Family Volunteer Vacations
Looking to make lasting memories on a family volunteer vacation? Family volunteering abroad is an incredible way to bond with your loved ones, immerse your family in a different culture and give back to communities abroad.
Want to volunteer abroad with children? International Volunteer HQ is proud to provide the most trusted and affordable family volunteer trips, and for this month only, kids aged 15 and under get 50% off their Registration Fee!*
Whether you are interested in construction, conservation, working with children or volunteering with animals, volunteering abroad as a family gives you quality time together while instilling the values of service.
Family volunteer opportunities are available in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and the Pacific. Learn more about planning a family service trip with IVHQ below.
THIS MONTH ONLY: 50% OFF REGISTRATION FEE FOR KIDS AGED 15 & UNDER*APPLY NOW TO GET THE DISCOUNT
- Why volunteer as a family with IVHQ?
- How to plan the best family volunteer trip:
- How much do family service vacations cost?
- How long can my family volunteer abroad for?
- Which projects are best for family humanitarian trips?
- What volunteer accommodation is available for families?
- How safe is volunteering abroad with children?
- What is family volunteering with IVHQ really like?
- Best family volunteer vacations
- How to volunteer abroad as a family
Whether you’re seeking a family volunteer vacation with animals, want to support Childcare and Teaching projects, environmental, wildlife and conservation initiatives, or you’re looking for humanitarian trips for families - IVHQ has safe and trusted volunteer abroad programs in over 50 destinations worldwide.
Our team of Volunteer Travel Experts can provide you with personalized family volunteer trip recommendations to match your budget and the causes you care about. If you’re planning to travel with 8 or more family members you can work with our dedicated Groups Team to create a custom family volunteer vacation.
I traveled with my family - kids ages 12, 15, and 18. Watching my children experience the joy of volunteering and forming relationships with people from all over the world was an exceptionally rewarding experience for me! Nila Stewart, IVHQ volunteer in Peru - Cusco
How to plan the best family volunteer trip:
How much do family service vacations cost?
Want to take your family abroad but avoid expensive resorts and over-priced tours? When you’re traveling with IVHQ, the focus is on spending quality time together, sharing authentic experiences and helping communities that value your support. That’s why our affordable Program Fees start from as low as US$20 (approximately £19) per day including accommodation per person.
Taking a family volunteer vacation with IVHQ is the most affordable and hassle-free way to experience a new country and culture without breaking the bank. We offer fully-hosted volunteer experiences which means your entire experience is organized for you, including:
- Airport pickup
- In-country program orientation
- Organization of your volunteering placement
- In-country 24/7 support
- Discounts on language lessons & tour and activity add-ons
Typical additional costs to budget for when planning a family volunteer vacation include: flights, visas, travel insurance, vaccinations and spending money. Each family member will need to pay an individual Registration Fee and Program Fee for your family’s chosen volunteer program.
When can my family volunteer abroad?
Our volunteer programs are available year-round so you have the flexibility to travel at any time of year that best suits your family’s schedule. You can volunteer for anywhere between 1 week and 24 weeks. This allows you to easily fit a family volunteer vacation into your children’s school breaks or your working year.
Which projects are best for family humanitarian trips?
During your volunteer program, children and teenagers under the age of 16 will need to be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.
For families volunteering with young children, the minimum age across all IVHQ projects is three years old. Some projects will require children traveling with families to be older. Our Animal Care, Community Development and Childcare volunteer projects are generally the most suitable, as these allow children to get involved and interact with animals, other children or members of the local community.
If you have children aged 16 and above, it’s possible for them to take part in their own volunteer project in certain destinations that are suitable for teens. We recommend you ask your IVHQ Program Manager whether this is possible and they will be more than happy to match individual family members with the correct projects.
What volunteer accommodation is available for families?
Depending on the makeup of your family, we recommend that families volunteering with children under the age of 15 look at our programs which offer homestay accommodation. This provides families with greater privacy and the opportunity to be accommodated together in private rooms. Living in a homestay is a unique experience, as your family can enjoy living alongside a local family, while learning about their culture, cuisine and traditions.
If you are looking for more privacy and comfort, there are opportunities for your family to get an accommodation upgrade to a private room in more than half of our destinations. Check out our homestay and private room upgrade options below:
Private room upgrade available in:
**Private room accommodation is standard in this destination and does not attract an additional cost
All of our accommodation options have been vetted by IVHQ staff and routinely checked against volunteer feedback to bring your family the safest and most comfortable options available. Please get in touch if you would like support with selecting the best destination and accommodation to meet the unique needs of your family.
