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Whatever type of vacation your family may decide to embark on, try to make every holiday an adventure.  The tips offered on this page can be used year round for every type of 

Travelling with Teenagers brings a whole new aspect to the Family Vacation.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning a holiday with teens and for making your vacation an enjoyable experience for all members of the family.

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Communication is key to helping all members of the family enjoy a vacation.  Take the time to LISTEN to their concerns without minimizing them.   If the family vacation is a yearly or regular experience for your family, planning and expectations will follow a natural progression that allows for the changes taking place as your child grows into a teenager.  Here are some suggestions to help improve communication with your teenager:

  • Take the time to know your teenager.  What they like to do, eat and how they react to situations.  Being able to gage their moods can help to avoid confrontations on vacation that will affect the whole family.  Nobody wants to be unhappy on a holiday.  

  • Just as with younger children, sometimes as parents we need to adjust daily plans and be flexible to accommodate our children.  

  • Parents occasionally forget that their teenagers, while seeming grown up, still want mom or dad to pay attention to them too.

  • Explain to your teenager what you, as parents expect from them and ask them what they would like from you.  

  • Think like a  teenager and keep an open mind.  

  • Set ground rules for curfews and discuss safety concerns that will allow for some independence while still providing limitations.

  • Pick your battles - in other words - try not to sweat the small stuff  while maintaining limits and control over the big stuff.

  • Teenagers need to feel like adults - treat them as such with compromises.  Explain WHY as part of your decisions instead of just "BECAUSE I SAY SO".

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When you begin planning a family vacation with teenagers, take the time to talk and LISTEN to their wants and needs.  Ask them to do the same.  Taking the time to do this in a calm, controlled, quiet environment will go a long way in helping to decide what to do and where to go on that vacation.   

Giving them a say in the decision process reduces the feeling of lack of control that teenagers typically struggle with as they mature.  Some other suggestions include:

  • Look for a destination that will provide some adventure, attractions or activities that will attract and occupy your teenager and provide a  social environment for them.  Some suggestions when looking for a destination include:

  • When Planning the vacation, get as much information as you can.  Provide your teenager with brochures on the hotel/resort, local attractions, area maps.  Knowledge goes a long way to alleviating fears of the unknown.  

  • Consider taking a friend along.  Talk to your teenager about this to discuss arrangements. Consider this carefully as it will add a different dimension to your holiday and added responsibility.  Ensure that you have the proper documentation for the friend you are bringing along.  Discuss the financial and travel arrangements with the friend's parents.

  • Plan some activities that are geared towards teenagers see Tips on Enjoying Live Theatre with Children

  • For Grandparents taking teens see Tips on Travelling With Grandchildren

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Having your teenager feel a part of the whole experience of a family vacation means getting them involved.  Different ways to involve your teen might be to: 

  • Let your teenager do their own packing.  Make sure they take some comfortable shoes, clothes, something to entertain them, but Put them in Charge.

  • Have them go out and buy something special to take along, maybe a book, cd or tape, or a special item of clothing that they have had an eye on.

  • If the vacation is during the school year, talk to their teacher about taking some work with them or keeping a journal as an assignment.  While your teen may not be thrilled about this, a vacation during school time can also be a great learning experience.  A camera can also be fun for a teen to record their holiday, take pictures of friends they may meet and places they go to show their friends back home.

  • Consider adjoining rooms - this provides privacy for both teens and parents - especially if friends are coming along.

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Ready to go - getting there is half the fun, lets hope so- try these tips: 

  • Many teens really enjoy music.  Personal CD/tape players with earphones can help relieve boredom and - don't forget batteries.  

  • Surprising them with a new cd or tape (check with their friends) is a neat idea.

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  • Consider getting a personal DVD Player for movies, cds and dvds.

  • If you are travelling by car take turns listening to the radio - try some new stations just for fun.  

  • Go to Car Travel Tips and Travel Games for more ideas and travel tips.

  • Have everyone, including teens wear comfortable clothes.  

  • Being well fed and having plenty of fluid available makes any traveller more relaxed, including teens.

  • Provide a map - let them keep track of where you are, how many miles to go, how many you have already travelled - keep a log.

  • Take the time to have a family conversation.  Talk about other family trips and relive some family experiences. 

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Well, you have arrived at your destination.  These tips are designed to offer some freedom and independence to your teen while still keeping safety in mind:

  • When you check in, get a separate key for your teenager.  This allows a feeling of independence, but set some ground rules, for example - no strangers in the room, trying not to lose the key, etc.

