If you’re looking for an unconventional family vacation this year, why not consider a volunteer excursion where you and your family exchange work for accommodations, food, and sometimes even travel expenses?  It's a great way to bond with your kids while you help others and protect the planet.  

The Sierra Club manages a number of family service trips such as building new trails near Aspen or preserving artifacts in Dinosaur National Monument.  These trips take you to incredible places that are amazing to visit and satisfying to help protect.

Families interested in learning more about organic farming could contact the World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms to check out organic farms around the world that welcome families in exchange for a few hours of work.

Global Volunteers has a number of projects around the world that are open to families such as teaching English, building schools and homes, or helping out at conservation centers.  

Surf over to The Volunteer Family for even more listings of volunteer vacations that are open to families.  Also check out Volunteer Vacations: Short-Term Adventures That Will Benefit You and Others by Bill McMillon.  The book is a few years old, but you will still find lots of good info as well as listings for over 2,000 projects around the world that are open to volunteers.  

Photo by mtb Grrrl

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