Travel For Teens: Thailand

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About

Thailand is known as the land of a thousand smiles, and on any of our Thailand trips you will discover why! Our Thailand programs have been designed by our staff who have spent time both living and working in there and reflect the best that this amazing country has to offer. Whether you spend your time bathing elephants, jungle trekking, river rafting, visiting with hill tribes, or relaxing on stunning beaches, your Thailand experience with TFT is sure to be unique and unforgettable!

Adventure & Culture

: Experience the best of Southeast Asia on this 17-day adventure to the sprawling cities and beautiful beaches of three uniquely different countries.

: Join us for the ultimate Southeast Asia experience on this program made just for older teens! Venture off the beaten path and experience some of the region's best hidden gems four distinctly different countries.

Service, Adventure & Culture

: Experience the world's bluest waters, world-class diving, Buddhist monks, intricate temples, mouth-watering cuisine, elephant rescue projects, and the gentle smiles of the Thai people.

: Volunteer at an elephant sanctuary and learn all about these beautiful animals while bathing, walking, and playing with your new pals. Experience the beauty of Northern Thailand during a rafting adventure down the Pai River and take a walk on the wild side in Mae Hong Son as you discover caves, waterfalls, and even a hill tribe village!

: Add to your Elephant Explorers program with a week long extension to tropical paradises on some of Thailand's most pristine islands.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 18 reviews
  • Growth 9.4
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 18
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Michael
10/10

1000 Times Better than Your Standard Thailand Vacation

Thailand. We have all heard of this incredible country before. It’s your perfect tropical Southeast Asian paradise. Everything from encounters with amazing wildlife to some of the best beaches on the planet put this country on everyone’s bucket list. Unfortunately, with this being such a popular tourist destination, it has become overrun with foreigners in recent years. I realized this when I signed up for Thailand Elephant Service & The Islands trip, and I was quite worried that my trip would not live up to the “Thailand paradise” expectations. Fortunately, Travel for Teens understood this as well, and the only time I saw large amounts of foreigners throughout my entire vacation was at the airport, as you would expect. Outside the airport, I was blessed with what I can confidently say is my absolute favorite trip I have ever had the pleasure of going on (and I have been to 30 countries and 6 continents in total, including Antarctica). Travel for Teens seeks out activities to participate in that your standard teen tour group will not do. Nearly all other Thailand “adventure programs” listed on this website will in fact not be much of an adventure at all. They will instead take you to major tourist destinations, and that’s it – that’s where Travel for Teens sets itself apart from the crowd. Of course, one of the major highlights of this trip were the incredible few days up in Northern Thailand where we had the privilege to work with elephants in their retirement parks. Here, elephants rescued from the lumber business and street performing in Bangkok were provided a safe haven to live out the rest of their days in peace. Being able to get up close and personal with these creatures allowed my group and I to see how gentle they truly were. There was a sense of kindness in their eyes that I haven’t seen before – anywhere. It’s truly an incredible experience. We were quite a ways away from the city and in an area where there were more elephants than people, and in this situation we were able to escape the “standard Thailand vacation”. We helped bathe the elephants alongside feeding the baby elephants – they were very cute. We learned a ton about these massive creatures: everything from how they only sleep 4 hours a day on average to how it costs upwards of $300,000 per year for food for each elephant to how riding an elephant for a prolonged period actually gives them back problems later on in life. All of this wouldn’t be possible on a standard Thailand vacation where you may actually ride an elephant yourself, or just see them briefly perform. Travel for Teens gives you the unique experience to work with the elephants themselves and that is something I truly treasure. Another incredible experience this Thailand Elephant Service & The Islands trip provided me was a two-day rafting trip out in the remote Thailand jungle. For nearly two full days, we saw no trace of civilization: no roads, no houses – nothing. This is a true Thailand adventure, given we traveled over one hundred miles downriver between the towns of Pai and Mae Hong Son in far northwestern Thailand close to the border with Myanmar. We camped overnight alongside the river, and despite it perhaps not being your “luxury” overnight stay, it was the time when everyone bonded the quickest. Being in a raft for many hours amounted to great conversations and before long, I realized just how incredible the group I traveled with was. They made the trip fantastic as much as the trip itself did, and that’s saying quite a lot considering just how amazing the itinerary was. Everything else from scuba diving in some of the most pristine reefs imaginable to trying some of the most delicious food you could possibly fathom summed this trip up to be my absolute favorite I have ever been on with Travel for Teens. I have participated in nine trips in total with the company, and this is number one on my list. Do not miss out on an incredible opportunity to see and experience things you will be unable to see anywhere else on Earth. This trip is the trip of a lifetime.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kelsey
10/10

