Family vacations are always exciting moments to look forward to, but as kids grow, a lot changes. It means that parents have to think things over before planning a family vacation and other activities. Gone are the days they could quickly plan out their kids’ days.
The teenage years are crucial because they set the pace for adulthood. Teenagers should be able to enjoy their lives while at the same time, become responsible individuals who know how to prioritize. Family vacations should be a time to have fun and learn a few lessons about life and people. Here are a few tips that will make vacationing with teenagers blissful.
Choose Adrenaline Packed Activities
Teenagers have a lot of energy, making them opt for adrenaline-packed activities. They are at a stage when they need to explore and conquer everything around them. To keep them under control, plan for energy-intensive activities.
Think outside the box when planning for a vacation with teenagers. The ordinary or the same vacation destinations will bore them quickly. Choose new places every time and activities that have lots of sports and games. At the same time, choose hotel accommodations with swimming pools or other water facilities so they can always look forward to staying indoors.
Also, note that adult-themed tours with guides tend to be boring to teenagers. Hours listening to historical events, dates, and even the usual spiel about local attractions can make them restless or sleepy. The same tours for adults are suitable for teenagers, but it would be better to include some activities they will enjoy like trampolining, rock climbing, zip-lining, hiking, and bike riding.
Choose Destinations that Offer a Wide Range of Activities
Teenagers get bored quickly doing the same thing over and over again. For instance, if they are at the beach, they will want to do more than just chilling under the sun. Choose destinations that can provide them with a wide range of activities they will enjoy.
For instance, an amusement park will give teenagers lots of thrills while giving parents a chance to relax. A ski resort will be an excellent place for teenagers who want to experience snow up close and personal, while the adults can always find recreation in any of the hotel lounges or bars.
Allow them Time to Themselves
Teenagers will sometimes want to explore or indulge in some activities away from the rest of the family. Sometimes, they might want to relax in their room and chat with their friends. Letting them have this kind of time will not do any harm to them or the family.
If they want to go out on their own, give them the freedom as long as you set time limits. Exploring the area on their own makes them more independent and responsible.
Involve Them in Making the Plans
Let the teenagers have a say when making plans to avoid conflicts and ensure you choose activities and destinations everyone will enjoy. Discuss with them all the possible things they can do when traveling and listen to their opinions.
Doing so lets them know you respect their choices and that you are not just bossing them around. It even helps strengthen your bond as they feel they’re essential members of the family. Go the extra mile to honor their wishes as long as they’re reasonable and don’t violate your values and overall vacation plans.
Allow them to Bring Along a Same Age Relative or Friend
Teenagers have more fun when around like-minded people or age mates. They’ll relate better, enjoy the vacation and not get bored quickly. However, if you have two or more teenagers in the house, you don’t have to invite someone else to keep them company unless they request.
Join them in the Activities
You might not have the energy to keep up with the teen’s newfound zest for life, but you can at least try to enjoy some of the activities with them. This way, you get to bond better and have an idea of how they feel.
Check out their enthusiasm level to know if they’re enjoying themselves or not. If the kids seem bored, ask if they would prefer doing something else. To manage this, keep a flexible schedule. Have two or three events planned, then let them choose what to do for the rest of the day.
Let Them Sleep In
Teens need more sleep than their parents because they’re still growing, dealing with all the hormonal and sleep cycle changes. Letting them sleep in for one or two hours in the morning might make a big difference in their mood and productivity during the day.
To achieve this, have lazy mornings, then pack in more activity in the afternoon and evenings. For instance, you can all go out for dinner, enjoy a bonfire, fireworks or play games in your rooms.
Allow Some Time on their Gadgets
Although you wouldn’t want them to be on their phones or other devices all the time, setting some time aside when they can use their gadgets is alright. It gives them a chance to stay in touch with their friends and other important people.
You can make this time-limited; for instance, set a rule to use their devices after dinner or after watching the fireworks display. The gadgets can be a valuable distraction when on long journeys.
Encourage them to Meet the Locals
Teenagers tend to shy away from making new friends. Allow them some time to get used to the new location, then encourage them to chat with the locals or other vacationers their age. Socializing enables teenagers to make new friends they can play or spend time with during the trip.
You can encourage them by making an effort to join in initially. Engage in friendly chit-chat with everyone, then let your teens take the lead after that. However, make sure they don’t go out of bounds by partying with strangers. Also, encourage them to try the local delicacies and learn a few words in the local language.
As you get to know your teenager better, you’ll realize that vacationing together is not as hard as it sounds. You’ll find out how to include them in the planning and what sort of activities they like. If you do this, teens will feel comfortable around you and want to go on more vacations with you and the entire family.