Wildlife tourism focused on wildlife conservation can be an important economic factor in communities around the world, but irresponsible wildlife experiences that harm both animals and the environment are a sad side of the equation, a money-making scheme for sometimes impoverished communities, selling an experience to tourists that will pay to take a photo with a tiger cub or ride a dolphin. For a responsible wildlife experience that benefits everyone (and that’s enjoyable for the whole family), check out the options below.
A perfect choice for families with teenagers, this vacation skips the elephant rides and typical tourism associated with these magnificent beasts and takes travelers to a Thai elephant refuge, catering to animals rescued from the streets of Bangkok. Prepare food, feed the elephants, bathe them — all while enjoying accommodations right in the heart of a larger wildlife sanctuary, home to more than 400 animals.
You’re likely already familiar with the natural wonders of the Galapagos. Enjoy stays in eco-friendly resorts with wildlife experiences that limit your impact on the unique environment as much as possible. Adventure activities are plentiful, from mountain biking to zip lining, horseback riding to white water rafting.
If your family dreams of a once-in-a-lifetime African safari, head to Kenya for a 13-day safari and beach vacation. The accommodations are all eco-friendly and the tour providers are closely linked to community projects and practice responsible tourism, for an experience that limits your impact on the environment and the wildlife, while benefiting local communities.
A tour with a focus on marine life, this five-day expedition on the Baja California peninsula includes recording vital data on sea turtles, monitoring gray whales and exploring mangroves. Additionally, tourism in the region promotes economic development in an area that previously relied heavily on overfishing and poaching.
For a multigenerational, adults-only expedition in northern Germany, team up with scientists monitoring the return of the wolf population to Lower Saxony. You’ll be placed on a small team to record wolf tracks and kills, as well as survey prey species.
Halloween is right around the corner, which means its time to start making plans for spooky and scary stops for having fun with the family this fall. New York’s Cayuga County is always a fun visit for family travelers, but if you plan on being in the area this October, you will definitely want to explore its haunted history with some choice spots along New York’s Haunted History Trail. This curated list of haunted and spooky stops throughout New York features incredible locations showcasing the perfect combination of the state’s beautiful charm and fascinating history.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
The next two seasons see Franklin, Tennessee, come alive with festive events, fun pop-ups and colorful lights. Family travelers planning a trip to Tennessee this fall or winter must make time for Franklin, a city just south of Nashville with plenty of history and festivities awaiting.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Mysterious glowing seas? Yes, actually! Through October, Florida’s Space Coast waters within Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River and Indian River Lagoon glow with blue-green bioluminescence — a phenomenon resulting from the presence of comb jellies and dinoflagellates (tiny, single-celled marine plankton that exist in some freshwater locations).