If you’re planning a vacation for the whole family, there are a few things you can do to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone — even the bigger kids! Traveling with teenagers may seem like a daunting endeavour, but with a little forethought and planning, you could be in for the vacation of a lifetime. Discover our helpful tips for planning a trip with teens.
1) Involve them at the outset.
The simplest way to avoid an eye-roll or an unenthusiastic attitude is to give your teen some input from the very beginning. Discuss destinations, itineraries, and activities with them, and encourage them to do some research on their own. Giving them this sense of ownership will usually result in a more excited traveler. Let your teenaged child plan a day of activities, or choose a few special outings or excursions they’re most interested in.
2) Build in some downtime.
Down time is important for everyone, but it may be especially important to your teen who likes to sleep in, listen to music, or read a book on their own for a little while. Make sure your daily itineraries don’t all begin at 7am — instead, give them some time to relax, recharge, and start the day on their own terms.
3) Don’t force them to (completely) unplug.
It seems everywhere you go today you can find WiFi service. Encourage your teenagers to take advantage of a break from their phones and other gadgets, but don’t take them away completely. Let them snap a few photos, or peruse the internet from time to time (especially when surfing involves learning more about your destination!).
4) Give a little.
Family vacation can be a great time to give your teens a little freedom. Give them the chance to stay behind on an outing or two, and if you’re comfortable with it, let them explore a little. Doing a little navigating on their own, and discovering a few sights on their own, may be just what they need to enjoy the family trip to the fullest.
5) Be flexible.
If gathering input and ideas from your teens at the outset wasn’t much of a success, be open-minded to their suggestions along the way. When you’re out exploring together, or in your rooms scouring local guides and brochures, say “yes” to a few of the activities and attractions they come across and are eager to explore.
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