Jan 19th
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Favorite Family Tours

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Favorite Family Tours
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Family Favorites
Travel specialists share popular family adventures!

    Travel tour companies can organize travel packages to destinations worldwide, finding the best vacations for your family and designing entertaining and educational itineraries.  You’ll travel with other families, experience the best of the locale, and relax knowing the details have all been taken care of.
     Inquire into custom tours if your family prefers to travel alone or has specific interests not covered in the offered packages.
    Listed below are a variety of travel specialists and their popular family tours.

Lend a Helping Hand...
     You and your family, along with other volunteers, will pitch in and help the community of Santa Elena, northwest of San Jose, Costa Rica, develop an ecotourism reserve.  Build walking paths, bridges, and rain shelters, paint, clear and plant trees, along with a variety of other helpful jobs.  The reserve will benefit the community as well as protect the ecology of the area.
      You’ll work side by side with the friendly Costa Rican people, making new friends and sharing a most memorable adventure.
    Stay in a Santa Elena hotel, enjoy meals at local restaurants and in your free time you can explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest, with 2000 species of plants, 400 species of birds, and 100 different species of animals, all in 26,000 acres of forest.  The blanket of clouds here creates a unique and diverse environment.  You can also see Mt. Arenal, an active volcano that gives an impressive view far into the night.
    Service program fee is $1595 pp for two weeks.  Airfare is not in-cluded.  All costs, including airfare, are tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers.  Suggested for children age 10 and older.

Global Volunteers sends more than 125 teams of volunteers each year to sites in 17 countries to work with the local communities--teaching English, assisting with health care, building schools, and repairing homes.

Destinations: Greece, Italy, Spain, Poland, Russia, Vietnam, China, Turkey, Ecuador, Ireland, Tanzania, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Jamaica, Texas and Mississippi.
375 Little Canada Rd., St. Paul, MN 55117
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Kangaroos, Koalas & Wombats
    ....Oh my!  See Australia your way, with your family’s own personalized itinerary.  Want to see Sydney’s Opera House?  How about cuddling a koala at Sydney’s Koala Park?  And why not set sail across Sydney Harbour on the tall ship, “Solway Lass?”
        Then, what about Canberra, where you can help out on a working cattle station; try your hand at trout fishing, with a chance sighting of the elusive platypus; and, 4 wheel drive into a reserve tracking kangaroos, wombats and foxes.
    How about heading to Cairns--venture through the Kurnada Rainforest, learn of the Aborigines’ culture and, of course, cruise to the Great Barrier Reef for a full day of snorkeling!
    The possibilities are endless...  Rascals in Paradise can suggest possible itineraries and then fix you up with that perfect vacation down under.  Check out the special airfare for kids up to age 18.  Depar-tures upon request.  Minimum age is 5 years old.  A sample pricing based on a family of four for 11 nights, $2816-$3365 excluding air.
Rascals in Paradise offer family tested vacations to destinations around the world.  They can arrange group packages (3-6 families) with an escort and a babysitter for the smaller children; Kids Klub resorts with organized kid’s activities; and independent packages.

Destinations: U.S., Europe, Mexico, Caribbean, Latin and South America, Africa, South Pacific and Asia.
650 Fifth St. #505 S.F., CA  94107
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Wales--a Romantic Land...
    Explore the Wales of today with a trip to the Welsh Woollen Industry; see an underground coalmine and Marine Life Centre; enjoy  tastes at a chocolate farm; watch a sheep-dog demonstration; and, talk with a farmer at a local market.         Relive Wales of yesteryear with a walk through the Roman fortress town of Caerleon, and an Iron Age fort; visit the Welsh National Folk Museum, Tintern Abbey, and Raglan Castle; and, ride a horse-drawn boat along the Brecon-Monmouthshire Canal.
    Start your trip in Abergavenny in South East Wales and then go to New Castle Emlyn in West Wales.
    You can learn from a series of personal perspectives on a changing Wales and understand how its colorful past with myths and legends have molded this rich country.
     Tour dates: July 18-28.  Cost (including airfare from Newark, NJ, meals, lodging, activities and excursions.) Adult $2125, Kids 12-15 $2050, Kids 8-11 $1895.
FamilyHostel designs family travel programs that provide opportunities for the family to learn about a foreign culture by living it!  Led by faculty and local experts, the trips include recreational and cultural activities and the chance to interact with the country’s residents.

