Category: Volunteer Vacations

Oct
26

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Ask An Alumni: A Guatemala trip through the eyes of a Discover Corps traveler

Posted by on October 26, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

Nothing beats hearing one of our travelers share what a phenomenal time they had on a Discover Corps trip. We recently had the opportunity to highlight two of these travelers – both  Cuba trip alumnae – Gina and Kathleen (the world’s coolest grandma). Now we’re off to embark on a Guatemala trip with another Discover Corps traveler!

You’ve seen the promos. You’ve visited our website (and, obviously, our blog). You already follow us on Facebook. But how do you know what one of our trips is really like? Ask Discover Corps Alumni! We’ve done the legwork for you. Say hello to Lisa, who recently experienced our Guatemala trip. Not only did Lisa have the trip of a lifetime, she had two – taking another Guatemala trip just a few months after the first!

Guatemala trip
Lisa K.

Keep reading to take a look at Guatemala through Lisa’s eyes and discover why she chose Discover Corps (in her own words). And, we have to be honest: One of the tips she gave? It definitely tops the lists of simple, yet gratifying suggestions. Read on to see what she recommends.Read More

Oct
5

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10 things to do in Thailand (even with the kids!)

Posted by on October 5, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

One-of-a-kind sights and experiences are around just about every corner when you fancy yourself a seasoned traveler. There’s the Great Wall of China running along the northern borders of China. There are breathtaking pyramids in Egypt. There’s Machu Picchu in Peru. The list is virtually endless.

Then there’s Thailand. This beautiful southeast Asian oasis and hot pot of culture and shockingly peaceful people has more unique things to see and do than you can possibly fit into one trip. To help narrow it down a bit, we’ve gathered 10 things to do in Thailand – many of which you can do with your children, too! (If these aren’t enough, here are 16 more!)

From the lush green mountains of Phuket Island to the absolutely charming elephants found throughout the region, you’ll want to plan your next trip before your first trip even ends! Before your actual vacation, let’s take a virtual trip through some of the best things to do in Thailand.Read More

Sep
28

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This 15-year-old got a Cuba trip for his birthday – from his grandma!

Posted by on September 28, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

How would you like to go on a Cuba trip for your 15th birthday? Few teens have such luck, but thanks to Kathleen G., she and her grandson celebrated by traveling! Their pick: “A Celebration of Arts & Culture,” one of our most popular Cuba trip options.

So, welcome back to Cuba! Last month, we shared with you a Cuba trip through the eyes of Gina, an adult Discover Corps traveler. Now, it’s time you “met” Kathleen (and her 15 year old grandson).

After the jump, take a look at Cuba through Kathleen’s eyes – and learn why she chose Discover Corps (in her own words)!

World’s coolest grandma? We think so.

Cuba trip

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Sep
21

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Family Vacation Bucket List: Spotting the Big 5 in South Africa

Posted by on September 21, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

We say “South Africa,” you say “safari!,” right? Of course! Having the opportunity to spot the Big 5 animals is a bucket list item for many. And let’s be honest, it should be. When can you see leopards, rhinos, elephants, African buffaloes, and lions in their natural habitat?

When you’re ready to venture off into the wild on your very first family safari experience, planning can be stressful. Rather than spending your time coordinating numerous plans and excursions from afar, take a look at some bundled trips. These are helpful because they (usually) do all of the legwork for you – including planning, booking, timing, scheduling, and sometimes even transportation.

Adventure seekers, animal lovers, and families alike can embark on these adventures! While they’re appealing to all kinds of people, they’re surprisingly perfect for families. When you’ve exhausted the cruises, beaches, and theme parks, it’s time to really wow the kids. We’ll show you exactly how you can do that – and how easy it can beRead More

Sep
7

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Learning these 10 cultural norms in India will make your trip even better

Posted by on September 7, 2017 · 1 Comment  

Since we’ve introduced two new India trips, it’s a good time to familiarize yourself with some cultural norms in India. Whether you’re on our Tiger Volunteer Adventure or Tigers, Temples & Taj trip, you’re bound to interact with locals often. It’s also likely that you’ll take some of your free time to venture off the beaten path and explore like a local. And you should!

Before you immerse yourself in the country’s beautiful and historic culture, know this: Westerners tend to be a bit surprised by some of the cultural norms in India. For example, simple gestures and behaviors that are normal at home may be offensive to traditional locals here.

