Volunteering as a family is a fun and meaningful way to share a bonding experience while giving back, but you can heighten the experience by volunteering during your next vacation. Kids get to see the world is more than just resorts, beaches and amusement parks while impacting the local community.
But in order to really get your tweens and teens inspired, you need an inspired plan where volunteering ends up being the best part of your vacation.
Foster Their Passions
One of the best ways to get tweens and teens in the spirit of giving is to foster their passions and match them with a reputable cause. Animal loving families can book a trip to the Best Friends Animal Society in Utah. The largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals helps build programs to reduce the number of animals entering shelters. Kids can visit the kitten room to give some love and pitch in and meet the dogs. Your kids might even decide to make a donation from their allowance as part of the voluntourism experience.
Get Back to Nature
It’s no big secret kids need to spend more time in nature. In fact, today’s children only spend half as much time playing outside as their parents did. Nature Corps offers all-inclusive national and state park volunteer vacations. Catered and professionally guided volunteer vacations give a behind-the-scenes look at our nation’s parks. Proceeds from a volunteer vacation tuition also support their Student Volunteer program making it tax deductible.
Visit a Local School
There may be no better way to inspire your kids and educate them on the world than to give them a glimpse of a local school while giving back. Developed by the Sandals Foundation, families can join its Island Impact programs at Beaches Resort to help local students. Its Reading Road Trip program connects resort guests with schools to donate books, read to the kids, and visit with local school children.
Take a Break From the Theme Parks
Orlando may reign as the epicenter of classic family vacations, but there’s more to do than just amusement parks and dinner with your favorite characters. Universal Studio’s Give the Kids the World program is a non-profit storybook resort for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Volunteer jobs include scooping up ice cream, restocking treats, carousel gatekeeper and castle attendant, among other fun gigs. Your kids directly impact the sick children they’re helping while learning more about responsibility and hard work.
Make Your Travel More Meaningful
If you’re not sure how to give back, think about your voluntourism as a way to make your travel more meaningful. You can always bring needed supplies and make a difference through Pack for a Purpose where travelers have brought more than 205,465 pounds of essentials to more than 60 countries. Or you and your kids can look up local soup kitchens and volunteer a few hours to help feed the community.
However you decide to introduce volunteerism to tweens and teens, make sure to thoroughly check any volunteer or non-profit organizations you’re joining. Work with an organization with a long-standing reputation and track record for success. It’s also a good opportunity to talk through how your tween or teen will impact the destination they’re visiting and what it means to give back.
Only the bravest of family travelers should venture to Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights. Every year, Universal Orlando turns into the spookiest place in Florida, if not in the country. On select nights throughout the season, visitors and locals alike can head to the popular amusement park for frights, scares and thrilling adventures. Explore 10 terrifying haunted houses; five scare zones; live entertainment; and themed attractions, food and merchandise.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
With kids back in school and the grueling temperatures of summer finally behind us, life is starting to get back into the routine of fall. That doesn’t mean, however, that family fun has to stop. Big international trips may not be practical for all family travelers this time of year, but places like South County in Rhode Island offer so many fun things to do for families, a quick trip to this East Coast haven is practically a must.
Take Part in England’s Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Dusk Wildlife Safaris and Children’s Art Competition
Planning a trip to the United Kingdom soon? Time your travel for the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival in Somerset, England, from Oct. 13 to 29. The setting is Exmoor National Park, located within a gorgeous mix of farmland, wild forests, stunning valleys and moorlands in South West England.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Part of a family who just loves a good scare or ghost story? This fall, wherever your travels might take you, chances are you’ll be near an Omni hotel or resort with a history of haunted sightings and other scary happenings. So, why not learn a bit about where you’re staying to make the experience all the more eerie …