Safe, ethical and authentic volunteering, curated by travel and animal experts.
Are you ready to transform your life while helping animals around the world? AEI empowers animal lovers, students, professionals, and adventure seekers to travel and make a difference by volunteering with animals. Our exceptional experiences are safe, ethical and unforgettable. Join our team of international volunteers and explore the world while doing what you love. It doesn’t matter who you are, we will help you make a difference.
Live your dreams. Travel the world. Volunteer with animals.
Our programs are fully prepared and vetted just for you! We have been to all the programs first to make sure they are safe, have high standards of animal welfare and of course are ethical.
SOLO Travel Packages:
Leave the planning to us! We book your airport pick up, Covid secure accomodation, meals, volunteer activities, insurance, airport drop off and more. Through a robust and app called Vamoos we also keep in contact with you the whole time! It’s an all inclusive trip but you happen to be saving animals.
GROUP Travel Packages:
Aren’t quite read to travel on your own? We get it so in 2021 and 2022 we are opening up more small group trips! Same AMAZING volunteer experiences but with a group leader to make sure you never have to worry about anything other than volunteering with endangered species and rescued animals.
All of our experiences follow a Consent Based Tourism model. All participants are consenting to all interactions. The communities are consenting hosts, the animals are not chained or forced to interact with volunteers and the volunteers have correct and realistic expectations of their roles in community. We help people volunteer around the world without costing the local community their safety, financial security or autonomy. We help animals without exploiting individuals or populations. We help you stay safe and comfortable by making sure you are prepared and ready to change your life.
Our Commitment to Climate Just Travel
Having a positive impact on the planet is something that is important to us, and it is one of the reasons why AEI became a certified B Corp so early. As a B Corp we are able to shine a light on areas that could be improved and measure our impact to make sure we continue to be a Best For the World B Corp!
In early 2021 we signed our Tourism Declares Declaration and officially joined Tourism Declares Climate emergency initiative. We have spent time to create our action plan on how to reduce our carbon emission and create better and more environmentally friendly journeys.
Here is our pledge and our action plan for 2021 and beyond….
Continue to Promote Ethical, Safe, Authentic and Consent Based Travel.
Recognizing the importance of a healthy environment: we will continue to prioritize programs who don’t just HELP individual animals but those who remediate, reforest, regenerate and conserve the natural areas these animals live in.
Encouraging education: we will continue to prioritize programs that have strong and ongoing educational campaigns. Especially those who invest in the education of women and girls.
Supporting local communities: we will continue to book only local accommodation where AEI operates (homestays, locally run and *owned* lodges/hostels/hostels) and use public transport and hire local friends of the programs to help with transport if public transportation is not available. We will prioritize restaurants and homestays that promote local ingredients.
Minimizing our carbon footprint: in our own business practices and by educating our clients on ways to lower their own greenhouse gas emissions – like making choices that decrease fossil fuel use and choosing a more plant-based diet. When we cannot minimize, we will offset our carbon footprint. In early 2013 we met a small family-run business called The Carbon Farmer and quickly partnered with them. Ever since that partnership we have been offsetting every single client’s carbon emissions that result from their AEI travel.
Ensuring travel is based on consent: we will continue to recognize the importance of consent based tourism – whereby all interactions are not just accepted, they are welcomed and wanted. Local communities should direct their own tourism and make decisions for themselves – not for tourists’ expectations or entitlements.
Actively practicing anti-racism: we will work to dismantle the white supremacy which is ingrained in the voluntourism sector. We will continue to follow the model whereby local communities communicate their needs and we offer our support at their direction. We will continue to educate our clients on the history of colonialism in travel and tourism, so that we can be mindful that consent based travel is the foundation for respect. We will continue to provide support and encouragement to all people, so that everyone who wants to make a difference to animals around the world will feel empowered to do so.
Day to day operations in the AEI office.
While we apply these principles to our AEI programming, we also strive for best practices at our office and in our daily operations. We try to minimize waste (especially plastics), use energy efficient lights and appliances, support local businesses and walk, bike or take public transit whenever possible. We provide e-contracts, digital travel manuals, and our travel phone app, so that all our clients experience AEI as a paperless business. At AEI we continue to host a platform of up to date and insightful inquiries and answers about ethical travel, carbon friendly travel and consent based tourism. We turn out social media videos, blogs, presentations (to industry and students) and continue to be a collaborative voice in this space.
Measure, re-measure and re-calibrate every three years.
Being a certified Best For The World B Corp means that every three years we go through a new audit from B Labs. The audits use the United Nations sustainable development goals as one way to measure the footprint and the benefit of AEI’s work throughout the world. We have only become better since we had our first audit in 2013 – we aren’t stopping now!