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Christmas Is a Time for Giving (Back)

December 1, 2016 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

591908_num1187310_480x480Hands Up Holidays announces inspiring new luxury travel ideas for families to make the Christmas Season even more meaningful and fulfilling.

Award winning ethical luxury family travel specialist Hands Up Holidays ( has trips for families to travel and celebrate the essence of Christmas: giving back and helping those less fortunate. And with Hands Up Holidays you can make a difference in style, and in sunny locales, tailor-made for you, to create your ideal festive family trip that changes lives…not just your own.

These give-back trips are so popular with families because:

  • Children appreciate how fortunate they are (some have even foregone their Christmas presents so that children they interact with can have gifts);
  • Families bond closer together;
  • Families get to interact with and gain insights into another culture
  • Volunteering can increase the chances of university entry

New destinations for families are:

Italy – serve meals to refugees and other homeless people in Rome, gain insights to what it is like to sleep rough, and combine this with your chosen highlights, such as Florence, Sicily, Sardinia, Venice, Amalfi Coast, Puglia or Lake Como.

Zimbabwe – help build a home for a needy family, interact with them and hear their stories, then finish off with exploring Victoria Falls and Big 5 safari in pristine game parks.

St Lucia – assist at a remedial reading program and help with homework in the library afterschool, and provide mentoring and support to disadvantaged youth…blend this with hiking, sailing, zip lining, aerial tram rides and beach relaxation.


Barbados – make a difference with the Variety Children’s Charity selling Christmas tree decorations, wrapping gifts, host a Christmas party for children, and feed the homeless…combine this with a submarine trip, catamaran and snorkeling excursion, wildlife parks, rum distilleries and beach relaxation.

USA (Texas) – help at a center for riding for the disabled: interact with horses, clean the stalls and get your hands dirty with horticulture and facility projects, and learn about the incredible human-horse bond and the therapeutic benefits to the disabled…combine this with enjoying the highlights of Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, finishing up in the wilds of Big Bend National Park and quirky Marfa.

USA (Florida) – make a difference at the bird hospital in Key West and assist with maintaining the outdoor bird habitats, with bird rescues and yard maintenance…combine it with exploring Key West, catamaran trips, Dry Tortugas National Park, Everglades National Park and Miami

Perennial Family Favourites

Other (established) destinations where families can make a difference over Christmas include:

  • Costa Rica: assist at a rescue center for injured, orphaned or illegally traded animals: prepare meals for monkeys, cleaning parrot enclosures, introduce new sloths to their new living quarters, and assist the resident vet on his rounds. Combine this with white water rafting, hiking around a volcano, hot springs, spot wildlife in one of the many national parks, or take in some beach time.

Suggested itinerary:  – 10 days from $6,650 (£5,350) per person excluding flights

  • Zambia: build a house for a widow and her children, which can be combined with the splendour of Victoria Falls, white-water rafting, kayaking and ‘Big 5’ safari in South Luangwa National Park, or neighbouring Botswana.

Suggested itinerary:

10 days from $9,890 (£7,995) per person excluding flights

  • New Zealand: help maintain the habitats of endangered penguins in the South Island, which can be combined with cultural encounters, geysers, sailing, hiking, wine-tasting, bungy jumping, zorbing, glaciers and beaches.

Suggested itinerary:

15 days from $15,595 (£12,755) per person excluding flights

  • Cambodia: build a house for a family in need, who could never afford to have a decent place to live to call their own, which can be combined with bike rides through the temples of Angkor, spotting Irrawaddy dolphins, and island relaxation.

Suggested itinerary:


10 days from $9,525 (£7,660) per person excluding flights

  • Brazil: renovate a community center that has run out of money to complete its building in a Rio favela, which families can blend with exploring the Amazon, delving into cultural Salvador, or relax on one of the plethora of stunning beaches.

Suggested itinerary:

10 days from $5,490 (£4,500) per person excluding flights

  • Hawaii – build a playhouse in the playground of a pre-school center in a low income part of Honolulu, and combine this with your choice of Pearl Harbor, surf lessons, scenic heli-flights, golf, spa, and beach relaxation.

Suggested itinerary:

10 days from $7,795 (£6,300) per person excluding flights

  • Mexico – Help at a center in Cancun: a day-care at the women’s shelter. Play, color, and practice English with the children; prepare and serve lunch at the Elderly Home; assist in the Bread and Shelter home by sorting donations and organizing their bazar…finish up by exploring Chitzen Itza, Tulum, Islas Mujeres or try your hand at Mexican cooking or beach relaxation.

Suggested itinerary:

7 days from $5,890 (£4,750) per person excluding flights

Family Friendly and Tailor-made Luxury  

All of these trips are suitable for families, and can be tailor-made to suit their preferences, such as length of trip, activity, and accommodation.

Founder of Hands Up Holidays, Christopher Hill, says “by incorporating an element of ‘giving back’ to a luxury family trip is a powerful way to bring families together, and also for children to appreciate how fortunate they are, and as get immersed in another culture in a safe context. When this is combined with fantastic activities and relaxation, this makes for a memorable and meaningful luxury family trip.”

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