FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
United Airlines

U.S. Destinations Offering Animal Rescue Voluntourism for Your Next Family Vacation

by Elyse Glickman

Feb 7, 2020

Photo: Chernetskaya | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Safari- and wildlife reserve-focused vacations are often considered experiences of a lifetime. Given the global outcry for conservation and animal rescue, there’s nothing more empowering than helping animals in need — especially if we can lend a hand to trusted organizations and the people protecting them. Furthermore, as we have seen on WhereverFamily and countless other travel outlets, safari-like trips are no longer reserved for Africa.

 

Even with so many efforts to rescue and protect wildlife around the world, it’s important to acknowledge there are both stray domestic animals and wildlife in the United States that need as much help as they can get. While the ASPCA, Humane Society and numerous independent volunteer organizations spread the word about their efforts, what if you could build your next family volunteer vacation around conservation within North America? This would certainly shift the experience-of-a-lifetime paradigm in a way that is deeply meaningful.

 

“What’s another trip to the Bahamas?,” muses Debbie Jacobs, president, Explorations in Travel in Guilford, Vermont. “For animal lovers, that means immersing themselves in creature-friendly tasks and projects that would never fit into their regular routine. From snapping photos of sea otters along the Alaskan coast to soothing rescued cows and pigs in the American heartland, our vacationing volunteers are finding that the rewards of donating their time to help animals far outweighs the lack of room service or tour guides.”

 

Here are some destinations where your family can make a difference while communing with nature and some of America’s most precious citizens.

 

Harvard, Illinois

Just outside of Chicago, Cristen Carlson and her daughter made it their business to rescue horses from terrible fates. Through farm visits at Proud Ponies Equine Rescue, Carlson is reaching out to people passionate about horses to help her provide them with human contact above and beyond medical care, grooming and food. However, in addition to contact with these animals, her facility offers special training to those interested in learning more about horse rescue.

Frosty At Aldens Kennels. Photo: Cristen Carlson

 

“There are so many people interested in helping save these beautiful, majestic animals,” she explained. “But unlike dogs and cats, horses are large animals and need people with training and handling experience as well as education to care for them correctly.  Although many people are interested in the future of defenseless horses, they may not have the ability to keep or own a horse … but they still want to become involved in the welfare of the animals and help in any way they can. Our rescues grieve for their former lives, miss routines and humans, worry about where they are and where their next stop will be. They all need massive amounts of love, tenderness and affection to help them understand they are safe. The difference one human can make in a horse in as little as a day is incredibly rewarding.”

Emma Avery. Photo: Cristen Carlson

 

The Crystal Coast/Emerald Isle, North Carolina

With Emerald Isle designated an official sanctuary for sea turtles and the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores actively involved in conservation, those interested in sea turtle rescue can rent vacation homes, May–December, via realty companies, including Emerald Isle Realty, Blue Water Vacation Rentals or Spinnaker’s Reach Realty along the Crystal Coast area to participate in the collaborative Save the Sea Turtles program. The aforementioned companies make a conscious effort to educate visitors on the do’s and don’t’s of turtle nesting season and local efforts to rescue and rehabilitate the five (of seven) regional sea turtle species.

 

Kanab, Utah

At the family-friendly, 3,000-acre Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, less than an hour from Zion National Park and an hour from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, volunteers can feed puppies in Dogtown; fill water bowls for feline friends in Wildcats Village; and clean the Bunny House. Several special areas for the youngest animal rescuers are populated with docile and senior animals who need a little extra help and TLC. There are four basic cabins on site for $60–70 per night, as well as several nearby motels making lending a hand easier than ever.

 

Beaufort, North Carolina

Through a partnership with Cape Lookout National Seashore, the Rachel Carson Reserve and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses, the National Parks Service is on the hunt for members to join their Pony Patrol in 2020, who will act as ambassadors for the wild horses of Shackleford Banks. Applicants applying online must be able to “physically walk the beach in a dynamic setting, consisting of sandy terrain, extreme sun, heat, humidity, wind, and buggy environments.”

Emma Pasture. Photo: Cristen Carlson

 

Nationwide

Explorations in Travel offers eight unique experiences across the country where mother-adult daughter duos can spend a few days, a week or longer giving hands-on aid to either wild and domesticated animals — or both. Although some of these trips include luxurious lodgings and amenities, most require active participation in chores, research or housekeeping duties — in some cases, all three.

 

The Humane Society of the United States regularly looks for volunteers ages 18 and older to assist in rescues of domestic animals brought on by natural disasters, illegal activities (such as dog fighting), and the everyday necessity of providing care for feral populations and re-homing abandoned animals. Animal rescue volunteers are required to complete certain FEMA courses as well as HSUS training on safety, emergency management, the Incident Command System and other critical aspects of emergency care.

#WhereverFamily

Insta Feed
Middle East
Jul 1, 2022

Abu Dhabi Summer Pass Offers Discounts for Top Activities

If your family travels take you to Abu Dhabi this summer, don't miss out on the Abu Dhabi Summer Pass, offering unbeatable promotions across the city. Available to purchase now and valid through Aug, 31, the pass includes values across a diverse range of activities, such as the three leading theme parks in Abu Dhabi.

Take the Family Vacation of a Lifetime to Alaska with Celebrity Cruises

Embark on a family journey through The Last Frontier with Celebrity Cruises® and experience an unforgettable luxury vacation in the untouched natural beauty of Alaska. The breathtaking landscape of this pristine wilderness sets the stage for every memorable moment from up-close, awe-inspiring views of glaciers to observing native wildlife, including whales, bears, bald eagles, and moose. This corner of the world offers not only spectacular scenery, but also opportunities to learn about the history and culture of Alaska — from the native people who’ve lived here for centuries to the adventurers seeking their fortunes during the gold rush. No matter which sailing you choose, you’ll journey through the ever-popular Inside Passage — one of the most popular experiences on any Alaska vacation — and visit Hubbard Glacier or Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.

North America
Jun 30, 2022

Visit Victoria’s Beautiful Butchart Gardens in All Seasons

Family travel to Canada, more specifically, Victoria, isn’t complete without a visit to Victoria’s Butchart Gardens. The family-run garden offers special programming each season, showcasing different blooms for each season. Now a National Historic Site of Canada, Butchart Gardens invites families to experience its beauty.

North America
Jun 30, 2022

Los Angeles Off the Beaten Path: Hidden Gems

Los Angeles is home to plenty of popular attractions to give you the quintessential L.A family vacation, but to get a true vibe for the city, you want to dive into some of its hidden gems. Read on to discover some local favorites that often go under the tourist radar.

United Aviate Academy Takes Off

United Airlines officially became the only major U.S. airline to own a flight training school with the opening of United Aviate Academy on Jan. 27. The moment was made even more historic with its inaugural class, which is 80 percent women and people of color.

Slideshow
Jun 30, 2022

5 Annapolis, Maryland, Destinations for Family Travel

It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Annapolis, Maryland, with us.