Traveling with your teen isn’t something to be taken lightly. Finding a trip that’s fun enough to convince your kid to unplug from every electronic device — often while still being fun for younger kids — can be a challenge. A happy teen can turn a family trip into a lasting memory. But, a grumpy adolescent can ruin the trip for everyone else.
If you are looking for inspirational ideas for fun vacations for teens, this article is the place to start. We’ll walk you through a variety of options that will please every member of the family; ensuring that you make lasting memories for everyone involved.
Tips for Travel Planning
Creating a trip where your kids aren’t rolling their eyes at every stop is trickier than it sounds. Convincing your teen to leave their friends for a week or longer isn’t easy. Especially in the summer. For this reason, it’s vital to tailor your travel for teens. So that they find the experience worthwhile and exciting, too. The following tips and realistic expectations can make planning a trip that works for everyone easier.
Skip Morning Activities:
As much as you might want to get up at the crack of dawn, teenagers usually prefer to sleep in. That’s actually not so much of a preference, as it is biology. Teens go to sleep and get up later than younger kids, it’s a fact of life. Planning afternoon and evening activities instead is a way to limit the instances of grumpiness.
Involve them in the Planning Process:
Your teen likely has an idea of what an ideal vacation entails, so take their input seriously. Your teen may be able to cross something off their travel bucket list. However, it will also help them feel like they have ownership over the entire trip. That can go a long way in making them actually want to be there.
Allow Activities to Be Optional:
Even the best teens need breaks from their families once in a while. You can relieve the pressure during vacation time by making it clear that some activities are optional. If your teen needs some time to Facetime with friends, that’s perfectly fine.
Take Work Schedules into Consideration:
First jobs for teens is an exciting milestone. So, not all of them are eager to take time off work to vacation with their family. Make sure to have a respectful conversation with your child about their job. And ensure that your travel schedule makes sense for everyone.
With a little encouragement, teens can be the most enthusiastic members of your travel group. The following tips are great places to start for planning everyone’s ideal trip.
The Grown-Up Life Experience
Teens hate being treated like children, so why not give them an experience that’s thoroughly adult? You can see a Broadway show together, or take watercolor classes. If your finances allow it, go all out. They can get a full spa treatment or dinner at a truly nice restaurant. Your teen will remember how empowered and grownup the trip made them feel long after it ends.
Board a Cruise
Parents love cruises because a prepaid trip makes everything effortless once you hit the boat. Likewise, many have great entertainment options for kids and adults alike. Teenagers will especially appreciate the entirely unlimited access to food that they don’t have to pay for or cook themselves.
Most cruises offer a lot of opportunities for fun and activities. And, you don’t have to check your bank balance every time your kids ask to do something.
You can think of these resorts a bit like a cruise on land. Everything is paid for in advance, and all the entertainment is available onsite. The Mexican Riviera Maya is especially famous as if offers a little of everything, from beautiful beaches to water sports and Mayan ruins.
You can keep boredom far away by encouraging kids to take part in adventure-based trips. Many outdoor excursion companies offer teen tours for activities like skiing, surfing, or rappelling. You can go as simple as a family bicycle trip or as complex as hiring a guide to take you rock climbing; the choice is entirely up to you.
There are plenty of ways to encourage your adolescents growing interests with a themed vacation. Take a budding chef on a cooking tour of Italy. Or, go on an extended horseback riding trip with a young equestrian. There’s a good chance your trip will only encourage this passion in the future.
Most teens are adrenaline junkies. You can cater to this thrill-seeking side with a trip to a coaster-filled amusement park. Young children can still find plenty of rides that are more their speed. This ensures everyone leaves the park happy.
No matter what kind of vacation you plan for your family, the key is creating an experience that no one will forget. A little planning now, and taking the time to consider your teen’s interests ensures that you create a cherished experience of family bonding.