Thailand Elephant Service and The Islands: Amazing Trip!

This trip is the perfect way to expose yourself to Thai culture and participate in a fun community service experience. The first part of the trip we went to two different elephant sanctuaries. The information that I was able to obtain from these sanctuaries was intriguing and I learned so much about Thai history in regard to elephants. Along with informative talks, we had the opportunity to wash the elephants, give them mud baths, feed them, and take them for walks. To be able to touch and interact with such huge animals was the coolest thing I have ever done and I will never forget it!
After a few days at the elephant sanctuaries, we explored the cities nearby. I tried food I had never even heard of and by the end of the trip I was obsessed with Pad Thai, a delicious noodle dish. We also spent time on the islands. We spent a day on a private boat and I went scuba diving for the very first time!
This trip really opened my eyes to Thai culture and allowed me to experience things I could have never imagined! By far one of the best trips I have ever taken. I got to bring home so many new memories and months later I still talk to my new friends I met on the trip. Overall- amazing trip!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Allie
10/10

Thailand Adventures

I traveled with TFT the summer of 2016 and have not forgotten a moment of it. From the beautiful site seeing to adventurous white water rafting, I had loved every minute. Travel for Teens did something to me that no other experience has been able to do: Give me the travel bug. I have such a love and yearning to travel and experience new cultures and have TFT to thank! The staff was incredible and I can honestly say that they were the ringmasters to making the trip as wonderful as it was. The travelers with me were kind and funny and I still think of them often! I went on the “Thailand Elephant Service and the Islands” trip and although I had never been on a trip like this before, I felt completely safe and like I had been traveling to countries like it my entire life. We experienced swimming in a serene waterfall, feeding and bathing gorgeous elephants, and relaxing on the beach. With a perfect mix of calmness and adventure, there isn’t a trip I could recommend more!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Amy
7/10

Once in a lifetime experience!

Going to Thailand was an experience I will never forget. I traveled with a couple friends I had met on a previous TFT trip, which was awesome! TFT gave me the opportunity to experience things I probably never could have if I had traveled on my own, like doing community service with elephants! Through doing community service, exploring Thai markets, and island hopping I was able to experience many different aspects of the country. I happened to get sick for a few days near the end of my trip, but my TFT counselors made sure to take great care of me and help me in any way they could. I definitely felt a little out of my comfort zone camping in the jungles of Thailand, but it was a learning experience that I will value forever! I had so much fun traveling with TFT!

Yes, I recommend this program
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kendra
10/10

Thailand Adventure and Service

This was my Fourth TFT trip and definitely the most fulfilling!! I went to Thailand the summer of 2017 and had an amazing experience. We had some thrilling adventures, like zip lining and scuba diving, but my favorite part was the service aspect. We helped with renovations to a school in a small village near Chiang Mai. I was also lucky enough to participate in the optional excursion to Angkor Watt in Cambodia. The temples were breathtaking and I consider it one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. We had a small group so everyone on the trip, including the counselors got pretty close. I recommend this trip to anyone looking for an experience of a lifetime.

