To unlock the secrets of traveling peacefully with your teenagers, check out these tips from ASTA:
Space, the First and Final Frontier
Teenagers need space like fish need water. Give them space by selecting accommodations that offer more than just one room, such as a suite, or book adjacent rooms if the budget permits. Mental space is important too, so do not plan a schedule jam-packed with activities for every minute of the day. Have plenty of time for relaxing.
They’ll Love It When a Good Plan Comes Together
Planning is an important step of every vacation. If you want to plan a trip your teenager will get excited about, the solution is easy: get them involved with the planning.
Brainstorm with your entire family and listen to their input. Your teen may surprise you with some of things he or she might like to do on vacation. Once the family plan is in place, keep your teen involved by putting them in charge of at least one aspect of the trip. If they’re good with maps, make them the navigator. Do they have an eye for photos? Make them the official vacation photographer, in charge of not only taking photos during the trip, but also of compiling the album once you return.
They Love the Night Life, But They Don’t Love to Boogie
Going out at night is a necessity for teenagers, so it’s vital to visit an area with many nightlife options. Your travel agent will know which towns or resorts have something going on in the evening, and how to avoid quiet communities where they close the streets at 5 p.m. You should aim to go places where teens are, so that your kids can hang out with others in their age group.
Even if they don’t feel like going out, you can still give them the night off to simply chill out in the hotel while you enjoy the nightlife. Let them rent a movie and order room service.
Dollars and Sense
Set a budget with your teens for incidental spending and stick with it. One good idea is to make a deal with your teens, stating that they will get a percentage of the money left over at the end of the vacation. This often works in reducing the number of “I wants” that escape their lips.
Let your teens sleep in as much as your schedule allows. It’s a win-win situation. They happily get to sleep in, and you have time for a quick nine holes on the course or a trip to the spa. Teens love to sleep late, and research has shown that their body clocks demand it.
Food for Thought
Part of experiencing a new destination is enjoying the local cuisine. While most travelers look forward to this savory part of world discovery, teens often fear it, Allow them the occasional fast food trip to cleanse their delicate palates.
Take a CyberBreak
As many parents can attest to, it’s difficult at times to pry your teenagers off their computers. While a vacation is a great opportunity for teens to experience the World Wide without the Web, don’t force them to quit cold turkey. Make it easy for them to stay in touch with their friends back home by visiting cyber-cafes.