Traveling with teenagers can be both exciting and challenging, but with a bit of planning and flexibility, it can be a great way to bond and create lasting memories. Before you book your next getaway, here are some tips to help make your next trip with teenagers a success.
1. Get Them Involved
Involve them in the planning process. Teenagers are more likely to be excited about a trip if they have a say in where they go and what they do. Ask for their input on destinations, activities, and accommodations, and consider their preferences when making decisions.
When it comes time to take the trip, they’ll be more interested in doing the things they had a say in planning.
2. Snip the Apron Strings…at Least for a Bit
Give them some independence. While it’s important to keep your teens safe, it’s also important to give them some freedom to explore on their own. This can be as simple as letting them wander around a new city independently for a few hours or as complex as planning a day trip for them without adult supervision.
Of course, you know your kids best. Don’t send them out alone if they’re not ready for this!
3. Got WI-FI?
Plan for technology. Teenagers rely heavily on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops for communication and entertainment. Make sure to plan for this by finding accommodations with reliable WiFi and bringing extra charging cords and batteries.
You can also make it clear ahead of time when you expect them to be screen-free, like at the table or at a specific time at night.
4. Do What Interests Them
Look for activities that cater to their interests. Whether it’s shopping, adventure sports, or visiting historical sites, make sure to plan activities that your teens will enjoy. This will make the trip more enjoyable for everyone. If you followed tip number one, this will be easy.
5. Plan for Moody
Be prepared for mood swings. (I mean, it’s going to happen, so we might as well prepare for it.) Teenagers are known for their mood swings, and traveling can exacerbate this. Be prepared for moments of excitement and enthusiasm, as well as moments of boredom or homesickness. Be patient and understanding, and try to find activities to lift their spirits.
6. Set Your Budget Ahead of Time
Be mindful of your budget. Traveling with teenagers can be expensive, especially if you’re planning activities that cater to their interests. Be mindful of your budget and try to find deals and discounts whenever possible. Tell your teens what the budget limit is and let them help find activities that don’t bust the budget. Also, try not to take your frustrations out on them or make them feel guilty about how much excursions cost.
7. Stay Chill
Don’t forget to relax. Traveling with teenagers can be stressful, so don’t forget to take time to relax and unwind. This can be as simple as taking a day off to lounge on the beach or as luxurious as booking a spa day. Most teens don’t want to be on the go non-stop, so adding some downtime to your itinerary can make the trip more peaceful for everyone.
8. Remember How Much You Love Them
Traveling with teenagers can be a lot of fun if you plan ahead and prepare for the challenges that come with it. Remember to involve them in planning, give them some independence, plan for technology, and look for activities that cater to their interests.
9. Learn on the Go
Turn travel into a thrilling real-world classroom! Encourage your teens to explore museums, historic sites, or funky local spots to soak up knowledge like a fun-filled adventure. They’ll be learning without even realizing it!
10. Balance ‘We Time’ With ‘Me Time’
Make sure to mix up family activities with some solo time. Whether it’s a solo shopping spree, chilling with a book at a cool café, or just unwinding in the hotel room – it’s their mini-vacation within the vacation! They’ll love the freedom, and it’s a perfect recipe to keep the peace.
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Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.