Thomson Family Adventures creates one-of-kind, high quality adventures to engage, entertain and educate families with children of all ages. We create family trips because as parents, we want to visit fun, interesting places with our children where we feel safe and welcome.
In 1998 Rick Thomson and Judi Wineland raised their heads from their very successful safari company, looked at their growing girls, and said “HEY, let’s do all this for families…” Thus we were born as Thomson Family Adventures, the first company to offer family focused adventure travel. Adult tour companies have copied us but we are still the only one to do just families. We use our brains 24/7 just thinking of new ways to make family travel more fun, eye opening, safe and satisfying. So busy parents can have fun too, without the work of planning a vacation or figuring out directions. Our every day commitment is to family. Like yours.
Thomson Family Adventures has been recognized by multiple esteemed travel organizations for our commitment to fun, active, eye-opening family adventures. National Geographic Traveler Magazine named our Smithsonian Family Adventure to Turkey one of its “50 Tours of a Lifetime” for 2013. We were rated by National Geographic Adventures as the #1 Family Adventure Tour Operator 2 years in a row. Also, our sister company Thomson Safaris, who operate all of our family safaris, have just been listed in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Awards,” as one of their Top Safari Outfitters!
Your child will have a memorable meeting with his or her pen pal. Whether it’s a soccer game in the jungle, a meal with a local family, learning a local craft with an artisan or participating in a community service project, you can watch your children’s world expand in front of your eyes! Photo Gallery
In addition to a guide, groups of eight or more (with the exception of our teen trips and trips for families with older teens and 20-somethings) travel with a rafiki. Taking their name from the Swahili word for "friend," the rafiki's job is to engage the kids in fun games and activities and help to break the ice among families. Rafikis will make your kids’ adventure complete!
From children to teens, we understand the importance of age-matching in a group. Sharing experiences and making new friends with kids of a similar age is a great way to enhance your kids’ adventure. Call us and we will match you to a trip with kids of similar ages.
Thomson employees love hearing all about your family's adventures - and seeing your videos! Which is one of the reasons we created our newest video and photo contest.
While traveling on your adventure, send us your videos and photos, and we'll enter them along with all other travelers' entries (worldwide) on our Facebook page! Every month a winner from each category will be selected and receive a $100 gift card.
To enter videos:
Upload your videos to a free YouTube account or give a copy to your guide. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about
To enter photos:
Email your favorite to email@example.com.
This is a competition between travelers who are in country at our various destinations. If you’re unable to send us your entries from the road, they must be submitted within 7 days of your return to qualify.
By submitting your photos/videos you are granting Thomson Family Adventures permission to use them in any and all of its promotional materials, without payment or any other consideration.
When you book a trip with Thomson Family Adventures, you can be sure you’re getting the best value for your money. There are no hidden costs, no disappointing surprises, and everything from ground transportation to travel insurance is already included in the cost.
With the best local guides and meticulously-planned itineraries, every cent you spend is being used to create the ultimate family travel experience! We don’t need to offer huge temporary discounts, because our prices are always fair to begin with. If our in-country partners are able to reduce the cost for us, that reduction is always passed down to you!
Groups are limited in size to no more than twenty-five people. This is large enough that your children can often find another child of a similar age or interests, while not being so large that it ruins the fun.
Once you've traveled with us - your family will always receive $500 Alumni Discount on all future scheduled Thomson Family Adventures.
As a family company, we understand the value of peace of mind. For that reason, travel insurance is automatically included for all scheduled adventures. This covers your family for cancellation, trip interruption, medical expenses, travel delay and more.
We schedule our trips to coincide with winter and spring breaks, summer vacation, and school holidays. Once you book on one of our departures, we will not cancel the trip. We will do our best to book you with other families upon request; however, if we are unable to do so, you may defer your departure without penalty as long as you notify us three months before departure.
If a group departure date doesn’t suit your time frame, we can usually arrange a time that will. We can also organize completely customized, private adventures for you and your family.
When was the last time your extended family got together? A Thomson trip is the perfect way for your entire family – near and far – to spend time with relatives that you might not see as often as you would like. Pick a destination and a date, and we’ll do the rest!
Increasingly, grandparents are expressing an interest in traveling with their grandchildren – with or without the parents! Whether you are taking the whole brood or just one grandkid at a time as a rite of passage, Thomson will make your vacation a joy.
From the moment you arrive until the day you depart, we’re behind the scenes taking care of every last detail. Our amazing guides, drivers and staff are there to ensure your family’s safety and comfort every step of the way. Your only job is to show up and be ready to have a great family trip!
The trip to Africa was truly an amazing experience. Seeing children and families that have little or no money at all is heartbreaking. This experience made me stop and look at the world in a different perspective. I hope the people who go on future trips will understand there is more to life.
Sole made the trip better times infinity because she was so happy and cheerful. She made the times in the trip when we were on the bus or waiting really fun. Her riddles amused and befuddled us for hours on end, especially the one with the orange tree. Her games were also very amusing to play, and she always had something to entertain us. Sole was a superb addition to the trip and made it a lot more fun, interesting, and super! Maybe when I grow up I’ll be a mentor.
We loved our Thomson trip with our teenage son Phil and can’t wait to do another. He really bonded with all the teens on the trip, and still keeps in touch with them. Even now, one year after the trip, he has just returned home from a visit with one of the other kids on the trip. As an only child, having other teens to share the trip with made all the difference in the experience.
Color coordinated boy and iguana in the Galapagos!
We traveled with Thomson in the summer of 2006 and we loved being in a small group of just four families. There was plenty of time to get to know each other and to spend time with the guides and the people we met along the way. Among our favorite things with the trip were the guides in Ecuador, Natalia and her sister Diana. They were as warm and accommodating as anyone we could imagine. The great guides and small group size made us feel like we were traveling together rather than being led.
Thomson planned a tailor-made trip to Egypt for us – they even found a performance of whirling dervishes after my daughter read about them in history class! Unfortunately, we had to cancel the trip prior to our departure date due to a death in the family. In a matter of weeks we received a full refund for our trip through the included travel insurance. Thomson was great throughout the whole process, and we’re looking forward to reinstating our Egypt trip!
Thomson’s staff are always great to work with. When my grandson and I were booked to go to Ecuador last July and ended up being the only family on that trip, they were so helpful in changing our departure date so that we could go on a trip with other families.
Our custom trip to Tanzania was really a “lifetime” trip. Seeing all the amazing animals with our children is something we will always cherish. Equally important was peace of mind, knowing that our family was safe with Thomson Family Adventures. Spending evenings in our cozy dining tent, learning about the Maasai and African way of life, meeting our children’s pen pals and observing the spectacular African wildlife will always be a favorite family memory.
My husband and I celebrated our 50th anniversary by taking our family – thirteen in all, ages 10 to 77 – on Thomson’s trip to the Galapagos and the Highlands of Ecuador. The trip was a total success, with TFA giving assistance in trip planning, making all the necessary reservations at beautiful haciendas and providing terrific guides. Hats off to TFA for an outstanding family experience!
After whitewater rafting I went to my grandfather and said, “Grandpa, this was the most exciting day of my life!” The next day we did the zipline. That evening I said, Grandpa, yesterday was the most exciting day of my life - and today blew it away!
"This is one of the most memorable trips my family has taken. Costa Rica is beautiful. Kudos to y’all for handling the logistics of this trip so well! We felt we were always in good hands and relaxed knowing that things were always taken care of."