9 Tips for Traveling with Teens
Traveling with teens is an entirely different ball game and one that many parents are hesitant to attempt. Constant eye rolling, mono syllabic grunts and heads buried in phones are enough to make even the most patient parent want to leave their teen at home on the next family vacation. All hope is not lost though. With these tips (and a lot of patience!) you can have a successful and, dare I say, fun time traveling with your teen!
1. Book Adjoining Rooms
Some teens need privacy. Forcing them to share a room with their parents is tantamount to being imprisoned. Giving teens their own space to retreat to after a long day of quality time will go a long way in making sure teen angst doesn’t take over and ruin your vacation.
2. Limit but don’t eliminate social media
I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to rip a device from my unsuspecting teen’s hands when we are traveling. Like it or not, teens want to feel connected to their friends, especially when on vacation. Instead of banishing phones for the entire trip, set limits on when they can and cannot use them. For example, phones are put away while you are eating or exploring, but can be pulled out in the car or when you get back to the hotel.
3. Let your teen help plan
Involve them in the vacation planning process. Give them a short list of destinations and let them do some research on their own. Letting them help plan will get them excited and looking forward to the trip. It also allows them to share in the responsibility of making the vacation a success.
If you want to spend the morning touring your favorite art gallery and they aren’t into it, plan on letting them choose the afternoon activity. Compromise is a great skill to model for teens, and an excellent way to ensure cooperation from your teen.
5. Find a good hotel
This is not the place to cut expenses. Stay away from no frills, bare bones hotels just because they are cheaper. Look for a hotel with a pool, arcade or planned teen activities. All-inclusive resorts like Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort or Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa are great for this.
6. Choose your destination wisely
This ties into letting your teen help plan. While you might want to visit culturally rich destinations, your teen may get bored visiting countless museums and galleries. Choose a destination that has activities that you all will enjoy. Cruises and all-inclusive resorts are a great vacation choices because there is a wide variety of activities geared toward every age and interest.
Voluntourism is a hot trend right now and a great way to spend time with your teen while showing them the kind of impact they can have the world. Most teens love feeling like they are a part of something bigger than themselves and enjoy the sense of responsibility that comes with volunteering.
8. Allow for down time
Teens are a lot like toddlers, they get over stimulated and cranky with too much scheduled activity. Squeezing too much into one day is sure to send your teen into a tailspin of grunts and eye rolling. Work a couple of hours of downtime into your vacation plans and every one will be much happier.
9. Avoid early activities
Teens love their sleep, second only to their phones are their beds. Dragging them out of bed for an early morning breakfast and tour is a sure fire way to incur the wrath of the moody teen. Try to have breakfast in your hotel room and opt for a later start whenever possible. I promise everyone will be much happier!
Traveling with teens may take the patience of a saint, but it can be done and with just a little planning, you and your teen will have a fun and memorable vacation!
You may also enjoy:
- 7 Travel Tips for Larger Families
- Encourage Study Abroad Through Family Travel
- 5 Ways (and Reasons) to Get Social When You Travel!
- Get a Room & Survive a Rock Concert with your Tween
Hilton Mom Voyage writers receive free night certificates to use at Hilton Hotels & Resorts worldwide. To learn more, visit our About Us page.
Jordyn is a full-time mom, homeschooler and blogger. She has been married for 17 years and has six adventurous kids (five girls and one boy) that love…