Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make reservations?
Fill out the trip reservation form (remember to sign on the back!) and send it along with the specified deposit to the Audubon Naturalist Society, Attn: Travel Office, 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. We're sorry, we cannot accept credit card payment for our travel programs. Space is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be notified once your deposit has been received.
What is usually included on a trip?
Ground transportation, accommodations, admissions, expert leadership and trip materials.
Do I need a roommate?
No, you do not need a roommate. Single rooms are usually available when requested. Although it is rare, there may be times when we cannot accommodate single room requests. We do everything possible to match you with a compatible roommate during those times.
What is usually not included on a trip?
Round-trip transportation from your home to and from meeting point (unless specified otherwise), gratuities, baggage handling, telephone calls, special services and other items of a personal nature. Typically, meals are not included on domestic trips. For international travel, some or all meals are usually included.
Do I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend that our travelers purchase travel insurance, especially a policy that has a trip cancellation option. Once a trip has reached minimum capacity, we do send a trip insurance brochure from Travelex, a company with whom ANS has enjoyed a long association. However, participants are welcome to choose their own insurance company.
Can I pay online?
Sorry, we don't accept online payments at this time.
What if I want to cancel?
Fees—less a $100 administrative charge—will be refunded to registered participants who cancel prior to the registration deadline. Refunds for later cancellations are based on non-refundable deposits we may have paid and finding a replacement. If a replacement is found, only the $100 charge will be withheld. Cancellation notice must be received in writing 30 days before the scheduled departure date to guarantee any refund.
What kind of activity level should I expect on an ANS trip?
Most of our trips have an active schedule, and we spend many hours in the field. However, our pace is slow to allow for careful nature study. On some trips, there are options for hikes of moderate distances (4-8 miles), but usually our trips feature short nature walks. We often stay out in the field quite late some days, and start early in the morning on others. Some activities are optional; you can skip these if you prefer to rest or to explore some areas on your own.
Are ANS trips non-smoking?
Yes. We ask all smokers who travel with us to refrain from smoking at group functions. Smoking is not permitted in vans, at group meetings or at other times when the group is assembled, or any other place where your smoke will disturb others. Even when outside on trails, we ask all smokers to move well away from the group, to be sure that no smoke is blowing towards the group.
Is any part of my fee considered a charitable contribution?
According to the best tax advice we have been able to find, current tax laws do not permit the trip fee as a charitable contribution. A portion of the fees for a travel program can only be considered tax-deductible if: 1) that portion is an optional payment over a required amount, and 2) the required amount is equal to the fair market value of the trip.