When it’s time for the family vacation, teenagers and preteens may not be as excited as the rest of the family to venture out. In fact, teenagers/preteens will often have a fit about going away on vacation. However, parents don’t want to leave their children behind, especially if the destination is far away. The good news is that there are a couple of steps you can take to ensure that the vacation isn’t riddled with conflict. Thus the following includes some of the best tips to keep in mind when vacationing with teenagers and preteens.
Involve Your Teenager in the Vacation Plans
As stated above, teenagers and preteens are usually not all too excited to spend their free time with their parents. That is why it is so important to include them in the vacation plans. Even if they don’t want to be there, having them included in the plan-making process may help them at least be comfortable with the trip.
For example, if your teenager simply wants to play video games all day long and you want to relax at the beach, a cruise may be your best bet. If they are interested in a more curated experience, let them look though vacation rental options with you. Being a part of the planning early on will get them invested and excited for the trip.
Provide Your Teenager With a Budget
Teenagers often feel trapped when they are on vacation with their families. That is why it is recommended to offer them a bit of spending money or a budget throughout the duration of the trip. This allows them to explore the surrounding area without having to ask you for money or simply window shop. If you allow them to keep the remaining cash, this may be an incentive for them to refrain from doing too much.
If you involved them in the planning process, you can use it as a teachable moment when determining a fair budget. Ask your teen how much they think they will spend on food, souvenirs, and activities. Let them know what you plan on treating them to. For example, if you are going to buy each kid one souvenir, then they know to save their budget for whatever else they want.
Allow Them to Bring a Friend
If your teenager is an only child, a trip with just adults can be a downright nightmare for them. In order to detour that feeling, you may want to ask your teenager if they have a friend that would like to join along. If the price of an extra seat on the plane or room in the vacation rental isn’t too much for you and their friend’s parents give permission, this can be a great way to keep your teenager busy and prevent them from feeling trapped or alone.
Choose a Vacation That Appeals to Them
The same things your teen like as child might not be what interests them today. Going to Disneyland every year might be your highlight, but it could get old for your kids. Mix it up with something new. When choosing your destination, consider what they are interested in. Do they like nature or would they prefer stable internet access? Do they need to relax and enjoy the beach or would they like to experience a bustling city? Ask questions, show them videos or articles that highlight different vacation locations.
Consider Your Accommodations
Look for hotels, villas, cruises, or whatever accommodations you are interested in that offer amenities and activities for guests. This could include a gym, a pool, breakfast buffets, and other standard features. However, there are lots of locations that offer things like fitness classes or crafts for guests.
Additionally, take a look at the surrounding area. If there are places within walking distance to explore, this could interest your teen. If they know they can leave and get a snack or browse souvenir shops, they won’t be bored if you want to rest in the room after a day of activities.
Start New Traditions
Apart from the plan that you make to visit beaches, museums, and other tourist locations, you can make new family traditions for your vacations. Try bringing a deck of cards and playing games after dinner. Or you can bring small, easy-to-pack games such as Banagrams, Uno, or Zombie Dice. If your kids are big readers, you can get them new books just before leaving to keep them busy during the drive or the flight. Maybe you can get a small gift for your kid to open up each day you are on vacation. Starting a new tradition will make each subsequent vacation something special to look forward to.
Allow a Buffer for Time-Based Plans
Give yourself and your family a buffer for all the plans that you’ve made. It might be nice to wake up early and be the first to beach, theme park, or tourist spot, but forcing your kids to get out of bed before the sun is up might not feel like a vacation for them. Pushing out your plans to 10:00 or 11:00 AM might mean longer lines but happier kids. If you want to keep mornings smooth, have your kids layout their outfits for the day and make sure they know what the plan is for the morning so they have ample time to get ready and eat breakfast.
Teenage and preteen years are a time for discovery and exploration. Your kids might be more interested in browsing off-beat shops along road than the actual museum or tourist destination you have mind. Allow them to explore by buffering your timetable between activities.
As you can see from the information listed above, there are a number of ways to keep your teenager happy and engaged throughout your family vacation. Simply go through each one and see how you can tailor them towards your particular situation.
Getting your teenaged kids excited about a vacation might not be as easy as it sounds. Try involving them in the planning process to get them invested!