Booking a family holiday with a difference: the Oyster Worldwide guide

Thinking about your next family holiday? So are we! If you are looking for a family holiday with a difference then we may well be the answer that you are looking for. Oyster Worldwide specialises in volunteer projects overseas, and we have some exciting family volunteering options which may well be the adventure that you are all looking for.

Families in Borneo show off their hard work and achievements on their reforestation project on their holiday with a differenceWhy take a family holiday with a difference?

Taking your family away on a volunteering holiday can have many benefits which are often overlooked – here is a summary of just a few:

  • A fantastic educational experience: Children will have the chance to meet and make friends with others whose lives might be very different to theirs. Their eyes will be opened to different ways of life, culture and values. They will begin to realise how fortunate they are, and become more accepting of cultural differences, putting them in good stead for the future.
  • Free their imaginations: Getting back to basics and away from modern conveniences and technology encourages children to spend time outside, appreciate the environment, and use their imaginations to entertain themselves. In fact, there’s something to be said for the benefits of escaping the bustle of modern day life and ‘getting back to nature’ for all of us!
  • Learn about conservation: By seeing and working with animals in their natural habitat, children will get a better understanding of the threats facing wildlife, and of the importance of conservation and protecting the world around them. This is a great experience for parents too!
  • Make a difference: Taking part in a specifically designed family project will ensure that even the youngest children will be able to get stuck in and make a worthwhile contribution to the project, giving them a sense of responsibility and a boost to their confidence.
  • Work together as a team: Many of the parents who have gone away on our family volunteering holidays have commented on the joy of working towards something as a family. Every member of the family is chipping in, bringing their personalities and qualities to the tasks at hand. Kids can see their parents as equals, and vice versa. This is especially rewarding with older children.
  • Develop confidence: Taking your family on a volunteering holiday means that you are all slightly out of your comfort zone, yet in a well supported way. Meeting new people from all over the world, being in a different environment and being away from the constraints of normal life, children and adults alike often feel their confidence levels soar. This is often tied in with really appreciating the contribution that you are making.

Family poses at the elephant sanctuary in ThailandWhat can we do for our family holiday with a difference?

Grab the chance to immerse yourself and your family in another culture, and create unforgettable memories as you embark on an adventure together, trying out new and exotic cuisines and learning the basics of a foreign language. Some of our most popular family volunteering options are:

  • Protecting adult and baby turtles on Costa Rica’s stunning and rural beaches
  • Caring for rescued elephants in inspiring sanctuaries in Laos and Thailand
  • Helping wildlife in a rescue centre in Thailand
  • Conserving orangutans and pygmy elephants in Borneo‘s rainforest
  • Nurturing baby monkeys and baboon’s in South Africa‘s oldest rehabilitation centre
  • Caring for bears in Eastern Europe’s largest bear sanctuary in Romania
  • Promoting the survival of wild elephants in Namibia‘s deserts and Sri Lanka‘s wilderness

It's not all hard work on our family holiday with a difference projects!What our families have to say

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what some past family volunteers have had to say:

  • ‘Despite missing a lot of luxuries from home, the kids were troopers with minimum whining and complaining…It was an incredible trip with so many wonderful family memories and we’re so happy we did it!’ Stephanie, Costa Rica Turtles
  • ‘The kids opened their minds to different cultures and ways of living, made many new friends, embraced the Spanish language, challenged their taste buds and were prepared to try so many different living environments.’ The Wrench family, Costa Rica Turtles
  • ‘As children get older, everyone in the family finds that they want different things from a holiday, and holidays can become stressful catering for all. This was a perfect way for us as a family to enjoy spending time with each other and interacting with the animals, with a purpose in a completely safe environment. The project opened our kids’ eyes to opportunities available; they mixed with people from all around the world, they developed confidence, they felt valued by what they were doing, they saw their parents as equals in the work rather than just “parents”. They loved it” The Millar family, elephant sanctuary volunteering in Thailand
  • ‘My daughter benefited through experiencing new things and realising that coping with new experiences wasn’t hard. She also got to see the problems that other people in the world face and the impact of westernisation, enabling her to consider the positive and negative impacts of travel and tourism.’ The Watson family, elephant conservation in Sri Lanka

Meet elephants on your family holiday with a differenceWe’re keen – what’s next?

Oyster Worldwide likes to speak to each of the families that goes away volunteering with us, and this is an important part of the booking. Family volunteer holidays are trips like no other – they are not as simple as click and go resort holidays, but don’t let that put you off! We want to speak to families, as often parents have safety concerns, concerns about the ages of their children and their ability to muck in, and general planning queries. We want to make sure that you are considering all of the things that you need to consider, and make sure that this is the right sort of holiday for you. All families need to be prepared to rough it a bit, live away from life’s usual comforts and get thoroughly immersed in this new lifestyle.

Once we have spoken with you, we can start planning your trip, which includes managing a payment schedule, planning your arrival and departure, providing information about insurance, visas and innoculations – and many more of the important queries that you will no doubt have in the run up to your time away.

If you have any questions about our family holiday with a difference projects, do call Anne on +44 (0) 1892 771 975 or send an email to [email protected].

We look forward to being in touch with you!

A family takes buckets of baby turtles down the beach to be released back to the sea on their family holiday with a difference in Costa Rica

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