Planning and taking a vacation with tweens and teens can be difficult because the kids want to assert their independence and you want some family time.
Here are some Vacation Planning Tips for happy family vacations:
- Let the kids be part of the planning process- Get the kids involved but don’t let them take over the planning. Offer them 2-3 different destinations and let them choose the one that interests them the most. Once you’ve settled on the destination, let them help researching options for activities, sights to see and restaurants to try. While you don’t have to use all of them, integrate a few ideas into the vacation.
- Have an Itinerary or some sort of schedule- Winging it each day is a recipe for disaster with teens and tweens, especially if their top choices for an activity or adventure isn’t available or may be sold out. But the reverse is also true. Don’t pre plan every minute. Allow for some spontaneity.
- Consider a travel company that may cater to your kids’ age group– Rather than doing it alone, we have access to some great travel companies that offer group tours for families. You won’t have to figure out all the details and your kids will be around others their age. These can have tours in both the US and around the world.
- Detach from their devices– this may be the hardest tip of all. We know how phones are glued into their hands. Letting go of them for a while can open up the world to your kids, even if it’s only for part of the day. With some of the more out of the way destinations, internet access may be spotty so that would be a plus in itself when choosing a destination
- Give them some space- After living through the year of lockdown, you’ll want to give the kids some space. At a resort, there are teen clubs where adults aren’t allowed. Let them play beach volley ball or just lay on the beach. There may be some museums, zoos, and hotel activities where kids don’t need to be accompanied by an adult. Set rules on when and where you’ll meet up with them and give them a couple of hours to explore and be a kid.