  • Give them a layout of the hotel/resort and discuss where they can and can't go.  Insist that they tell you where they are going, set and follow through on curfews and which activities they can participate in.

  • Go over safety concerns - see TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS for more information.  Be aware of area locations, resort boundaries - Do teens have to stay on hotel property or can they do some daytime exploring.

  • Consider a darkness rule - an example may be that teens must check in at dusk or set a time and location to meet. Teach them to avoid secluded areas, beach and other areas at night.  Remind them not to go anywhere with strangers.  Extra discussions may be given to girls about this.

  • Use the buddy system.  This is where bringing a friend comes in handy.

  • Let them choose some restaurants or let them dine with friend they brought along or have met, on their own.

  • Independence with limits works well with teens.  Respect them, take turns with family activities and plan them together.

  • Provide some financial independence as well - set a budget for them to follow.

  • Offer choices in activities and provide positive feedback when teens work with family expectations.

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No matter how good the communication is between parents and their teens, a conflict may arise some where along the way during your family vacation.  Here are some tips to remember that may help resolve a conflict without too much stress and hard feelings:

  • Try and maintain a calm demeanor when conflicts occur.

  • Be conscious of your teens feelings and explain your feelings in a rational manner.

  • Embarrassment is a major concern for teens.  Use discretion when difficulties occur.  Use this to your advantage too.  Show them that you are trying to take their concerns into account but that their behaviour may be embarrassing you as well.

  • Put the problem solving in their court.  If they want to do something that conflicts with your plans or raises safety concerns, see if they can find a reasonable solution.

  • Sometimes everyone needs a time out - Agree to disagree.  Suggest that maybe the matter be discussed at a later time when everyone has had a chance to chill-out and think about the problem.  

  • Perhaps the conflict needs to be settled in private.  Suggest this as a way of diverting the tension.

  • Distraction works well with younger children, try it with your teenager too.

  • Showing your teen that you can be reasonable goes a long way in teaching them how to be the same.  

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All Tips are offered as suggestions only

While we have tried to provide you with a list of suggestions to help parents when travelling with children to keep them safe, unfortunately, we can’t think of everything and it is the responsibility of parents to ensure their children’s safety.

 

For Tips on Taking a Dude Ranch Vacation Click on

Click here for tips on taking a Dude Ranch Vacation

For Tips on Travelling with Grandchildren Click Below:

Tips on Travelling with Grandchildren

For travel news on destinations and more that may interest teens Click Below:

The Dangers of All-Terrain Vehicles and Safety Tips from National Safe Kids.

Walt Disney World for Teens, Orlando, Florida

To view Travel News about Hotels and Resorts Click Below:

Click here to view travel news about Resorts and hotels

To view Travel News about Family Attractions Click Below:

Click here to view Travel News about Family Attractions

To view Travel News about Ski Resorts Click Below:

Click here to view travel news about Ski Resorts

To view Travel News about Destinations Click Below:

Click here to view travel news about destinations

See the following sections for specific tips:

For All-inclusive Vacation Tips Click Below:

Click here for tips on taking an All-inclusive Vacation

For Car Travel Tips Click on

Click here to view tips to help make car travel fun

For Air Travel Tips Click on

Click here to help make air travel fun

For Train Travel Tips Click on

Click here for tips on taking a Family Train Trip

For Spring Car Care Tips Click Below:

Click here for spring car care tips

For Travel Tips - Children with Severe Allergies Click on

Click here for tips on travelling with children with severe allergies

For Tips on Buying Toys Click Below:

Click here for tips on buying toys for children

For Amusement Park Tips Click Below

Click here for amusement park tips

For Tips on Eating out with Children Click Below:

Click here for tips on eating out with children

For Tips on Who and What to Tip Click Below:

Click here for Tips on When and What to Tip

For Tips on Enjoying Live Theatre with Children Click Below:

Click here for tips on Enjoying Live Theatre with Children

 For Games to Play while travelling, Click Below

Games to make Travel Fun, car games, picnic games, instructions and tips

 

For Winter - Ski Holiday Tips Click on

Click here for winter/ski holiday tips

For Motion Sickness Tips Click on

click here for tips on motion sickness

For Tips on Taking Pictures Click Below:

Click here for tips on Taking Pictures

For Tips on Protecting Your Home Click Below:

Click here for Tips on Protecting Your Home from Burglary

For Travel Safety Tips  Click Below

Click here to view Travel Safety Tips

 

 

To Return to Travel Tips Click Below

Click here to return to Travel Tips

 

 

 

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