Anybody who is interested in dinosaurs can now discover what it’s like to be a paleontologist — thanks to a new travel company.
Perhaps the best part is that the Canadian company, Dinosaur Trips, blends time at dinosaur fossil digs led by experts with “elevated, stylish, and trendy touches.” The combination means that Dinosaur Trips is able to create “paleontological focused, stylishly curated travel experiences for families, for adventurers, and for discerning travelers,” Zach Vanasse, founder and director of Dinosaur Trips, told TravelAwaits in an exclusive interview.
“As a kid, I dreamed of being a paleontologist,” Vanasse told TravelAwaits. “I envisioned going out into the badlands to fossil hunt and dig for dinosaurs with paleontologists like Dr. Philip J. Currie. Well, I didn’t end up becoming a paleontologist, and as an adult, that whole world of paleontology still seemed almost mythical, or at the very least, extremely inaccessible to regular folks. As I dug back into an interest in paleontology and dinosaurs as an adult, however, it became apparent that there’s a whole planet of scientists, fossil hunters, and incredible characters from the world of dinosaur research out there.”
It’s possible to explore the whole world, “through the lens of dinosaurs and paleontology,” Vanasse continued. “Someone just needed to put it all together, and that’s what Dinosaur Trips does.”
Dinosaur Trips’ First Outing
Dinosaur Trips’ first excursion will be this summer, from July 2–13, in Alberta, Canada. During the trip, called “Badlands & Beyond,” the group will explore the towns of Calgary and Drumheller, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Grande Prairie, Wembley, Canmore and Kananaskis, and Banff, Alberta.
Importantly, as part of the all-inclusive 12-day/11-night trip, guests will be able to hunt for dinosaur fossils with world-renowned paleontologist Dr. Philip Currie. The 4-day fossil dig program supports the work of the non-profit Dinosaur Research Institute.
Dr. Currie is a Canadian paleontologist and museum curator who helped found the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller, Alberta. He is now a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
The trip also includes exclusive programs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology and Dinosaur Provincial Park.
The trip isn’t all work, however. It also includes visits to luxury spas, a rafting trip, horseback riding, and even a caving expedition, Vanasse explains.
Similar trips will be offered this fall back to Alberta, with a trip to Patagonia in 2024. Vanasse also notes that future trips to South Africa, France, the continental United States, Mexico, Germany, Hawaii, Australia, France, and China are all being planned as well.
Attendees must be at least 12 years old for Badlands & Beyond this July. The trip this fall, “Family Badlands Adventure,” is designed with family-friendly activities. Guests on that trip must be at least 5 years old.
You can learn more about the details for those trips at Badlands & Beyond and Family Badlands Adventure.
Dinosaurs In An Urban Setting And A Music Festival
Dinosaur Trips has another excursion this summer for people who would like to learn more about dinosaurs while also attending a music festival in a major metropolitan area.
The 5-day trip, called “Pickaxes & Pitchforks ‘23,” combines Chicago’s paleontology centers with the Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park in Chicago. The trip’s dates are July 19–23, 2023.
“First, you’ll nerd out on all things paleontology as a cast of Chicago’s most compelling and exciting paleontologists welcome you for an incredible-access exploration of the world-famous Field Museum and invite you into the places they work for an up-close understanding of their research helping to advance dinosaur research,” Vanasse told us.
Paleontologists Yara Haridy, Pia Viglietti, and Meg Whitney will host 2 days of learning about paleontology and dinosaur research at the expansive Field Museum of Natural History, the home of the legendary Sue the T-rex — one of the largest, most extensive, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex specimens ever found.
What’s more, the paleontologists will also introduce attendees to their favorite cafés, bars, and restaurants in Chicago.
The next 3 days will be spent attending the Pitchfork Music Festival, featuring headliners The Smile, Big Thief, and Bon Iver. Other acts performing at the festival include Alvvays, Perfume Genius, Weyes Blood, King Krule, and Snail Mail.
Pickaxes & Pitchforks ‘23 includes five nights at the boutique Virgin Hotel Chicago, a 3-day festival pass, transportation for all expert-hosted experiences, all meals for expert-hosted experiences, and museum and experience entry fees.
You can learn more and even book your reservation at Chicago Pickaxes & Pitchforks ‘23.
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