no idea, but this will come in handy when we travel this summer and share yet another way to give back with the kids.. love it.

  14. This is really neat! I had never thought to do this before, but it could be really fun, and definitely a great learning experience for kids.

  15. I love it when companies find a way to give back to them community. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I’ve never heard of this before, but I like it! I can’t help but think about the great memories it would create….and it would be a good way to really get to know the people of a town or city your visiting.

  17. I have totally heard of voluntourism. Global is looking into it for different destinations out of the US.

  18. We haven’t done this but we always try and teach the kids to be helpful and kind to others when we travel.

  19. I had never heard of this, but love the idea!! I try to help animals around here whenever possible.

  20. I recently read an article about voluntourism. It is an interesting concept. I love giving back whenever possible.

  21. This is wonderful! What a great way to pay it forward while traveling.

  22. One of my favourite things to do is to give back when traveling. We’re going away next month actually, and I have a list of school supplies to bring to local kids. I love doing things like this!

  23. I love the idea of giving back…I do it whenever I have the chance!

  24. What a great way to give back and learn about people and their culture. I love it! Thanks for the great info.

  25. When I was in college, I went on an “alternate” spring break where we went to Philly and basically volunteered at various different amazing organizations. It was both an eye opener and an unbelievable learning experience. It was one of the best and most impressionable things I’ve ever done. I think it’s a great idea for families too!

  26. This sounds great, giving back and enjoying travel as well – I like this – a little something for others and yourself.

  27. I love the idea of this. I had never heard of it before now. I will have to look into it for my future travels.

  28. That’s amazing. :D We try to give back to the communities we visit. :) A little can go a long way.

  29. I have never heard of this either, but I think it is wonderful. My kids are donating their time and efforts during lent and giving monies earned to those in need. We are starting with the small things and hopefully this will inspire them to do more.

  30. Voluntourism always reminds me of the Peace Corp a little.

  31. Sounds like a great conversation. Usually people are concerned with making new memories for themselves that they forget ‘need’ doesn’t take a vacation. I’ll have to pop by the forum!

  32. What a neat concept and sounds fun too!

  33. There are some ecological trips which I feel would tie into this voluntourism really well. I’m seriously considering some of the animal related trips.

  34. I enjoyed your article on Volunteering in the Community (while traveling). I had never heard of “voluntourism” until now. The concept is great and I’m sure it will help many people.

  35. I love the idea of traveling and giving back to others in the process. I know when I visited Jamaica I wanted to stay and help every wonderful person I met.

  36. I’d never thought about it before, that’s a great idea!

  37. We don’t do much traveling, but we do a lot of things to give back locally. You’re right it is important to lead by example. :)

  38. Christina says:

    I love the idea of volunteer work traveling. I have visited 46 countries and was a Peace Corps volunteer during my travels. I loved volunteering at orphanages along the way.

  39. This is such a great idea, volunteering is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. You should always be prepared to give back to the community wherever you go. Thank you for sharing this post.

  40. This is a wonderful idea!

  41. What a great idea! We have never done this before, but I really want to work it into our next vacation. Great thing to teach/pass on to our kids as well.

  42. Julie Wood says:

    What a great way to give back when traveling. I never thought about this concept and would love to do this with my family, and find ways to give back when traveling.

  43. Never heard of it but what I great way to continue to give back.

  44. I haven’t heard of voluntourism before, but I think I’ve seen it in action. In high school we had a May Term, the last 2 weeks before school was officially over for the year, and my roommate junior year went on a Habitat for Humanity trip for her May Term class. Definitely sounds like a cool idea, and I’ll have to check out more of the conversation!

  45. We donate money and volunteer our time for causes that we hold dear to our hearts.

  46. What a great idea – voluntourism! I love the idea of giving back whilst traveling and when my future trips are longer than business hopefully I’ll be able to give back

    Added you on Twitter so I can read more great tips!

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