Yes, I recommend this program
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HC
9/10

Fantastic Experience

Traveling with TFT was an amazing experience. I felt I was able to become immersed in the local culture of Thailand. We took traditional Thai cooking classes, learned some of the Thai language an interacted with the people. Being able to work with the elephants was an eye opening experience. I loved learning about their day to day life at the reserve. After the service, traveling the country was very cool. We visited ornate temples full of history, explored the colorful markets of several cities, and enjoyed the quaint villages along the countryside. The islands were full of animal and human life and the water was a beautiful blue. I became very close with my counselors and the other teens on my trip and created memories I will be able to cherish forever.

How can this program be improved?
I don't think the program needed much improvement.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Abby
10/10

Khob Khun Ka TFT! (Thank you TFT!)

After traveling to Peru two summers ago, the Thailand Service and Adventure trip was a great way for me to experience another community that was different from my own. Every day was busy and exciting, and I was amazed by how much I was able to learn and absorb through the amazing itinerary! As I was doing this trip “alone,” I was very happy that I was able to quickly form close bonds with my fellow travelers and counselors, just as I had the year before! Each of us had come from somewhere different, but we all had a common desire to learn more about Thai culture. From building a dining hall for an orphanage to scuba diving in the islands, I’m so glad I was able to have so many different experiences during my three week adventure! No matter where I go next with TFT, I can’t wait to explore yet another culture and make more memories that will last me a lifetime!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Nataleena
9/10

Thailand Elephant Adventure

This was my second TFT trip and I was definitely nervous that it wouldn’t match up to my amazing experience the year before, but it did and more.
We immersed ourselves in the culture constantly trying new foods, trying to communicate in Thai, and even sleeping in the jungle for the night.
We talked with monks and learned about the culture and their religion. Explored temples, shopped at Thai markets, and more.
Through this trip I also met one of my best friends and the experiences we went through together brought us so so close together that not even living in completely different time zones could tear us apart.
Not only will the experiences last me a lifetime, the friends will too.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jenny
10/10

Travel for Teens: Thailand Elephant Service and the Islands

I was really nervous about going on a trip with no one I knew. However, after calling the TFT office hundreds of times and speaking with all the staff, their reassurances finally convinced me to go on this trip. And let me tell you it was a life changing experience. Keith was an incredible counselor, always joking with us and teaching us Thai language he learned from living there for a few year. Mel was the other counselor and she is a professional photographer, taking breath-taking photos of us while we wash and rode elephants, scuba dived, and visited gorgeous temples. The itinerary is so much fun, but not jam-packed, so we could take our leisure time to take in everything. The food is so delicious and our counselors picked out some really great restaurants, one being a table right off the beach at sunset. The people on the trip were so friendly and became some of my close friends that I still talk to today, 2 years after I went on the trip.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Olivia
8/10

Thailand Elephants and the Islands

From Chiang Mai to the islands of Thailand, I was never bored for a moment. I was able to bathe and play with elephants one day, then take a two-day rafting trip and sleep in bamboo huts by the Pai river the next day. I could not believe that we were able to work with retired elephants and help care for them. One of my favorite parts was going to all the temples and learning more about the Thai culture. I was also able to test my bartering skills (which I’ve found are not very good) in the markets while shopping for souvenirs. Next, we went to Ko Tao and Ko Samui and got a taste of the islands life. It was relaxing to do yoga, lip sync competitions, and swim in the Gulf of Thailand. Not to mention, scuba/snorkeling in the crystal-clear water, learning to cook traditional Thai food, and so much more. Our last stop in Thailand was the capital, Bangkok. I loved the city and all the sites. We went to the Grand Palace, the largest Buddha in Thailand, and got to see the famous Muy Thai fighting. I didn’t think that my second trip could live up the first trip I took with TFT but I was quickly proved wrong.

How can this program be improved?
There could be more time spent with the elephants. Total time was only 3-4 days which was a bit disappointing given that it is listed as a service trip.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Annie
10/10

Best Summer Ever!

