How to improve holidays with children

Charity begins at home? Well not these days. For 2008, you can also help while on holiday with the launch of a number of family fund-raising trips. These offer children (and parents) the chance to do their bit for a worthy cause while learning something about foreign aid work.

Charity Challenge (020-8557 0000; charitychallenge.com) is offering some new itineraries for families next year, all departing out of term time. You and your little do-gooders can go trekking in the Thai jungle with local hill tribes or hike through Cuban sugar and coffee plantations. You could even be walking on the Great Wall of China, and all in a good cause.

It's simple: just choose your charity, gather your sponsors and off you go. But be warned: these are real challenges and not for the faint-hearted.

Other companies such as Intrepid Travel (01373 826611; intrepidtravel .com), donate a fair proportion of funds and time to good causes and make it their business to get travellers involved in community projects around the globe. Check out its new East Africa Family Adventure, which combines safari fun with volunteering at the Amani children's home: the whole family gets to make friends and get some real experience of life in Tanzania.

For those who want to help by getting their hands dirty with a little hard graft there's Hands Up Holidays (0800 783 3554; handsupholidays .co,uk) or On The Go Tours (020-7371 1113; onthegotours.com). The latter is running a new family-friendly Egypt tour, where your brood can get involved in all sorts of projects from helping to clean a stretch of the Nile to handing out supplies at a local orphanage. After that, you are rewarded for all your hard work with a relaxing cruise down the Nile and a balloon ride over spectacular Luxor and its antiquities.

Does doing good get any better than that?

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