Travel For Teens: Thailand

Video and Photos

Feeding An Elephant in Chiang Mai
Feeding An Elephant in Chiang Mai
TFT Thailand
TFT Thailand
scuba dive squad on Koh Tao
boat day on Koh Samui
elephants!!!!

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

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

Southeast Asia for Older Teens: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia: 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

Thailand Adventure and Service: 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.

Thailand Elephant Service and Explorers: 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!

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

Now Hiring: Travelers with Youth/Education Experience!

Are you passionate about inspiring youth? Do you believe experiential education is crucial to growth and development? TFT staff have the unique opportunity to work with teens in incredible countries all around the globe. Our staff have in-depth knowledge of the destinations we visit and are proven role models and leaders. If this sounds like you, we want to hear from you! Check out our site for more details and to submit your application today!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 24 reviews
  • Growth 9.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 24
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Sofia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable Experience

This past summer I traveled to Thailand on TFT’s Thailand Elephant Service and the Islands program. This trip was by far my favorite trip that I’ve been on with TFT. The combination of working with elephants, the breadth of activities, as well as the great counselors and campers made it by far one of the most memorable two weeks of my life. One of the highlights of the trip was the service we did with elephants. We volunteered with elephants at sanctuaries learning about proper elephant care, we got to bathe them, prepare food and feed them, cleaned their enclosures, and went on a walk with them. This trip as a whole pushed me out of my comfort zone, it helped me become much more comfortable with trying new things. Each day was filled with new activities which enabled us to experience and learn about the Thai culture. The activities included exploring traditional Thai markets, cooking classes, exploring Thai temples, and much more. Our counselors were amazing, they were always understanding, were easy to come to with any issues, and were just really fun to travel and hang out with. Not only were the counselors great but I met some of the best people on this trip. I’m certain that I will be friends with a few of them for the rest of my life. I’m so grateful to have been able to go on this trip and I wouldn’t trade this trip for the world.

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Claire
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Trip of a lifetime!

My trip to Thailand was one that I could have never imagined, from the days with elephants to meeting the most amazing people it was definitely a trip of a life time. This was the first trip I had ever gone out of the country by myself with people I had never met, and to be honest I was very nervous but when meeting the counselors they made us feel right at home and the campers soon after a couple nights of never have I ever’s/games established bonds that we knew could never be broken. Everyday we took on a new adventure, I remember when I first heard that we were going to be “hanging” out with elephants I thought it was going to be from a far little did I know we would be getting up close and personal feeding them, bathing them, and cleaning up after them. It was astounding how gentle the elephants were and how much they were just like big puppies with how they wanted to play with you. Saying goodbye to the elephants was definitely hard and sad but I know that someday I will go back and see them again. After we finished our community service hours with elephants we then went on a very windy 3 hour drive to Pai where we the most amazing massages. Over the trip two other campers and I got 3 massages and only ended up paying $11. Then we went on a 2 day trip to the jungle which was honestly one of the hardest things physically on this trip, the white rafting was long but the campers and the view make it all worth it. After returning to the hotels the first thing we all did was shower and let me tell you it was the best feeling. Now I was not able to stay for extra 7 days and explore the islands so at the final dinner it was very sad to say goodbye to everyone because even though I had only known them for 10 days we all felt like we had known each other for much longer. The kids I met are already planning on having a “reunion”. These trips not only open up your mind to new places and cultures but also to new people.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice would be go by yourself with no one you know. It might be scary but you are able to creat such bonds with the other students that you don’t need someone you already know. It is better to be pushed out of your comfort zone.
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Ivania
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Thailand through different eyes

Traveling to Thailand with Travel for Teens in the Thailand Service and Adventure program has been one of the best decisions I had made so far. The staff and the kids I went with were wonderful! Each and every one of them made the trip a memorable experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. The staff was really supportive when it came to dietary restrictions and allergies, and they made sure everyone had what they wanted and needed throughout the trip. They were also very flexible with what we wanted to do and the schedule. The places we visited were unique and beautiful, for example, we visited a Monkey Island near Phi Phi, where we witnessed the monkeys steal food from the visitors, or take off the lice from one another. We also visited an elephant sanctuary where we learned about the elephants and the different ways we can help them, in the long run, to stop them from getting abused. Not only that, but we were able to give back to the community by building a cement house from scratch in a tiny community in Chaing Mai. This trip not only was wonderful, but it made me feel at home and thankful for having the opportunity to live such a unique experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice is to embrace and enjoy all of the trip. The trip goes by so quickly and before you know it, it will be over. This is a wonderful, once in a lifetime experience that many people wish they could have the opportunity to enjoy. Be open to new opportunities and experiences, because one way or another, they will change either your character or your perspective of life. Most importantly have fun! And meet new and wonderful people!
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Vlada
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing culturally enriching experience

Traveling to Thailand with Travel For Teens was an experience I will never forget. The sites were incredible and every single day was filled with adventure and fun. The food was incredible as it was authentic and we even got to attend cooking classes. We cooked traditional food that was delicious. The language portion of the trip was really enlightening as we learned the basic of the beautiful language: Thai. The group I was with was filled with like minded individuals striving to see the world and truly experience what real traveling is like. We shared beautiful experiences with excursions like rafting down the Pai River and scuba driving Thai coral reefs. The counselors made everyone feel safe while being friendly and fun the entire trip.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The most unfamiliar thing I ate was a scorpion at a market!
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Melania
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Another Fabulous Summer with TFT

After traveling with TFT last summer to Paris, France, Cinque Terre, Italy, Florence, Italy, and Interlaken, Switzerland, I thought nothing could top the memories I made on this whirlwind trip. However, traveling to Thailand this summer as a Counselor in Training gave me a whole new level of appreciation for TFT and the impact the staff truly has on shaping the campers' experiences. I loved the balance between community service, cultural exploration, and exhilarating adventures. Everyday brought something new and different, especially as we traveled across the country to experience the natural beauty, bustling cities, and breathtaking islands Thailand has to offer. I can't recommend this trip enough for future campers and am so excited to continue working with TFT in the future! Go TFT!

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Colleen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Thailand Elephants and Explores

I got to go on the Thailand Elephant and Explores trip with TFT this summer! It was my 4th trip with TFT and one of my favorites. We got to do amazing service work taking care of elephants at an elephant sanctuary, getting to work hands on with the enormous animals. We also got to go on a two-day white-water rafting trip down the Pai river, which allowed us to see Thailand from a completely different perspective. The food on the trip was delicious, and every activity we did was so much fun! staff were always there to help and answer any questions I may have had. The counselors on my trip were approachable, fun, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable of the country we were in. They made sure the trip ran smoothly the entire time, as well as making sure everyone on the trip was having a good time!
got to learn so much about the Thai culture thanks to Travel for Teens.

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Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Kelsey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Allie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Amy
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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kendra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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HC
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
I don't think the program needed much improvement.
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Abby
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Nataleena
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Jenny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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