New Year's Reflections and Service Resolutions

By Mykee Saunders
With the new year now upon us, the time for reflection is on many a mind as we contemplate our previous goals and look to the future.

2017 was a big year for us as we launched the official Traveling with Monkeys website in October, hired some awesome team members and writers, worked to create amazing content for our readers, and spearheaded the #familyservicechallenge.

With that list in mind, we are excited to continue growing. To bring you the information and products you need to become that cool, collected, confident, family traveler that you long to be.

We are excited to give you the scoop on our interactive map that is currently in the works, with cool destinations and coupons for the best places each state has to offer, coming later this year.

We are also super excited to announce some changes and upcoming dates for the #familyservicechallenge! First, I need to say thank you to all that participated in any form in this service challenge. Many lives were affected for the better by the small and large acts of kindness and service you performed.

Thank you to all those that let me peek into your snow globe moments.  Hearing your stories of service were amazing!

Our next #familyserivcechallenge is coming up in February. Let me take a moment to officially extend the challenge to you.

We challenge you and your family to provide either one grand act of service to someone who NEEDS love, or to provide one small daily act of kindness for seven days to one or many people with the same need. The dates of the challenge are from February 10th and culminate on the 17th. We would love to see you tag as many or as few people into this challenge as you feel comfortable and use the hashtags, #familyservicechallenge and #peoplewhoNEEDlove if and when you post about it. Just remember the more people that know about it, the more good that can take place.

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can change the world.” – Howard Zinn

Although the next #familyservicechallenge isn’t until February, we sincerely hope that you will choose to think of others often and to look for daily moments to make the world better than you found it. After all, you and your little ones will reap the lasting benefits of your service.
“As the forefather of all modern psychology, Adler discovered that one’s degree of social interest is in direct correlation to their degree of mental health. Service to others became his prescription for a good, healthy, and positive mindset. It boosts the mood, encourages, and gladdens the heart. It gives one purpose and inspires others to join in too!  Helping others is rewarding and makes life worth living. It can pull us out of our own self-absorbed, dulled, or depressed feelings, and instead refocuses us on the well-being of others.”

– From “Travel Notes From a Family Therapist” by Tracy Grant, MA, LMFT

Here are a couple of ideas that can help you keep the attitude of service (hopefully a New Year’s Resolution) at the forefront of your minds.

First, participate in another challenge. Our friend Melissa over at Our Happy Hive is a kindred spirit. She has created a kindness challenge for January. You can read about it and get some tips from her here. Or print off our list of 160 Small Acts of Kindness You can do with Your Family and make a goal to check them all (or as many as you can) off.

Second, and I am really excited to tell you about this one. Buy the game Sneaky Cards, Play it Forward and turn it into a fun interactive game with your friends and family. This can be played in any setting and would make a memorable travel experience.

I came across this game while shopping for Christmas presents and it is the perfect way to have some fun while making the world a better place! It is a box of cards, and each card has a mission objective. Here is how to play:

The main object of Sneaky Cards is to get rid of all your cards. Each card contains all the details of your mission. You can play over the course of many days and during everyday life, or competitively with family or friends over the course of a day, a week, or a month. The winner is the first player who can complete all of their objectives.  You can also take your stack of cards and split them up and divy them out to groups of people. Create a scavenger type game with it, where you have a limited amount of time to get as many of your objectives done and make it back to a certain location first.

My husband and I recently participated in an Amazing Race type scavenger hunt and it was hilariously fun. I felt like a high schooler again, but in the best way. I am excited to use this game to create more fun service memories my family can look back on fondly.

I would love to see videos or snapshots of you playing this game. First, you can buy it here. Second, make sure to tag us at @travelingwithmonkeys so we can have fun along with you.

As always, thanks for reading. We hope that some of your other resolutions include booking that fun family trip you’ve been dreaming of for years but have been to nervous, broke, or short on time to take with kids. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this article from our series Adventures on Purpose. You can also peruse our family travel tips and tricks to feel like a pro before you go. Don’t forget to share your travel moments with us! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram at @travelingwithmonkeys. Here’s to an amazing 2018!

Happy travels!

Mykee Saunders

Mykee Saunders


As a writer and mom of four who loves to travel, Mykee designed this website to share tips, tricks, and destinations for meaningful family adventures.  She is passionate about service and recently spearheaded the #familyservicechallenge movement.


    1. Marta, Thank yo so much! These cards are fun! A great way to add a little extra play time into doing good and thinking of others. Thanks for reading!

    1. Jenni, I hadn’t heard of them either until I stumbled across them one day, either. Such a fun find. And I agree, a great way to introduce this value and concept to the kids!

  1. Congratulations on everything you accomplished in 2017! And good luck in keeping it rolling in 2018! I am in love with your goals for giving back to those who need it the most. And I’m going to hunt down some Sneaky Cards to get my family in on the fun reward of paying it forward! They look like a great way to really motivate my kids into doing something great for others.

    1. Jodi, Thank you so much! Yes, they are a great and fun way to get kids thinking of ways to touch others lives. I would love to hear about the experiences you end up having with them. I am sure you can expect both funny and touching moments with these! Thanks for reading!

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