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Dear Thomson Families,

Fall is here in Boston -  Beautiful foliage but heavy skies, colder temperatures and frightfully few daylight hours, and the day sometimes feels a bit gloomy. We've discovered a wonderful way to perk things up that's easy on the budget - cupcakes! Whether you make your own or buy one at your local fancy cupcake bakery, we're certain you won't be disappointed.

Read on, and happy adventuring!

Next up: Escape the Snow

Remember snow and slush? Even though some of you are still calling about December (really!), we're mostly turning our attention to snowy February, and slushy March and April. Don't you want to escape to Costa Rica, Tanzania, Egypt or Panama? We have families already onboard and room for you to join to any of our fantastic destinations. Remember, our pricing goes down as more people join the group.

Flights for this December to Central America are over $1,500, when prior to Labor Day they were half that. Airline tickets become available 330 days prior to the date of travel and this is often when the lowest fares are offered. Don't wait and get left out in the cold. Check online or call your travel agent; but be sure to book your spring travel now, before the cost of airfare exceeds your budget!

TIP: Plan ahead for a dream safari

Tanzania has more wildlife than any other African country - and also just one flight a day nonstop from Europe. So unless you enjoy 3 or 4 connections, you must think ahead! If you want to travel in the summer months - Tanzania's winter and high season - be ready to reserve your seats as soon as they become available (11 months prior) to gain the lowest possible fare. On the other hand, if you can travel in March - a less touristy time - you'll not only get air fare as much as $1,000 less per person, but on safari you'll get to see all those wildebeest and zebra dropping their calves. And guess what? March 2010 is still available! (Did you know a giraffe's tongue is 22 inches long and black with pink dots?)

Family Art Adventures

Do you or your kids have a love for painting or photography? Our art and photography trips last summer were terrific, so we're doing them again! Join our talented art teacher Narda in Tanzania on an amazing safari for ages 6 and up June 12 - 24. Revel in outstanding wildlife and breathtaking scenery and the opportunity to learn to express them in an artful form. If photography is your thing, what better place than the Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (to hone your skills)? Our professional photographer Chris will help you view this fascinating world through the lens July 30 - August 8. This includes a 4 night cruise to maximize your exposure of blue footed boobies!

Alaska - everyone's been, why haven't you?

Aimee, Nancy, and I have all been lucky enough to experience our Alaska Adventure and we unanimously agree you should too. Sure, you'll pay for the privilege to wander where few ever get to go - and it is worth every penny. We have just two departures open next summer, June 27 and July 18, and room for only 12 people on each date. So call your friends and make a plan while it's still available!

Meet our pal Juan from Ecuador

At Thomson Family Adventures we like to think of our international team as extended family. So, meet our "cousin" Juan Rodriguez from Ecuador. Juan is passionate about adventure and has spent years rock climbing, paragliding and river rafting... Let's just say his limits go far beyond my own. Since his youth he has always wanted to fly; recently he finished building a biplane from a kit. He started with parts stored under his bed and learned about blueprints and aerodynamics at the dining room table. Now the plane is in "taxi testing" and after hours of flight lessons (including a crash which we're glad he survived) Juan is almost ready to realize his dream. (Did I mention his supportive wife and children?) We've watched Juan over the years not only in his extreme sports but also as he cares for our families traveling to Ecuador and the Galapagos. Because of his passion for adventure he is also our most staunch developer of the safety standards and procedures we apply to all of our family adventures. Thanks, Juan for being a part of our family, and for not asking us to taxi-test your plane!

Our favorite travel story

Last August Sam, age 10, was traveling in China with his family. After 10 days of local food he was pretty happy to have the chance for something more Western. He ordered a "burger plain, with nothing on it." What was delivered to him was a bun. Plain, with nothing on it. Not even a burger. Which just proves our point, that in a foreign country sometimes even familiar food is just different. (Did you know a newborn panda is about the size of a mouse?)

Our RIDDLE - and another Super-Smart Genius Award!

Find the three letters that can be mixed up with each of the following to make three geographical locations (the letters added are the same in each case).


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 before, Click Here to Take Our Survey

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.