How safe is volunteering abroad with children?
IVHQ offers wrap-around support and has robust health and safety systems in place to ensure that volunteering abroad with children is risk-free and safe. We follow best practice and industry-leading procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation re-certification. These include:
- All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training
- All local teams are trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ’s Risk Management Policy
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team
We also have a number of additional safety procedures in place to protect you and your family against Covid-19. We’re always happy to speak with you to ensure that all of your questions are answered and that you feel comfortable with your family volunteer trip plans.
What is family volunteering abroad with IVHQ really like?
Neha Chugh recently volunteered with her daughter in Costa Rica, here’s how she found it… “My daughter and I volunteered on a childcare project in Costa Rica and the best moment was seeing affection and empathy from a little child’s viewpoint. There was a moment where a 5 year old helped his playmate recover from a situation by teaching him to take deep breaths to overcome his anger. There are such simple ways to bring empathy and love in this world that adults forget.
Take the plunge. My daughter and I had an amazing experience. We grew as an individual and learned so much from the cultural immersion. It will stay with us for the rest of our lives. 5 stars to IVHQ and the Local Team in Costa Rica.”
“The goal of the trip was for my children to see that not all of the world lives as we do, and to expose them to different cultures and ideas. IVHQ offered the opportunity to live with a host family and experience the culture from the inside.
Sharing the volunteer experience brings us all closer as a family. I think the girls’ eyes were opened to how different, yet similar our lives are on all parts of the globe and that we all have similar basic needs. We now have a different frame of reference when we look at the life we have at home.
It is wonderful to work on a project together. Children all around the world love to play, and in every country my daughters have been included in the local games even if they share no common language. It’s great to see kids from such different backgrounds share a universal and enjoyable experience.
IVHQ provided us with logistical support - picking us up at the airport, giving us an overview of our country and taking us to our host family, which took most of the stress off us. One of the unexpected benefits of volunteering on a project is living/working with others and as a result, we have friends in the far ends of the globe. No matter the age, volunteers will bond over the shared experience.”
“When I was 13, my mom and I went to Morocco through IVHQ and had a blast! Now at 16, I just returned from another IVHQ trip to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe with my mom. Although it was an amazing trip to Morocco, Victoria Falls takes the title of my favorite trip ever. The two weeks were filled with laughter, smiles, and lots of jokes! For anyone thinking about doing this program, I highly recommend it, no matter what age you are.
Each Wednesday, we volunteered at the local school. Being 16, I was younger than some of the kids attending the school, so it was easy for me to connect with them. Whether it’s handshakes, jumprope, microscopes, or playing soccer, the students at the school always had a smile on their faces. Their smiles were infectious and the joy that they have is contagious. I am already thinking about where my next trip with IVHQ will be. “
Mom and daughter Tracee and Lauren Tsai spent a week volunteering in Costa Rica. Hear first hand what it’s like to volunteer with your loved ones from a Mom’s perspective…
“My daughter and I had the great pleasure of volunteering with the most wonderful people with special needs in San Jose, Costa Rica! I helped establish a Rehab exercise program for several residents with the dedicated staff, and my daughter organized activities such as dancing, jewellery making, arts and crafts, and even yoga!
We forged such strong connections that we and some of the residents cried on our last day as we didn’t want it to end. We also explored the beautiful sites, zip-lined in La Chimba, hiked the Volcan Irazu and walked through the National Park. The local team was so wonderful with such kind and caring staff - we would definitely do this again in the future! Thank you IVHQ!”
Best family volunteer vacations abroad
See the latest Covid-19 entry requirements here and explore our diverse range of volunteer opportunities for families below.
How to volunteer abroad as a family
To volunteer abroad as a family with IVHQ, you will need to submit an online application for each family member. If you are volunteering as a family unit with more than two people, we recommend that you follow these steps:
- One family member submits the first application and becomes the ‘Group Leader’
- When you are filling out this first application it will ask “Will you be volunteering with a friend, family member or group?”. In this case, select “yes” and you will have the ability to send invites to your family members via their own email addresses
- Each family member will then get an email link which will take them through to an application form.
- Once your family members have submitted their individual applications, your IVHQ Program Manager will respond within 48 hours and provide guidance on the next steps.