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Dear Thomson Families,

Welcome to December! We hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving. Now that my leftovers are gone, the timing seems better for all of those Christmas decorations that appeared a month ago and I'm scrambling to plan for Leo's spring break. What are you doing?

Read on, and happy adventuring!

Belize Magic: Mystery Hill

Belize is a beautiful country full of wonders, not the least of which is its own myth-buster, Gravity Hill. Imagine stopping along the Hummingbird Highway just around mile 19, putting the car in neutral and having it roll. Uphill. We've seen it; you can too! Optical illusion or a miracle of magnetics? Travel to Belize to check it out, and let us know what you think. Oh, and Belize is terrific in February, March and April.

$500 Survey Savings: Don't let it slip away!

Many of you have taken the time to complete our travel survey for a $500 credit towards your next Thomson adventure. But you have to book it before the end of 2009! So now it's time to think: have you been meaning to plan for next year? If so, this is a great savings for you to take advantage of. And if you haven't taken our survey yet, there's still time!

February is coming up fast

Now that it's just too late for December, try being last-minute for February. We still have room for you to join families heading to Costa Rica, Egypt or the Galapagos!

Portugal: On tap for March

When you ask, we plan: we now have an adventure to Portugal on the schedule for March 27, 2010 (departure day from the USA or Canada). Though it won't be water-park weather, the mild climate is perfect for exploring the castles, gardens, villages and mountains. Need I add that culture and history, 5-star hotels and outstanding food are not hot-weather dependent, either. Come join a fun grandmother and her 13 year old grandson on a fantastic trip of a lifetime.

Tanzania: From safaris to schools to communities

As sister company to Thomson Safaris we are your portal to the best possible family safari experience. Thomson's 30 years of safari experience and deep commitment to Tanzania shine through at every moment. Now, largely due to the generosity of Thomson guests, our longtime partner Friends of Tanzanian Schools has expanded its mission under a new name: Focus on Tanzanian Communities. Having already completed projects resulting in the education of over 12,000 students annually, FOTzC will be able to fund healthcare, clean water and women's empowerment issues. It's an exciting time to make a difference and support the Tanzanian people to reach their self-determined Millennium Development Goals. It also offers rich opportunities for our travelers who ask how to contribute; maybe this is you!

Travel Tip: What to take and not to take

We're amused to see the new items added to the airlines' list of things not allowed in your carry-on bag. This holiday season you'll have to put your gravy and snow globes in your checked bag. In your carry-on, do be sure to keep your sense of humor within reach, and try being super nice to everyone you cross paths with. Thank you very much, and happy holiday traveling.

Join our discussion: Fair trade in travel

In recent years there has been significant effort to implement Fair Trade practices, most prominently in areas such as crafts, coffee, chocolate and even running shoes. These practices ensure workers in developing nations are paid a fair price for their products and labor. We applaud these efforts and hope they continue to see great success.

When you add up employment in hotels, airlines, resorts, restaurants, tour operators, travel agents and more, the travel industry is considered by many to be the largest industry in the world. There are literally millions of people employed in the low paying jobs of this industry. We at Thomson Family Adventures would like to see Fair Trade practices set and implemented in the travel industry so we can know that all involved in travel are sharing fairly in the fruits of our labor. We have begun to do this with our tour operators but we know that there is a lot more to be done.

Let us know your thoughts and suggestions on this - and stay tuned for further discussion on our blog.

Our RIDDLE - and another Super-Smart Genius Award!

What is the only word in the English language ending in MT?

Be the FIRST person to answer correctly, and 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 yet, 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.