Destinations:  Europe and Mexico
University of New Hampshire
6 Garrison Ave., Durham, NH  03824
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Lion King and friends!
     Your family is in for a treat when you discover the wilds of Tanzania.  This tented safari takes you through Tarangire National Park with large populations of wild-life--lion, leopard, buffalo, wild dog, cheetah, and elephant.  
    Then back in your custom 4-wd (roof hatches and ample windows) and you’re off to explore the dry and rugged landscape of the Lake Eyasi area, where you’ll encounter the Hadza tribe and can learn of their ancient culture.  
    You can see the black-maned lion, endangered black rhino, wilde-beest, zebra, elephant, hippo, jackal and hyena along with an assortment of bird life at Ngorongoro Crater.  There are also chance sightings of the Masai herdsmen tending their cattle.
    Visit Olduvai Gorge, famous for the discovered remains of Homo Erectus; view the huge herds of wildebeest and zebra in the impres-sive wildlife sanctuary, Serengeti.
    Your evenings will be spent in large walk-in tents, dining on wonderfully prepared meals and sharing the day’s adventures around the campfire.
    Minimum age is 7 years old.  Tours offered year round, call for specific dates.  12 day safari at $2575 pp. (no child discounts on this particular safari.)

Ultimate Africa offers a variety of itineraries to see Africa.  You can choose from several scheduled group trips (4-12 people) or customize a safari to fit your needs.  A selection of safari activities, like horseback riding, canoeing, rafting, elephant riding, fishing, and cultural trips can also be arranged.

Destinations:  Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
12211SE 59th St., #66, Bellevue, WA 98006
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Wagons.... HO-O-O-O!
     In frontier days, families just like yours forged across the wilderness in wagon trains, facing dangers and hardships, to start new lives.  
    Relive all the adventure and excitement without the hardship and danger, in this covered wagon train trip through the magnificent Teton National Forest and across the Mount Leidy Highlands.
     You’ll set off from Jackson, WY with wagon master and crew in authentic replicas of early pioneer wagons; white wagon covers protect travelers from the sun and rain.  Rubber tires and foam padded seats (which convert to comfortable deluxe beds at night) make for a smoother ride.  
    Enjoy the spectacular views of the Tetons, traveling through Rosie’s Ridge, Mount Leidy, and Leidy Lake and the North and South Forks of Spread Creek.  Look for the calving Gros Ventre elk along the river valleys and for moose, mule deer, coyotes, bear and raptors in the back country.
      You can also ride horseback alongside the wagon train and venture out on trail rides (for kids ages 8 to adult).
    Dine on scrumptious chuck wagon meals, listen to western tales, and join in the singing... all around the campfire, under the western night skies.
    Children as young as one year old to the adventurous grandparent have enjoyed this easy-going vacation. 4-day & 6-day trips are offered in June, July and August.  4-day trip; Adult $585 and Youth under 14 $495.  6-day trip; Adult $785 and Youth under 14 $685.   
American Wilderness Experience provides numerous backcountry adventures through out the Americas.  Many are specifically designed for families.  Also offered is a large selection of old west dude ranch vacations.

Destinations:  U.S., Latin and South America and Canada.
2820A Wilderness Pl., Boulder, CO 80301
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Flipper...  King of the Sea!
     Discover how the Bottlenose dolphin comes by this title as you learn, interact, even swim among these delightful creatures.
    Your adventure takes you to Dolphin Research Center (DRC) in the beautiful Florida Keys.  This educational and research facility has 17 dolphins and 3 sea-lions.  Its first resident, Mitzi, inspired and co-starred in the TV movie, Flipper.
    You’ll tour the DRC facility, meeting both the researchers and their playful subjects, and learn of their ongoing work.         
    Attend Dolphin Labs, an introduction to the biology, special care and feeding and how to help protect them and their marine environment.  You’ll also experience dolphin dialogue, as you listen in on underwater conversations.
    Then, the Dolphin Encounter--a structured swim program with 15-20 minutes in a saltwater lagoon together with your new dolphin friend.  
    A day of snorkeling off Looe Key and a visit to kooky Key West--Hemingway’s home, quaint Victorian and New England houses, and slices of key lime pie make this a fun adventure!
    Minimum age is 6 years old, with teens to adults getting the most out of this adventure.  Inquire for departure dates. Cost:  Adults $1449 dbl, Child $999.
Roots and Wings Excursions designs unique and interesting vacations for cross generational travel; parents & kids, moms & daughters, fathers & sons, grandparents & grandchildren.
Destinations:  U.S. and Europe
423 Carlisle Dr., #A, Herndon, VA  20170


Where is Alyx?

Alyx is near the 10,677-ft elevation of this Ski Resort offering awesome views and super ski slopes. Where is she? Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

Camping the Great Outdoors
...ideas to consider

   "Since that first camping trip, all of our trips have been only partially planned, with itineraries set more as ideas than as fixed schedules.  We usually take each day one at a time, and do whatever feels right for that particular day.  Slowing down to smell the roses has never been so sweet as when we travel with our two kids!"  -- David, Westminster, MD

 Take it from David, there's a time to plan and a time to take one day at a time.


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