When we have kids many of avoid taking long vacations including travel until they are a little older. Traveling with babies and toddlers can be a nightmare. Then, they get older, and you realize that traveling with teens might actually be worse. They want nothing less than to be on vacation with their parents. They want to be left alone, they don’t want family time, and they can refuse to have fun, just to make a point. But, if you plan well and involve them, vacationing with teens doesn’t need to be tough. It can actually be wonderful.
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Let Them Help
One of the things teenagers hate more than anything else is being treated like a child. One of the reasons they hate going away with their parents is that they are still pushed into the child bracket. The plans are dictated to them, and they are expected to go along with everything and do as they are told. You may also be stricter than you are at home because you are worried about their safety in a new place.
The best way to get them excited about the vacation is by letting them help you plan it. Ask for their help. Make sure they understand that when booking a trip, you need to think about the needs of the whole family, but that their input is valued.
Another way to get them excited is planning activities for while you are away. Spend some time online together researching the area and looking for things that you want to do. Things like Snowmobiling in Yellowstone can be great as they are fun, but a little more grown up. Try to let them pick things, even if it involves you doing something that you wouldn’t usually. Remember, it’s their holiday too.
Give Them Space
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Teenagers hate to be crowded or forced to participate. They need their own space and freedom. This will help them to relax but also show that you trust them. If at all possible book accommodation that allows them to have their own room. If that’s not possible, they may prefer sleeping in the lounge to sharing with a younger sibling. Ask them what they want.
Then, when you arrive, trust them to go off on their own sometimes. Explain the boundaries and ensure they know where everything is and how to reach you. Then let them go and have a little freedom. How far you go will depend on their age and maturity, it’s up to you to decide.
Teenagers hating going away with their parents isn’t a new thing. Think back. I bet you hated it at times too. Even if you enjoyed family holidays, there were probably times when you were bored or felt babied. Remember how you felt, what it was like and try to be as understanding as you can. Don’t try to force them to engage or do anything that they don’t want to; it will only make things worse.
Don’t forget to choose the perfect bag to take along. Check out this duffle bag, it will meet all of your needs!
Family holidays don’t last forever, so try to make the most of it while you can.