One of the best things parents can do with teenagers is travel. Even though this experience can be quite challenging for parents, when managed well trips taken with teenagers can be fun-filled and yield a lifetime of happy memories. Teens are old enough and mature enough to take on some interesting and challenging destinations without needing the sort of care and ‘looking after’ required by younger children. In this article, we will introduce some ideas to help you make the most of travel with teens.
Make sure your trip is a team effort. Involve your teens in the planning of the trip right from the start. Gather travel information and go over it together. Check out guidebooks at the library, watch videos online and find out all you can about the places you are considering visiting. Once you have settled on a destination, work together to choose activities everyone will enjoy and plan an itinerary that is comfortable for all travelers. Actively engage your teens in conversation about your upcoming trip. Ask for their assistance in learning about specific attractions. When on the road, give your teens tasks to accomplish such as map reading, navigating, taking photos or keeping a diary of your journey.
Consider the benefits of organized travel, such as cruises and tours. Most teens like being part of a group. You could have your teens seek out interesting package tours online to comprise at least a portion of your trip. Package tours and cruises are nice for parents and teens because they generally offer lots of activities and choices in a safe setting. If you are planning a long family journey, a short cruise in the midst of it may give everyone a much needed break and breather.
Remember the point of traveling together as a family. Your goals are to enjoy one another’s company and have quality family time and to enjoy and learn about new and different places and peoples. For this reason, teens should not bring along MP3 players, iPads, handheld computer games and so forth. They should be encouraged to enjoy the travel destination and the company instead. This may present some challenges at first, but if you have planned a truly interesting and engaging trip, your teens should get over their withdrawal symptoms pretty quickly.
Be sure to make plans that will provide privacy and quiet time for everyone in your party. If you are staying at hotels or motels, book adjoining rooms. If you are camping, bring plenty of tents so that each camper can have space and privacy. This is also a good idea for RV travel. Having a few pup tents on hand that can be set up near the RV can add welcome space for rest and relaxation.
Even though you want to enjoy your travel to the fullest, remember to schedule adequate downtime. If you spend your entire vacation rushing from one attraction or event to another, you will end up stressed and frazzled. Be sure to get plenty of rest during your vacation. Limit the number of things you do in a day and plan wisely so that you don’t spend a lot of time traveling from one thing to another during any given day. Finish up your day early enough to enjoy a good meal and some quiet time on most evenings.
Traveling and learning about new and different places can be an important part of teens transition from childhood to adulthood. By including your teens in every part of your trip from start to finish and making certain they are able to enjoy and appreciate the experience without distraction, you can have pleasant and enjoyable time. Follow the tips presented here to make the most of traveling with your teens.