10 Unique Trip Ideas for Animal Lovers

Elephants, tigers, pups, chickens — if you love them all, then it might be time to plan a vacation with animals in mind. We've rounded up 10 unique trips of a lifetime for animal lovers near and far.

Photo By: dangphoto2517

Photo By: JohnCarnemolla

Photo By: pixelfit

Photo By: rozowynos

Photo By: 1001slide

Photo By: 8213erika

Photo By: Denisapro

Photo By: adogslifephoto

Photo By: Pekic

Photo By: Anna-av

Sky Falconry (California)

For a truly unforgettable experience, you can visit Sky Falconry in San Diego, Calif. Their mission is to educate the public and offer hands-on experiences (no pun intended), with free-flying birds of prey. You can choose from a number of different classes and experiences to interact with these majestic birds. A basic falconry lesson will teach you how to hold a hawk, cast it from your glove and call it back again. Their "hawk walks" allow you to interact with trained raptors while hiking trails in the San Diego mountains.

Kangaroo Sanctuary (Australia)

If you're traveling to Australia, stop at the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs. The 188-acre preserve is home to orphaned baby kangaroos as well as adults who have been rescued. It was even featured in a National Geographic documentary, Kangaroo Dundee. Since kangaroos sleep during the day, they offer sunset tours that allow you to see the 'roos just as they're waking up.

Farm Sanctuary (New York)

Travel to upstate New York to visit the Farm Sanctuary, home to more than 500 rescued farm animals including cows, pigs, goats, sheep and chickens. Most of the animals have been rescued from factory farms, but at the sanctuary, they can roam free. You can rent a cabin for overnight visits to get an inside look at what farm life is like. And if you happen to be on the West Coast, additional Farm Sanctuary locations are in Los Angeles and Orland, Calif. This spot would make a fun family trip for the entire family.

Kauai Humane Society (Hawaii)

We get it: Hawaii is so beautiful on its own that you probably don't need anything else to make your trip unforgettable. But what about an adorable puppy? The Kauai Humane Society has an amazing program that allows you to adopt a shelter dog just for the day when you're visiting the area: Shelter Dogs on Field Trips. After getting matched up with your companion, the dog gets a swanky "Adopt Me" vest, then the two of you get to the hit the road for the day. You can visit the beach, go on a hike or relax in the park. It's a great way to give a shelter dog a special adventure and get your dog fix at the same time. Win-win.

Elephant Nature Park (Thailand)

This amazing elephant sanctuary in Thailand is a magical spot. All of the elephants at Elephant Nature Park have been rescued from cruelty and neglect. You can visit the nature reserve for the day or choose to stay overnight and volunteer with all of their animals. There are a number of different options you can choose from, including bathing and feeding the elephants and helping to care for the dogs who also live at the park.

Dog Sledding (Greenland)

Greenland might not be on your bucket list yet, but after hearing about this trip you might change your mind. On this eight-day excursion from Greenland Adventures, you can see the unspoiled scenery and the famous Northern Lights via dog sled, which is the most common means of transport in this part of the world. In addition to dog sledding, you'll go on a snowshoe hike, see an ice fjord and dine with a local family.

Four Seasons Resort & Residences Jackson Hole (Wyoming)

The natural scenery in Wyoming is no joke. But at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole, they offer a number of adventures that allow you and your family to check out some of the local wildlife. With a team of specially trained naturalists and biologists on staff, you'll have the opportunity to go on a guided fly-fishing trip or even a wildlife safari in Grand Teton National Park. You'll see the animals in their natural environment and learn all about the geology and history of their ecosystem. Get ready to see elk, moose, deer, bison, bears, wolves, eagles, bighorn sheep, bald eagles, river otters, owls, trumpeter swans and other rare birds.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (Kenya)

For an adventure of a lifetime, plan a trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya. The property has five different lodges, including a safari camp with luxurious tents that take glamping to a whole new level. You can choose from a variety of different activities on the reserve including bird watching, game drives, bush walks and even visits to the local Maasai villages. You might see lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, impalas, buffalo or rhino, and all of the animals are free to roam in their natural environment. Lewa is committed to conservation and have a number of programs in place to educate the public and protect all of these majestic animals.

Best Friends Animal Society (Utah)

Best Friends Animal Society has locations in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta, but their sanctuary in Utah is an incredibly special place. It's the largest no-kill sanctuary in the nation for homeless animals, and their goal is to help create a similar no-kill system in shelters all over the country. On any given day, the sanctuary is home to more than 1,600 animals, many of whom have special needs. Plan a volunteer trip to Best Friends to help care for the animals, work with the staff and ready animals for adoption. While you're there you can also visit some of the beautiful spots around the sanctuary like Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and Lake Powell.

Wild Animal Sanctuary (Colorado)

Wild Animal Sanctuary is the largest carnivore sanctuary in the world and is home to more than 400 rescued lions, tigers, bears and wolves. With 720 acres in Keenesburg, Colo., animals have plenty of space to roam free. If not for the sanctuary, most of these creatures would have been euthanized. Seeing the animals is a unique experience, too, since the sanctuary has built one of the largest elevated walkways in existence. This means you're able to see the animals above their natural environment, unlike animals at a traditional zoo.

Next Up

Travel Tips: Family Vacation Ideas

Plan your family vacation early, and you'll get the best pick of airline seats, hotels and available room categories.

Fan Travel: Vacations for Movie Buffs

Check out these 13 destinations for film fans.

Travel’s Best Vacations in 2013

Discover our picks for the 5 trendiest destinations of 2013.

Summer Vacation Ideas the Whole Family Will Love

Squeeze in one last trip before the school year.

Top 10 Vacation Spots

Plan the ultimate vacation at these top 10 vacation spots.