Excerpt from 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money..Planning a service vacation for Your Family!
Planning a service vacation for your family
In Your Mark On The World I shared the story of the Smith family from Idaho, traveling around the world doing service on a four month service adventure. Most families simply couldn’t afford such a trip. Virtually every family can afford some sort of service vacation as an alternative to a traditional vacation one year. Here are some tips to help you plan your trip.
- Identify your budget for the vacation. Before you go on your service trip or even get serious about planning it, you need to understand your budget. Full service, international trips can easily cost $5,000 per person. Such trips have the potential to change lives, both the lives of those you serve and your children’s lives. There are opportunities right in your own community where virtually your only cost would be the time you commit to the project. Every other budget in between will be an option.
- Research opportunities. Projects abroad (among others) is a web site that connects people and families looking for international service opportunities to their projects. You can also start with the web sites for service organizations that have missions you support. You can travel with them. UBELONG is an international development organization that exists solely to place volunteers around the world on an affordable basis.
- Plan your own trip. You don’t have to arrange your trip through a group of any sort, nor do you need to travel internationally to have an impact. You can plan your own trip, as the Smiths did, researching opportunities to serve in a place you’d like to go—whether that is on the other side of the world or across town.
- Involve the whole family. However you approach the trip, early in the process you’ll want to include all of the children as well as your spouse in the planning. By getting everyone involved, you ensure that the trip will be a success. You want all of your children to come home glad they went, having learned something about giving back and having gained a perspective about their relative prosperity.
- Focus the family on the goals. Help everyone in the family to share goals for having an impact during your service vacation. Use the months leading up to the trip to get everyone focused on the results you hope to achieve, the good you’ll do and what you’ll learn. A service vacation can and should include some fun activities, but most of your time will be spent doing service. Make sure that everyone is ready for that.
- Record the trip. Make sure that everyone in the family records the experience. Some may want to blog about it, others may want to keep a private diary. Others may want to be snapping photos all the time. Whatever form it takes, encourage everyone on the family to make a first-hand record of the experience.
A service vacation can and should be the trip your family talks about for years to come. The lessons learned and the impact you have on others will make this trip different than any other vacation you’ll ever take.
Excerpt from: 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World by Devin D. Thorpe