As a traveling mom who’s been to numerous destinations with a teen, I am very well aware of how convoluted it can be to handle them. Dealing with teenagers is the most difficult phase of parenting, and most parents like to let their children be during this age and not bother, but I believe kids can be empowered and given liberty while keeping the unity and harmony in the family intact.
Most of this part has been strengthened during our trips which handed me many useful tips for a family vacation with teenage kids, not just on how to handle them but a bundle of places that can help your growing kids explore their personalities and enjoy this time to the max. So, let’s begin!
Tips on traveling with teens and tweens
- Their input is important
Most parents feel like asking growing children their opinion on the vacation is useless as their decisions will be naïve.
However, teenagers are always looking for opportunities to be included in adults to be perceived as worthy, so asking for their input makes them feel empowered and strengthens their decision-making skills. After all, parents can always guide them or explain why their decision isn’t correct.
Tip: my husband and I always bring Nathan in the loop and take his opinion under consideration. We choose the location to visit, but we ask him to choose the activities he’d like to engage in, the hotel he finds better, or the clothes he’d want to keep with him. It gives him a sense of satisfaction of being important in the family, and it all goes without any hassle. Of course, this will work for you as well. Win-win!
- Don’t sightsee places of their disinterest
The interests of the parents and children aren’t supposed to align; after all, they are a generation apart.
I remember this one trip to Venice where my husband was super excited to visit museums and historical places while Nathan was adamant about seeing the mad-colored houses of Burano. My son found the historical places boring, while my husband found the houses silly.
We had a pretty long argument, and then I decided to place my decision in favor of both of them. I decided that we’d go see the mad-colored houses in the evening if he visits the museum now. This evoked the odds altogether, and both of them made peace.
Tip: All you have to do is let teenagers visit one wacky, silly, or any unique place they want to per day. You can wait for them outside while they enjoy their time, which would keep all the pieces together. This makes for a great tip for a family vacation with teenage kids.
- Cut some slack on technology
Teenagers would agree that they can live without food but living without their phones is impossible. I know how all parents are frustrated by their children’s excessive use of technology; I am as well, especially during a vacation. However, asking them to stop using their phones all the time or taking them away can cause a bigger fuss. So, instead of forcing them to stop, allot them a specific time during the day when they can use their gadgets. This will limit their usage, keep them more focused on the sceneries around them and keep your nerves intact as well.
Tip: I usually allow Nathan to use his phone for 15 minutes while we are on the location to take pictures while traveling and forbid his usage when the family is together and talking. You can do the same.
- Let them explore
Teenagers want freedom. They are growing in an age where they don’t want their parents around all the time, keeping checks and tabs on their activities. So they will insist on allowing them to wander around the place all on their own. This might seem scary, but if you see it from a different angle, it is important to allow them to explore and develop on their own; that is the only way they are going to be confident about their own individuality.
Tip: I allowed Nathan to go where he wanted but assigned him a time limit by which he should be home and the distance till which he could go. In case he wanted to visit a place a bit far, I would go with him but sit outside or in a nearby café. There’s always a way to keep things under the radar!
- They want souvenirs
Another thing that annoys parents when traveling with kids is their incessant request for souvenirs. Unfortunately, most of us are usually on a budget when traveling, and we are not always in a position to allocate a considerable portion of that to their souvenirs.
In this case, the best to do is to hand them over a specific amount of money that they can spend throughout the trip. This way, they will feel empowered to spend their money themselves, inherit a sense of responsibility when it comes to spending money, and purchase the souvenir they feel is important.
Places to visit For family vacation with teenage kids
A successful family vacation with teens is where everyone engages themselves in activities that keep them in the best of moods. Teens are always enthusiastic when it comes to traveling so, it’s important to choose destinations and activities as per their liking.
If you are seeking a tropical paradise to kick start your vacation, then this is the ideal place to go with teenagers. It is a great spot with loads of teen-friendly activities to amuse yourself terrifically. Some of the thrilling activities that you can enjoy are:
Teens are always high on energy, and these activities are the classic fuel for them. So hit the beaches, catch the Oahu’s attractions, and let your kids pump up the adrenaline in their entire bodies.
Considering Orlando as your vacation spot for teenage kids as the best place comes as an almost no-brainer. The roller coaster ride and the adventure parks are the exact thrilling experience your kids are asking for. Let them go for:
- Airboat ride
Orlando is filled with teen-friendly activities, and you are guaranteed to have a fun-filled day as a family. I believe parents find their joy in their kid’s happiness, and seeing your children laughing and running around doing what they love is going to fill your heart with glee.
This is an amazing vacation spot when traveling with kids. It’s filled with a warm, amicable, and hospitable vibe with a broad range of lively activities for your kids’ leisure. The variety of restaurants, trails, hiking grounds, waterfall, and breathtaking views will make this of mutual interest for both the parents and the kids. Here are some of the exhilarating activities to keep you engaged:
- Horseback riding
- Fly fishing
- Ice skating
- Visit the Skylift theme park
- Pinball museum
This place is a major attraction for tourists, and your kids are bound to fall in love with it. West Yellowstone national park has infinite opportunities for amusement for teens; whether it’s the Old Faithful Geyser or the Hayden Valley, or the Elephant black mountain trail, you will have the time of your life. Have a look at the invigorating activities:
- Waterfall hiking
- Soaking in hot springs
It was an unforgettable experience for our family to travel to this destination, and I am pretty sure it would be the same for your family as well.
Traveling with kids and especially teenagers need to be tackled smartly. They need a lot of space, freedom, and empowerment for themselves, or they can ruin the mood of the entire trip. I have mentioned all the useful tips for a family vacation with teenage kids to help you have a peaceful and blissful trip.