Part of the trip planning process should include learning more about the customs of your destination. Doing so will make your trip even more enjoyable. Take a look at our list of cultural norms in India and get ready for an extra smooth trip once you land!

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Aug
17

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International Foods: Dishes to try in our favorite destinations, Part I

Posted by on August 17, 2017 · 1 Comment  

“What should I eat?” is one of the most common questions we get from our travelers. And who could blame them? Food is a large part of the heart of a culture or country. And international foods tend to be considerably different in their native lands, since American versions of the same foods are usually tempered to cater to American tastes and familiarity.

So, which international foods should you try? The short answer is, “It depends.”  It’s not a non-answer, we promise! It does depend. It depends on your tastes, where you’re traveling, how adventurous an eater you are, and whether or not you have any dietary restrictions or allergies.

While we obviously encourage you to interact with locals anywhere you go, we’ve taken some of the legwork out of discovering the most traditional foods on our trips. Enjoy Part One of our list of international foods to try. Fair warning: Use caution when reading this list on an empty stomach… You may end up on a plane before you know it, jonesing to try some international cuisine!

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Aug
10

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Family Vacation Planning Blueprint: Plan Ahead!

Posted by on August 10, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

Name a few things in your life that you do without much planning. Grabbing lunch, walking the dog? Making a pit stop for an extra cup of coffee, buying that extra accessory you don’t really need? These all probably make the list. But what about family vacation planning? Would you jump into a trip with the family with little to no planning?

Of course you wouldn’t. (And if you would, we wish you all of the luck in the world, brave soul.)

Family vacation planning is all about making your life while traveling easier. From budgeting to booking, coordinating schedules, to finding the right activities for your children – once you’ve gotten the planning down, all that’s left to do is create incredible memories with your family! Let’s go over how (and why) family vacation planning is done.

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Aug
3

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From customs to tradition: 9 things you didn’t know about Cuban culture

Posted by on August 3, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

WELCOME TO CUBA!! (Handshake, handshake, hug, kiss, kiss.) WE’RE SO GLAD YOU’RE HERE! …Now what?

It’s common when traveling to another country to want to be fully immersed in their culture, at least once you get there. It’s also normal to not be overly familiar with local customs and traditions. Aside from learning these about these things because you’re interested, it will serve you well to familiarize yourself with them before you visit.

You may think you’re knowledgeable about Cuba – and perhaps you are. But the truth is, Cuba (and Cuban culture) has drastically changed since the Cuban Revolution in 1959. While the country is still a “throwback” in many ways (antique cars and historical architecture especially), what you think you know about Cuba may be due for some updates. 

Now you’re ready! Let’s take a look at 10 things you may not know about Cuban culture.

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Jul
20

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A Belize Vacation in Photos

Posted by on July 20, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

Have you considered a Belize vacation? Why? What comes to mind when you envision the country, culture, wildlife, and food of the Central American country? Does your imagination run away with you to a tropical paradise full of fascinating animals, sparkling azure beaches, and luxury accommodations?

Follow your imagination – it’s a step ahead of you! We’re very excited to announce that we’ve added a second Belize vacation to our list of trips! And since a picture is worth 1,000 words, we thought it’d be fun to share a few thousand with you.

Sit back, relax, listen for the breeze and the birds, breathe in the saltwater air, and soak up some sun – we’re going to Belize!

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Jul
13

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Know Before You Go: Key Phrases in Your Destination’s Local Language

Posted by on July 13, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

When you travel outside of your home country, is it essential to speak the local language? In short, no. However, learning a few key phrases native to your destination could be the best trip planning you’ll ever do!

Here’s why: Trying to communicate on some level with locals (anywhere you travel) can be endearing. You’re visiting their country – their home – and you’re showing that you’re interested enough in their culture to at least try to learn.

It’s also all about the basics! While many trips are to predominantly English-speaking countries, or have guided tours with English-speaking guides, you can’t go wrong with memorizing some standard words and phrases. What if you venture off to mingle with the locals? Being able to ask and answer questions would be helpful.

While we can’t cover every country and language, we’ve put together a list of commonly visited countries on our radar, long with key words and phrases in the local language you should get familiar with.

¡Vamonos! (That’s Spanish for “Let’s go!”)

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