Making a difference: Volunteer with the family

Go somewhere spectacular, do something unusual, make new friends, preserve the environment and gain new skills in the process. Plus, how to celebrate World Book Day

By Maria Pieri
Published 7 Feb 2017, 15:00 GMT, Updated 19 Jul 2021, 15:05 BST
A Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) at Elafonissos island, bay of Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece

A Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) at Elafonissos island, bay of Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece

Photograph by Getty Images

At Loggerheads in Greece
Join a team of international volunteers conserving endangered loggerhead turtles in Giannitsochori, one of Greece's most important nesting areas. For teens aged 15-17 years old. Two weeks from £1,800.

Fancy milking a cow… in Nepal?
Try a farm-working holiday with a difference with Volunteering Journeys. You'll have a chance to plant crops, and generally help out with spare time spent hiking, zip-lining, visiting waterfalls and lakes plus touring cities. This new collection of family volunteer trips features destinations such as India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand and South Africa. Journeys cost from £499 per person.

UK scrubs up 
Book an Easter eco-adventure at the Stackpole Estate, in Pembrokeshire, where you can take part in conservation tasks such as scrub clearance, beach cleaning and campfire building. From £125 per person for three nights.

A world of animals
Responsible Travel's volunteer family trips include monitoring sea turtle nests and protecting hatchlings in Costa Rica; marine conservation in Thailand; volunteering with monkeys or horses in South Africa; or a bear sanctuary in Romania.

Plus: Do something booky

Here are our favourite bookish ideas shared by teachers and librarians, to celebrate the 20th year of World Book Day UK. World Book Day UK has to date delivered 13 million £1 books into the hands of young people across the country! Children can get the official World Book Day book for free in exchange for the £1 token available to all schoolchildren in the UK and Ireland.

1. Book blitz: Share a favourite book with a friend. Read it to them and tell them why you love it in one minute, then swap.
2. Weird Write-all: Children write one paragraph or page of a story and pass it on to create a combined story.
3. Character study: Children present their favourite literary character to classmates, talking about the values they represent.
4. Run a Book Swap Day or Festival of the Imagination: Create lots
of fairground stalls such as Swap a Book, Hook a Duck, Madame Bibliotheque or The Magic of Books (with a real magician).
5. Guess my book: A 'Who Am I?' quiz where teachers provide a title for their own 'autobiography' and children have to match the teacher to the title.
6. Spelling bee: Have fun with words like 'splendiferous' and 'Gruffalo'. Prizes could be book vouchers or stationery.
7. Readathon Run: A sponsored read for a week or a month.

Take a page from World Book Day and write your own…
Take inspiration from World Book Day and write a travel blog or post an Instagram picture on your next trip. We've begun our fortnightly family blog online…

Published in the March 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller


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