Traveling with Teens: Things to Consider Before You Go
1. Timing. Just because you’ve decided it’s time for a family vacation doesn’t mean your teen is ready to drop everything and hit the road. Consider their schedules. Are they working a part-time job? Will taking two weeks off with the family place their job in jeopardy? Are they playing any sports that have games or matches scheduled during the time you want to go?
2. Distance. A cross-country road trip with the family does NOT equate to fun for your teen. You’re the parent. No matter how “cool” you might think you are, your teen doesn’t want to spend endless hours with you in a car. If you’re going to drive, keep the distance within reason. Make the trip as enjoyable as possible by letting your teen pick the music. (If their music choice is absolutely unbearable, headphones are a great alternative.) And by all means, stay away from forced sing-alongs and “I spy” games unless your teen seems genuinely receptive to the idea.
3. Location. Pick a destination that appeals to both you and your teen. Are there activities geared specifically to their age group? Are there sights you’d like to see on your own? Your teen will be more likely to look forward to the trip, instead of dread it, if you keep their interests at heart.
4. Friends and Family. From a teen’s perspective, nothing beats traveling with a peer. Whether it’s a cousin of the same age or a friend from school, traveling with someone they relate to (and can talk to) can make all the difference in the world – for them, and for you.