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Dear Thomson Families,

June! Schools are wrapping up the year - if not closed for summer already - and kids are fanning out on break. We're busy with family adventures, summer camp, and hopefully some simple, lazy afternoons. Don't forget to slow down a bit, you just might find even more important 'work' will get done. I am just back from Ecuador, seeking out the hidden corners of the Andes as well as the Galapagos Islands. Ask me about it, there's nothing I want to do more than reminisce! Oh, and a belated happy Father's Day to all the dads and grandfathers around the globe. What would family do without you?

Read on, and happy adventuring!

Early Booking Savings Now!

You have just until our 2011 prices are posted on the website - which will be any day now! - to book any 2011 Thomson Family Adventure at our 2010 pricing. Every year this proves to be great savings for families who can plan ahead. Call now for help plotting out your next adventure: 800-262-6255.

And Early Booking Savings for First Onboard!

Now, everyone knows it takes a bit of gumption to be the first family to book on a scheduled adventure. We know you'd rather step into a trip already full of similar aged children. As parents ourselves, we totally understand - but we have a chicken and egg issue here. So, new for 2011 we're going to add a tiny bit of incentive. If you book more than six months in advance and are the first to commit to any of our adventures, we'll credit your family $500 towards the adventure. How nice to be rewarded for boldness and foresight!

Top Five Reasons to Go to Baja

Check out our top five reasons - plus a bonus one - that Baja, Mexico is an adventurous family's delight. Maybe you haven't considered it yet, but here are some reasons you should:
1: It's a breeze to get to, with nonstops from Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Phoenix - and more!
2: We sweep you away from the chaos of Cabo and up into the peaceful, relaxing environs of Todos Santos - such beauty!
3: Everyone knows the guide makes the trip - our Thomson guide in Baja is no exception.
4: Boredom doesn't live here: Spend your days surfing, tidepooling, hiking, and horseback riding. Kayak in crystal clear water and snorkel with curious sea lions by your side!
5: Go in February and see the whales migrating through - it is said they'll look you right in the eye as they glide by!
6: Become a language mentor and help teach local children English while learning about their lives.

Travel Tips: the Cost of Flying Domestically

If you are planning to travel domestically this summer (or anytime) you should know that now, more than ever, the price of your plane ticket does not ensure your best deal. You need to be vigilant when calculating the real cost. Many airlines now charge you to check a bag and to get a pillow, blanket or headset. These extras can add $30 or more per person to the trip. Be sure you consider these hidden costs before you decide which fare is the lowest. And don't forget, a good travel agent just may save you time (and money) when figuring it all out, making their fee a worthwhile investment.

What Does it Sound Like Inside the Great Pyramid?

All Thomson Family Adventures guests have entrance inside the Great Pyramid on our Egypt: Valley of the Nile itinerary. Perhaps not for the faint of heart, you move along a narrow, dark passageway until you come to the burial chamber. Pretty cool! Thanks to the power of technology (read: iPhone) some of our families got creative with their harmonizing deep inside the chamber and were able to share. Click here to listen.

Tomas, Sixto, Pat and Chris: A Story From Ecuador

On my recent, most wonderful adventure in Ecuador, I joined a Multi-Sport Adventure in progress. We were accompanied by the dynamic team of Tomas as guide and Sixto as driver. Both have worked with Thomson families for many years, and both remembered a Thomson family from 2002. The trip had started with some anxiety because Pat and Chris, a grandmother and her eight year old grandson, were the only travelers in the group (we never cancel a departure based on group size). Well, in no time at all, young Chris discovered how much fun a guide and driver can be. The team taught him ping pong, which they played every night at Hacienda Cusin. And when the local food didn't appeal, they snuck him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (albeit the Ecuadorian version). To me the best part is how they all remember the special bond they created together in Ecuador. And Pat's response when I shared the story: "This is sooo awesome because just the other night I was thinking about that trip, and the guides in particular." Memories like this, that stick forever, are what we aim for with every Thomson Family Adventure. Thank you, Tomas and Sixto!

Our RIDDLE - and Another Super-Smart Genius Award

Our Galapagos guide Natalia keeps a family of blue footed boobies and marine iguanas in her backyard (which is very illegal, please do not try this at home). There are 30 animals in all, and the animals have 74 legs in total. How many blue footed boobies live with Natalia?

We'll be drawing a name from a TFA hat in five days; if we draw YOUR name and you've answered correctly, you'll win a Super-Smart Genius Award worth $200 off your next Thomson Family Adventure. Please solve this with your brain power, though you are allowed to consult your very clever children. Cheating is not allowed (and I'll know if you do!).

If you haven't taken our Survey before, click here to take it!

And if you haven't found us on Facebook yet, check out our fan page!

Best Regards,

Moo Bishop
Family Travel Advisor- Alumni Services

For reservations contact Thomson Family Adventures at 800-262-6255

© 2008 by Thomson Family Adventures, a Division of Wineland-Thomson Adventures, Inc.