Just when we thought we couldn’t love Airbnb more, they’ve outdone themselves again. Airbnb just announced a new category of Airbnb Experiences: Animal Experiences. These experiences help travelers connect with animals all around the world.
The best part? You can rest easy knowing all hosts and experiences have been vetted for animal welfare. You’ll get to spend quality time with amazing animals around the world, all while supporting their care and wellbeing.
Ethical Animal Experiences
Animal tours and experiences often have a bit of a reputation for questionable standards. We’ve all heard of them: elephants being ridden in “sanctuaries” or various reptiles being passed around for photo ops. Airbnb is seeking to change the way we interact with animals during travel, and they’ve got the policies to back it.
Airbnb’s goal with these new Animal Experiences is to help travelers meet and spend time with amazing animals all over the world. All Animal Experiences are led by expert keepers vetted by Airbnb for their safe practices.
This addition is in a similar vein to the Social Impact Experiences Airbnb offers. It’s clear Airbnb is trying to make a stamp on ethical tourism, highlighting the best ways to interact with the environment and animals.
Airbnb’s Animal Policy
Airbnb created its animal welfare policy with World Animal Protection. This policy includes the following tenets:
- Wild animals: there should be no direct contact including, but not limited to, petting, feeding, or riding animals
- Working animals: maximum one rider and never more than 20% of the animal’s weight, never to be overworked
- Marine mammals: should never be in captivity for entertainment
- Broader host business: should not feature elephant rides, big cat interactions, illegal wildlife trade, sporting events such as canned and trophy hunting, animals performing for entertainment
- Responsible travel: no wild animals as selfie props or any negative training techniques
Animal Experience Highlights
Seriously, you need to browse these Animal Experiences. There are already 1,000 amazing experiences with animals all over the world live on Airbnb right now, and the list will surely grow. A few that caught my eye (aka I’m booking flights to visit them ASAP):
- Have a tea party with naughty sheep in the U.K.
- Paddleboard in Miami with a corgi named Mr. Beaches
- Trek and camp for four nights with elephants in Chiang Mai
- Meet the dogs of Chernobyl
- Picnic with Pickles the pig in San Francisco
- Help researchers prepare gibbons for release into the wild
- Observe arctic foxes in Iceland
This list hardly scratches the surface of what you can find in Animal Experiences. Are you convinced? See you at the naughty sheep tea party!
How to Browse & Book Airbnb Animal Experiences
Visit Airbnb.com and select “Experiences.” You’ll see the new category for Animal Experiences now on this landing page.
You can browse the 1,000+ animal experiences a few different ways. Choose how you want to interact with the animals…
or explore animal experience options by what kind of animal habitat you’re most interested in.
You may even stumble across a few Animal Experiences you never knew you wanted to do, but that will immediately vault to the top of your bucket list.
Airbnb has added another notch to their belt of travel services, and it’s the cutest one yet.
This helps fill the void of ethical and vetted animal experiences. And it makes connecting with animals and their caretakers around the world so much more accessible. Try out an animal experience on your next trip!
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.