Archive for December, 2010

December 28, 2010

The Thrill of Alaska!

Just remembering Aimee’s amazing kayak adventure in Alaska a couple of years ago. You can do this too!



December 28, 2010

Winter Storms and Why We Include Travel Insurance

The Beauty of a Blizzard

The dichotomy of a blizzard: It is beautiful, but at the holidays it is sure to ruin a lot of travel plans.

This particular holiday season was a traveler’s nightmare. In a small window of time we saw no fewer than 35 people lose their family holiday travel plans due to snowstorms, flight cancellations, and unexpected illness. That’s a lot of non refundable money!

You spend a lot of time, thought, and dollars on choosing your family adventure – you can’t let the unexpected ruin it. Whether it’s weather, or health, or even a home flood or fire, you have to protect your investment.

At Thomson Family Adventures, we know no one really likes to invest in insurance because it’s something you don’t want until you need it. And of course then it is too late. So we include comprehensive trip cancellation insurance in all of our adventures. And guess what? That insurance will reimburse all 35 of those disappointed travelers.

Sure there are procedures and paperwork to follow – but this really does help take the sting out of the unexpected. Getting your money back also gives you opportunity to recreate your adventure for another time. Like in the spring when it doesn’t blizzard…

What’s the fine print, what’s the catch you ask? For no additional cost we include trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance up to $8,000 per person, land and air cost. In addition, our insurance covers for a number of other losses or damages, including issues with baggage, medical expenses, and emergency medical evacuation.

When you travel with Thomson, you’ll always be in good hands not just leading up to your trip, but while on your trip as well. We try to think of everything! We hand-select guides in every locale, and work closely with these local operators to ensure they adhere to the high standards we promise our guests.

Have any questions? Just give us a call, or send an email. We’d be happy to provide you with more details about our reputable travel protection services.

Oh, and if you’re not traveling with Thomson, be sure to add on the cost of travel insurance to your travel plans!

Where did you get stuck this year?



December 18, 2010

6 International Vacation Tips for Family – or Anyone

You probably won't be holding a panda in December, but we like this photo!

Maybe you’re scambling to leave town next week, maybe you’re just mulling over a plan for next year… Either way here are some preparation tips to keep your travel planning smooth, easy and stress free.

1) Documentation: Have everything in hand including passports, itineraries, important phone numbers and flight information all in one folder or designated spot 2 weeks before your date of departure. Be sure to check your passport expiration when you first plan your trip, in case you need to renew (they have to be valid for 6 months after your return date!)

2) Get the cards ready: The ATM and credit cards that is. These days, with credit card firms and banks taking extra precaution against identity theft, if you don’t inform the institutions you’re going to be traveling out of the country in advance of your trip, you might run into hurdles when trying to use the cards or withdraw cash abroad. Call credit card companies and banks 1-2 weeks before your trip to let them know you’ll be traveling overseas.

3) Dress comfy and pack light: Though in the early years of air travel everyone donned their finest, these days there’s no need to dress up for an international flight. You’ll likely be on-the-go for several hours so wearing comfortable clothing will make the whole experience more enjoyable. And you won’t be worrying about wrinkled attire that way, either. Pack light and maybe you can even avoid checking a bag… more on that in another post.

4) Notify close friends or family of your trip: You may not want to shout it out on Facebook in some (most!) cases, but you will want to make sure a neighbor and family member or friend are aware you’ll be away from home for an extended amount of time. They’ll help keep an eye on your house, and watch for any untoward activity until your return.

5) Have a sense of local customs at your destination: At TFA, we’ll provide you with the essentials and prepare you for what to expect when you land, so there’s little to no research you have to do. But there’s a wealth of information on the internet and in book stores. It’s valuable to know about the local culture, traditions and everyday mannerisms to make you more comfortable – and more respectful of your host country – on your vacation.

6) Technology: Depending on where your travels take you, you’;ll likely need to bring electrical adaptors if US standards are not the norm. If you need to stay connected check with your mobile phone provider about service overseas – service is widely available but plans, costs, and coverage vary greatly.

Bon voyage! Wherever you go remember it’s all about the journey, and the unexpected is half the fun of any family adventure.



December 9, 2010

Do you Dig the Mayans?

In the mystical land of the Mayans new technology is transforming archaeology. Whether you’re a scientist, a family adventurer, a world traveler, or a dreamer this is a really interesting couple of minutes!



December 8, 2010

Secretly Stuck in a Vacation Rut? We Can Tow You Out.

family visiting waterfalls in Costa Rica

At the Waterfalls, Costa Rica

Hello Parents and Grandparents!I know you’ve been talking about taking your child / grandson on an adventure next year but something has stopped you from setting your plans. This year flights are limited and fares are up; let’s get going before you don’t have the choice anymore!

Being stuck is terrible; it stresses your brain and makes you feel unsettled. We can help!

If someone is concerned about safety, security, or comfort we’d love to to help you understand how a family adventure works. After all we’ve been running these trips designed exclusively for families longer than anyone else. We’re small and personal, but loaded with expertise. We’ll always take the time to be sure you understand the steps we take to ensure a safe and comfortable family adventure.

If the destination doesn’t feel quite right, we’d love to talk with you about other ideas. With all of our years specializing in family travel we’d love to help you choose just the right thing.

The perfect family adventure is an investment that you want to be sure will pay off for years to come. So don’t shop for price, rather look for the value for your money. This is a wonderful trip for both you and your child or grandchild. We know you want it to be perfect.

If you just can’t make a solid plan until after the first of the year we understand that too, but it doesn’t cost a cent to begin the research. Call us at 800-262-6255; we’re waiting for you!



December 7, 2010

Extraordinary Children and the Makings of Hope

At the age of 11 Jim’s niece Jessica spent two years in Indonesia while her father did relief work. Now at 16 Jessica has created a beautiful photo essay about her impressions, titled The Makings of Hope. Her time in Banda Aceh affected her profoundly and the depth of feeling and expression in this essay are remarkable. It’s an emotional watch, and well worth the seven minutes.

Are you impressed by children who make a difference? We’d like to share a story like this each month. If you have a child in your life who is making a difference (or know of one), email me at moo@familyadventures.com. For each month’s selection Thomson Family Adventures will donate $100 to the charity of your choice.



December 1, 2010

If you waited for a Bargain, This is a Dream Come True

Galapagos Wonder

A Galapagos Wonder - the Blue Footed Booby

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS AN OLD POST FROM DECEMBER 2010!

Due to unexpected circumstances a large family had to cancel their holiday adventure – very sad!

Now we have room for the Galapagos December 25 – January 2 2010. – so exciting!

We are offering this to you at almost 50% off full fare. Wowie!!

Even with international flights, your total cost will still be a significant savings

Adults $2990, Age 12 – 17 $2890, Child under 12 $2690

Call 800-262-6255 and you’ll be snorkeling with sea lions in just a few weeks