Tips for Traveling with Teens

If you have survived the toddler years, you might think that your days of tiresome travel are behind you. However, teenagers are their own breed and often pose a unique set of challenges that can put any family vacation on a one-way track to frustration. However, with a little bit of planning ahead, you can keep your trip on track.

Plan with them.

Make sure that your teenager is part of the decision process when it comes to deciding where to go and what to do. He or she will feel more involved, and they are more likely to be aware of the bigger picture even in the midst of minor setbacks like a flight delay.

Be flexible.

Now is the time to bend the rules a little. Let them sleep longer or stay up late, for example. Yes, your teenager still needs discipline and shouldn’t be allowed to run wild, but it’s important to remember that they are on vacation too. If a major meltdown does occur, address the issue promptly and put it behind you. Don’t dwell on the situation or bring it up later in the trip. Instead, focus on making the most of the rest of the vacation.

Bring a friend.

If it is in your budget, offer the option for your teenager to bring a friend. For some families, this may detract from quality “family time,” while others will do better with the distraction. So, it really depends on what’s best for you.

Let them make decisions along the way.

You’ve incorporated them in the planning process, and you’ve been flexible throughout the vacation. It’s time to let them make a few decisions! Where do they want to eat? What do they want to do? As mentioned above, keep in mind that it’s their trip too.

In the end, teenagers really just want to be treated like adults. By incorporating their feedback and treating them with respect throughout the trip, you can increase the chances of everyone having a great time together.

This is the final post in a series of posts offering pointers for traveling with children during summer vacation. Whether you’re taking a trip with your newborn or you’re hopping in the car with young children, with a little bit of preparation, the whole family can have an enjoyable time!

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Jennifer Brown is a mama and an MD who enjoys finding fun in the chaos that comes with being a working mommy. Balancing the effort it takes to raise two adorable boys and juggle a thriving medical career, Jennifer also loves baking cookies, taking photos, reading fiction, and drinking coffee.

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