There is no shortage of exciting adventures to keep family travelers’ energy high when California is involved in a trip. That said, for a vacation with a purpose that lets families enjoy the Golden State while also teaching about giving back, consider linking up with California State Parks Foundation to turn your trip into a voluntourism vacation. By mixing anywhere from a few hours to several days of volunteering into your itinerary, the family not only gets to experience California’s natural beauty but also can reap the many great rewards stemming from giving your personal time to improve the world around you.
The foundation offers volunteer workdays throughout the year at parks across the state, letting you choose just the right activity and destination to work with your itinerary. From planting milkweed in February at Los Angeles State Historic Park to removing invasive plants from Garrapata State Park in Carmel-By-The-Sea in March, there are plenty of ways to see California’s beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife, all while helping to keep its state parks looking their best.
Some national parks even get in on the California voluntourism action, like Yosemite. This is not only one of the most popular national parks in the country, but it also offers some of the most interesting volunteer opportunities with its Drop-In Volunteering program. While most parks require a regular commitment from volunteers, this program lets you stop in for a single day and do your part. Opportunities include Apple-Picking Day in August to clear the apple orchards and prevent unwanted bear visits. Another volunteer opportunity is Yosemite Facelift, a five-day volunteer event in September to help clean up the park.
Volunteering doesn’t just let you explore a destination up close and personally. It also teaches respect for nature, respect for those who do the hard work of caring for and maintaining it, and the importance of doing things selflessly for the betterment of the world around us. Volunteering is also a great way to make new friends and meet people from other walks of life.
Safety is top of mind for family travelers interested in a cycling vacation. The cycling experts at IceBike studied 10 years of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine the safest U.S. states for cyclists. The number of cyclist deaths rose from 4,302 in 2010 to 6,205 in 2019. It is more important than ever to consider safe locations when bicycling.
United Airlines officially became the only major U.S. airline to own a flight training school with the opening of United Aviate Academy on Jan. 27. The moment was made even more historic with its inaugural class, which is 80 percent women and people of color.
Take your family travels to the next level with a beach vacation at Naia Resort & Spa in Belize. Grab your significant other, the kids and even the grandparents and stay in the ultimate multigenerational private villa.
This Valentine’s Day, transform family travel plans into a couple’s getaway with Casa Kimberly’s Legendary Romance offer. The gorgeous, nine-suite boutique hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is no stranger to iconic love stories as it was once a gift from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor.
Nashville is a premier destination for celebrating the holidays with ample attractions, extravagant light displays and cheerful special events.
Easter Island, one of the world’s last remaining outposts of mystique and mystery, starts 2023 with a bang with Tapati Rapa Nui Festival next month. Famous for its nearly 1,000 moai statues erected by the island’s early inhabitants, the Rapa Nui people, Easter Island has a unique heritage that is celebrated with this two-week event, which dates back more than 40 years. Family travelers in attendance will enjoy the opportunity to immerse themselves in the island’s history.