This was my second trip with TFT, and by far the coolest experience i've ever had! From hanging out with elephants to white water rafting, this trip pushed me out of my comfort zone and really helped me grow as a person. The elephant service days were my favorite. We got to bathe, feed, and play with the elephants. We also wore cool traditional mahoot outfits! As we moved to Pai and the islands, I fell more in love with the country and it's kind people. Walking through the markets and trying new foods are some of my favorite memories of the trip. And how could I forget the amazing people I was with throughout! I totally recommend this trip to anyone, it was my favorite one ever!

How can this program be improved?
It's already great!
Yes, I recommend this program
Ali
10/10

Best. Experience. EVER!!!

My trip to Thailand with Travel for Teens was the best 3 weeks of my life. I was given the opportunity to intimately learn about elephants, experience true Thai culture with the natives, test my skills at not-so-white water rafting in the Pai River, observe the beautiful temples of Bangkok, adventure into the clear blue waters of Koh Tao, and relax on peaceful beaches and with wonderful Thai massages on Koh Samui. While the activities were incredible, what truly made my experience special were my wonderful trip director, fabulous counselors, and lifelong friends I met on the trip. Before the trip, I was extremely nervous to travel on my own for the first time at 15 years old. But as soon as I met the TFT crew at the airport, my nerves vanished and I knew I was going to have a blast. The counselors and trip directors respected us as friends rather than treating us like immature children. They constantly made sure we were safe while still having fun. My mom was especially grateful for the daily email updates from our trip leaders. The trip would not have been the same without our trip director Keith. Within the few weeks we were in Thailand, I became extremely close with Keith, along with all the other students. Everyone shared plenty of stories, which made us all both laugh and cry, and countless memories that will last me a lifetime. I would give anything to go back and relive my Thailand excursion so I could spend another 3 weeks growing as an individual, while spending plenty of time with the people that quickly became my second family. I truly believe this trip made me a bigger and better person with an increased awareness of the world around me.

How can this program be improved?
honestly nothing
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sam
10/10

Thailand 2015

Going to Thailand last summer was a pretty life changing event for me. I did both the Thailand Service & Adventure trip, and the extended 10 day elephant service portion, so I was in the country a little under a month. I've never had a more eye opening experience then when I was standing in the Maesa Elephant Camp. Getting so up close and personal with such amazing animals was fantastic. I also got the chance to both see some long distance friends again, and also make new friends along the way. Our tour director was amazing and his passion for the country only increases mine. The Thai culture is a special kind. Everywhere we went, faces were full of smiles and everyone seemed genuinely happy to be where they were.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Lily
9/10

Great People, Great People

Loved Thailand with Travel for Teens. I met so many great people and had such an amazing adventure. The native people were very hospitable and friendly. It was such an amazing way to experience a new culture with new people. The staff on the trip were so awesome and supportive. It was such a cool place! The accommodations were great, some in the jungle were more rustic and the dorms were just great

Yes, I recommend this program
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Marla
10/10

Actually the trip of a lifetime

After one incredible summer with Travel for Teens in 2014, I knew I wanted to travel again this past summer with them. I had my doubts that any trip could live up to the first one, but TFT proved otherwise instantly. Our first night in Chiang Mai, we made wishes on floating lanterns and released them into the sky, setting the bar pretty high for the rest of the trip. But every single day was better than the one before. We volunteered at elephant sanctuaries, caring for the elderly and playing with the babies, then went on a two-day white water rafting trip down the Pai River, which brought a lot of us out of our comfort zone in the best way. I won't outline the whole itinerary, but I think that everything that we did taught me a little more about myself and about the world around me. And the best part was the bonds that I formed with the other students on the trip- we came in as perfect strangers, but walked away best friends. The entire group was able to connect with each other with not one person left out, which I think is really special. There is no sugar-coating and no exaggeration when I say that it was the best 17 days of my life.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would change is the Bangkok heat, which TFT can't control!
Yes, I recommend this program

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About Travel For Teens

Travel For Teens is a program provider that believes that teen travel should be both enriching and fun. TFT offers a full range of travel experiences that teens can choose from to create their own ideal international experience.

TFT's motto is...