Posts Tagged ‘tips’

June 22, 2015

Top 10 Reasons to Plan Ahead

When it comes time to book your family vacation there are a lot of factors that come into play and one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is: when should I book? Lucky for you our travel experts here at Thomson Family Adventures have sat down, brainstormed, and came up with the perfect answer- as soon as possible! Here are the top ten advantages that come with booking your vacation as early as you can!

1: Discounts

No matter your destination, booking early with us almost always comes with a discount. These discounts can be up to $1,000 off per person- that can add up quickly to a lot of savings for your family!

2: Price of Flights

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The economy is getting better and because of that more people are traveling. The number of travelers between June and August of 2015, compared to the summer of 2014, is set to jump to over 100,000 people per day. As demand increases, so will prices. If this summer is any indication of next, prices will be even higher. The best way to avoid this is to book now for 2016- simply put, if you do you’ll have cheaper flights. We’ve seen last minute flights to Costa Rica cost up to three times more than early booked flights.

3: Anticipation

The New York Times reported back in 2010 that having an experience to look forward to increased happiness levels in people. More recently, The Atlantic found the same. The longer that you have to look forward to a vacation and the more anticipation you build the happier you’ll be. There is no time like now to start getting excited for 2016!

4: Guaranteed Departures

As with every Thomson Family Adventure, we guarantee departure no matter what happens. Once you book with us, your trip is happening. No minimum sign up required and no cancelations. That should help you rest easy! Speaking of getting more people on a trip though…

5: You’ll Attract Fellow Travelers

It becomes much easier to find travel companions after the first booking. When your family is the first to join a trip, families with kids similar in age to yours, will seek to join the same trip. Everyone loves to travel with new people that they can get along with!

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6: Planning

Once you know where you want to go and your departure is guaranteed, you can spend the rest of time researching your destination and planning what you want to see and do. This also puts less strain on getting visas and any necessary vaccinations because you’ll have plenty of time to do it all. It’s also easier to schedule activities around a vacation. We know how quickly the summer can get busy with sports, camps, and other activities. Have one less thing to worry about by booking now!

7: Stronger Pen Pal Connections

The sooner you book, the sooner we can set your kids up with pen pals. The more letters they can exchange and the longer their correspondence goes on, the stronger a connection they’ll make. Meeting pen pals is one of the most enriching experiences that we offer and giving your child more time to speak with their pen pal makes it all that much more rewarding!

8: Flexibility on Trips and Dates

Booking a year in advance gives you and us tons of flexibility in choosing what vacation is right for your family and when. You can have the perfect trip on the perfect days with early booking. If you wait, trips may fill up and dates may become unavailable.

9: Payment Plan

Setting up a payment plan takes the stress out of having one bulk payment. You can plan accordingly and figure out what works best for you!

10: Peace of Mind

Knowing that your family vacation is booked and that we’ll handle all of the logistics will give you a peace of mind like no other. While we work behind the scenes to make sure everything goes off without a hitch- you’ll spend this year dreaming of your 2016 destination!

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We have our early booking discount running until July 31st, 2015. Don’t miss out on earning thousands in savings for your 2016 family vacation!



November 14, 2010

You Deserve This Because…

Looking for a carefree retreat?

…..You work hard. You cook, clean, handle the office, manage your children’s calendars and events. You attend meetings and meet deadlines. You don’t have enough hours to sleep. You are successful and productive and have everything you want in life. You’re just too busy to appreciate it all.

Well, we are here to treat you to the experience of a lifetime with your family, just because you deserve this.

Imagine making just a couple of phone calls, gathering your family, tossing a few things in a bag (don’t forget the bathing suit), and getting on a plane. OK, the security line is annoying, but you can do it. When you land in your chosen place you are met by someone who relieves you of all of your responsibilities, for the duration of your adventure. You are surrounded by fun, helpful, cheery people who are there to make sure you have the trip of a lifetime. What a blissful relief, and a true vacation.

You’re building memories that will last forever. And no effort from you – you’re relaxed too!

Your teens are pleasantly inspired by the guide, the exotic destination, the exciting activities. Your children look forward to popping out of bed in the morning, ready to join new friends for new adventures. You are served delicious meals, handed snacks and bottled water even before you know you need them. You are driven where you need to go, and you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Your itinerary is flexible, yet has just enough planned events to ensure you do something interesting every day. You get to learn something new right along with your children.

If this is appealing, if you don’t have time to research, plan, schedule and manage the details of a perfect family vacation, if you want some adventure that is relaxing and fun for your children and YOU TOO! then call Thomson Family Adventures at 800-262-6255.

We’ve small and personal, and we’ve done the work for you. We stand behind our family adventures; it is all we do. Call 800-262-6255. We’re there waiting to make your dreams come true.



