Your Family Can Help Change The World While On Vacation

OK, we realize you’re going to want to take a vacation for more than 15 minutes (even with that pesky recession on!). But making the decision to take the family on a trip that involves helping others or respecting the environment instead of lounging at the beach can be made relatively quickly. There are a number of Eco tours and activist travel or work exchange programs that might even cost you less than that trip to Disneyworld and leave you or your family feeling more fulfilled upon your return home.

ResponsibleTravel.com – Listing thousands of options for a more sustainable vacation respecting the environments and local inhabitants, Responsible Travel is searchable by budget level, region, country, and even type of holiday and activities you’d like to do. Travelers are encouraged to review the tours they take, so you can also see others’ feedback on the trips you might be interested in.

Ecotour Directory – This site currently lists 95 different eco holiday and responsible travel options, searchable by continent.

TrekAmerica – TrekAmerica hosts tour programs focusing on appreciating and respecting the natural environment throughout North America. You get the opportunity to experience some unique environments while simultaneously having a positive impact on the land.

Volunteer Vacations – Instead of taking ad nauseum “I was here” photos in front of tourist traps on your next vacation, you could use your next trip to volunteer abroad. This site offers a number of 1-4 week vacation options from helping at children’s clinics to preserving wilderness trails to teaching math to kids in developing countries.

Global Volunteers – A clearinghouse of volunteer international service programs, Global Volunteers typically requires you front your own travel costs. They do however offer assistance qualifying for discounts or fundraising the cost of your service program fee.

Do you have other great world-changing ideas that don’t necessarily require an enormous time commitment? Let us know in the comments!

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