It isn't easy to bring teenagers on a family vacation. They tend to be moody, attached to their electronic gadgets & may prefer to sleep until noon than get up for an early morning activity you suggest. However, luxury travel with adolescents can be just as relaxing & enjoyable with the right planning & strategizing. Next time you're planning a getaway with your kids, consider these tips for a smooth & memorable trip from start to finish:
Involve them from the get-go Teenagers are typically Internet-savvy, so be sure to include them in the research process when you're planning a vacation. They may even be able to discover some information about resorts or attractions that you would not have uncovered. Additionally, having a say in the trip gives them a sense of control. Whatever your teen's specific interests are, they can be incorporated into the trip. Are they passionate about art? Have them look into local galleries or museums. Are they a budding foodie? They can pick the restaurant for your first & last night. Plus, it takes some of the planning pressure off of you.
Have a no-tech zone Taking a teen's smartphone, tablet or any other type of gadget away from them for an entire week might cause a major screaming match. Instead of going to an extreme, set some ground rules for when they can plug in. For example, you might decide that they can text, Facebook & search the Web all they want after dinner. You could also simply decree that they can only use their mobile devices when in the hotel room. This kind of compromise will mean your teens aren't miserable & you still get ample bonding time.
Give them some freedom Teenagers are on the brink of adulthood, so they crave independence. Consider booking a suite that gives them enough space as well as privacy. Additionally, consider things they can do safely on their own – even if it's just a poolside lunch. It's helpful to research resorts that have age-appropriate on-site activities, such as surfing lessons or a teen-friendly nightclub. Setting them free to explore will allow you some time to breathe & will give them something to tell you about at mealtime.
Don't forget chill time When you're tired & stressed, an argument is far more likely to erupt. So although you may be tempted to squeeze in back-to-back activities on your vacation, it's important to factor in some downtime. After teenagers get their energy out jet-skiing or hiking through the rain forest, make sure you have a couple hours just to chill in a hammock or in the hotel room.