You only have 18 years to make memories with your kids until they start wanting to vacation with their friends or significant other! Would you rather take the trip now or wish you had taken the trip then?
Now we all know, going on a trip with teens also can create stress for mom and dad. They are often hard to please, want to talk to their friends or be on social media all day, and like to sleep in on vacation! But you can find opportunities to travel with your teen or older child that will not only get them off their phones; they may even thank you for it. Read my top ten tips for traveling with teenagers and find out how you can avoid issues that might arise during your trip.
1. Plan the Vacation with Your Teens
Planning the vacation with teenagers will let you find out their interests and adjust accordingly. Your choice of destination, hotel, or food might be different from them, so it’s best to involve them in the planning stage of the vacation so you can also take into account their preferences.
2. Let Them Enjoy the Place on Their Own
Unlike younger children, you don't have to keep an eye on teens. You can allow them to discover new places with some freedom and see the world through their eyes. The sense of adventure and independence they will feel will make them enjoy the trip even more.
3. Set Rules
You may allow your kids to go off on their own during your vacation, but it doesn't mean that you can give them free rein. You can set rules on your trip to keep them safe and make them aware of the dangers of exploring unfamiliar places. Things like checking in at a particular time, not exploring alone, and keeping their cell phone charged are good rules.
4. Spend Quality Time Not Quantity Time
The main goal of your family vacation is to spend quality time with your family, right? Don't exhaust them by trying to visit all the places in a single day. You should schedule downtime during your vacation where you and your kids can talk about what you have experienced and let them share their thoughts with you and their friends through social media.
5. Avoid Your Vacation Becoming a Classroom Learning Session
Kids will learn a lot about the places (accidentally perhaps) that you visit on your vacation, so avoid making each moment a learning experience. They get burned out on school, so try to make your holiday a time where they can forget about studying or learning things even just for a moment and enjoy the experience.
6. Let Your Teen Bring a Friend
Perhaps, for local travel, where it may be less expensive, you can let your kids bring along a friend. Having someone their age to experience these destinations will be more fun.
7. Comfort is a Priority
Make sure that the clothes that your kids will bring are appropriate to the weather of the place that you are visiting and that they are comfortable with it. To celebrate the moment, you can also allow them to buy clothes that they will wear on vacation.
8. Keep Teenagers Connected
Teenagers must communicate with their friends. It will also make it more enjoyable to share their experiences with their friends in real-time, so buying a data plan during your trip is a must if you are traveling with teenagers. They can connect while you have your downtime.
9. Be an Example
As an adult and a parent, you should always set an example for your kids. Nowhere is this more true than in another country with new and different cultures. Be mindful of the customs and traditions of the places that you visit and be an example to your children. Discussing your expectations before you leave home is a great idea!
10. Be Flexible
Teens typically go to bed later than adults, and this could derail your itinerary, especially if you are following a strict schedule. When planning, try to take note of this and make compromises on some activities if you can. Look for destinations where eating dinner late, and sleeping in won't mean you miss all of the fun!
Teens make great travel companions, especially if you take into consideration their preferences. By not expecting them to meet you at your level every step of the way and giving them a little autonomy, you can both have a very memorable vacation! If you want to take a trip with your teen or tween but have no idea where to start, click on the “Let’s Chat" button below and we will have a free, 15-minute call to talk about your travel dreams!