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Unlocking Stress-Free Family Travel: 6 Tips for Smooth Trips with Teenagers


There’s a difference between travelling with children and teenagers. Your adolescent child, in many ways, is easier to travel with: they’re old enough to explore and understand where they’re visiting and have more energy for longer days. However, their desire for independence can be challenging while travelling. Here are some ways to ensure that vacations and outings with your teenager bring you closer together and create memories to last a lifetime. 

Include Your Teen In The Planning 

Your teens are old enough to plan activities and itineraries for your trip. Encourage them to research and even pick their destinations. Give them a certain amount of veto power as well. Your teens don’t want to feel forced to go on a trip with you. Instead, they should feel like this is their trip. That doesn’t mean they only do things that they want to do. Balance activities that interest you, them, and everyone. 

Encourage Them To Pack 

Travelling offers an opportunity for independence and responsibility. Help your teenager brainstorm what they’ll need on vacation and have them pack it themselves. Ensure that your children don’t forget essential items. If they do overpack, remind them that they’re responsible for carrying their bags during transit. If you’re flying, explain weight limits but make this about your teenager, not about you. 

Don’t Take Away Their Electronics 

For many teens, their phones and games contribute to their relaxation and offer some stability while travelling. But you don’t want your teens spending your entire holiday staring at their phones. Chat about screen time expectations and safe internet use before you go away, so your teen knows what to expect, and you’re not fighting with them to get off the screens.

Food Is Very Important 

Making sure everyone is well-fed while travelling is important at any age, but even more important for your teens. If your teenager is in a growth spurt, leave plenty of time for breakfast, second breakfast, snacks, and more. The last thing you want is a hungry teen. Also, don’t expect your teens to only want to eat the area’s cultural food. Let them try food they’re comfortable with, and don’t force them to eat food they don’t like. 

Keep A Flexible Schedule 

When travelling with any young person, it’s important to leave room in the schedule. Your teenager might get tired, need to stop eating, or not want to do an activity you previously planned. Keeping an open mind with your itinerary will make you less disappointed and more likely to work with your child when difficulties inevitably arise. 

Let Them Do Their Own Thing 

Your adolescent probably won’t want to spend every waking moment with you. That’s ok. Let your teenager spend time at the hotel while you explore. If there are safe places, let them explore a neighbourhood to make their own discoveries. You don’t have to do everything together while travelling. Encourage a mix of both. 

The most important thing to do while travelling with teenagers is to have fun. Even if they don’t look like they’re having a good time now, they’ll appreciate these trips and the memories you’re making together. 

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