Since the early days of travel and the Grand Tour, vacations have served as a way to explore new lands and learn about the cultures and customs of other people. Just like vacations can give you a glimpse into other worlds, so, too, can volunteering. In fact, the volunteer travel phenomenon, where travelers plan vacations designed to help others, has never been stronger.
Rather than traveling to other countries to volunteer, help those in need right in your own community and enjoy a stay-cation that can open your eyes to parts of your town you may overlook each day. Try Voluntourism.org to find local agencies looking for volunteers. Depending on your interests, your family can help animals, other families, or help clean up the environment. Not only will you save on vacation expenses, but you'll make a real difference in your local community while instilling a sense of service in yourself and your kids.