February 2, 2010

How to Travel with Kids

Family Fun

Family Fun

Family travel is an amazing gift for everyone in your clan. Head out into the world ready to see it through your children’s eyes, and you will learn even more than they do.
If you are a grand parent, parent, or family friend traveling internationally with a minor child there are many things to be aware of in your planning; sometimes even the obvious gets overlooked. Here are some things to consider..
Before you go: First be sure you have your legal documents in place – with ever increasing security, every rule is being enforced.

-Everyone needs a passport - For children under age 16 not only must you show up in person to apply for their passport but both parents must be present. Believe me, this can take some advance planning, especially if the parents are divorced.

-Your passports must be valid for 6 months beyond your return date – if not then you must renew them before you travel.

-If you are a single parent or taking along your child’s friend you must have a notarized letter from the absent parent/s authorizing you to take them out of the country. The letter should also stipulate that you may seek medical care for the minor in the event of an accident or illness. Chances are you’ll never need to show this — but if asked for it and you don’t have it this will end your vacation!

Next, do your research on where to go, keeping your child’s age and interests in mind. For instance, Peru is a great destination for hikers and culture lovers, but with no easy access to beach or wildlife it may not be that interesting for a 6 year old. There are plenty of destinations that children and adults will both love, so don’t press your agenda onto your kids – there’s always next year.

-Consider how long to go for. Most small children, and even some older ones kind of freak out of they’re gone from familiar territory for a long time. A week to 9 days (Sat – Sun) is a nice place to start. Save the 2 – 3 week vacation for when your children are feeling more confident and adventurous. It’s always better to go home wanting more, than to feel you’ve stayed too long – for all ages!

-Do you know what diseases are prevalent where you’re going? Visit a travel clinic about a month before you go. Located in most major hospitals these clinics are staffed by MDs who specialize in travel medicine. They’ll be sure you’re up to date on your routine vaccines (probably your kids already are for school, but what about you??) as well as advise you on what other things you should consider for your destination. They have all kinds of vaccines on hand that your regular doctor doesn’t, and your health insurance likely will pick up the tab.

-Did you know if you’re visiting rainforest it will likely rain?? Do your research and go prepared. Pay attention to any advance information sent by your travel agent or tour company, and read up on your destination. Computer savvy kids will love to help with this part of the planning.

-When you pack, be sure to have a few first aid items, a lot of hand sanitizer, baby wipes (incredibly useful), your choice of pain reliever and of course Pepto Bismol. Don’t forget the antibiotics the travel doc prescribed. Pack some familiar things from home. Maybe it’s a jar of peanut butter, snack bars, or favorite crackers – I promise there will be a moment when they will save the day.

-Pack only what you can all carry. It’s no fun to haul a million heavy bags, and when the bags are too full the kids can’t find anything anyway. Stock up on lightweight, quick dry clothes, and look for the one pair of shoes that works for everything. There are some great water compatible shoes you can add socks to and voila – a walking shoe! Be minimalist – but lots of socks are a must.

-Let each child, young or old, carry a day pack in which they have their own re-useable water bottle and a zip-lock bag containing a small pack of tissues and one of wet wipes, a small bottle of hand sanitizer and a few bandaids. A cotton bandana has a million uses, and can easily be washed in the evening and dry by morning.

-Let your bank and credit card company know you’re traveling — it’s not fun to be in Paris and have your card rejected at the ATM

Once you’re on the road…
-Pace yourself. Whether you’re traveling independently or on a group tour be sure you have time to enjoy the hotel pool in the afternoon, or to relax before dinner. With older kids you want plenty of action – but they need hanging out time too, and everyone enjoys the time to be flexible and spontaneous. Don’t over schedule your vacation

-On the other hand, do schedule one good activity a day. Having it on your itinerary helps avoid the negotiations about ‘what to do today’ and makes better use of your time. You don’t want to go home feeling like you did not accomplish or see anything!

-Utilize local guides and drivers. Not only do they know where they’re going, they make the most of your experience and a good guide can impart information to your kids that they might never absorb from their own parents.

-If you have a lot of driving to do, break up long drives with breaks along the way. Make a 4 hour drive take the whole day, and have some fun along the way.

-You can never have too much bottled water or too many snacks with you. Thirst and hunger are the number one cause of Travel Crankiness. Be sure you are fully stocked before you head out in the morning. Wash hands frequently!

-Number two problem is exhaustion and information overload. This takes us back to planning your itinerary; be sure your toddler gets to nap in a comfortable place, your teenager gets to chill by the pool, and your guide doesn’t drone on for hours about the ancient dynasties of China.

-At the end of each day have a recap session with your kids. Whether it’s journal writing, sketching, or conversation over dinner, come together to talk about what you saw and felt that day. Can’t think of a conversation starter? Try asking what was the favorite thing, and the least favorite thing of the day, and write them down. Sharing these new things you’ve all found together will help build your lifetime memories, and you will come back to these memories for years to come. I know my family does.

In short: Be flexible, be prepared, and wash your hands. Keep your kids happy and you’ll be happy too. Bon Voyage!