Traveling With Teens
Friday, July 3, 2009
Planning family travel can get trickier as the kids get older. Teenagers, in particular, can seem hard to please on a vacation. But while they may not be willing to admit it, most teens really are up for a good time with the family. Following a few simple guidelines can help you plan a great trip for everyone, even the teens.
Get Their Input. Sit the whole family down and talk about what everyone would like for a vacation. Teens may feel they’ve outgrown some of the family favorite spots or activities. If you prefer a relaxing beach, but they prefer a noisy arcade, maybe you can meet both needs with a cruise. If your teen craves adventure, but you’re concerned about cost, think about visiting a national park. Getting input and exploring options together will make it easier to please everyone.
Let Them Help. If you want to get your teens excited about a trip, let them help plan it.
Have them surf the web for travel sites and encourage them to explore your destination to come up with activity, hotel and restaurant ideas. Let them plan some of those things and help figure out how to make them happen.
Give Them Space. If possible, book a hotel suite or adjoining rooms. That will give you all some privacy, and let them feel a little more grown up, as well. In addition to physical space, plan on some time apart. Let them sleep in while you enjoy a quiet breakfast or do a little shopping. Choosing a hotel near a lot of attractions will allow your teen to explore the area around the hotel while you take a break. Hotels such as Country Inns & Suites offer affordable room and suite options in family-friendly cities all over the country.
Encourage them to Unplug. Most teens today seemed to be physically connected to their mobile phones or computers. Taking a cyber-holiday where the whole family “unplugs” is a great way to reconnect as a family. But planning a small online time budget such as 30 minutes every day will help keep your wired teen happy. With free wireless connections available in hotels and many casual restaurants, everyone can check e-mail on a break and catch up with friends back home.
Loosen Their Boundaries. Having family rules such as souvenir budgets and safety is important. But remember – it’s a vacation and it’s okay to bend some of the normal at-home rules. Bed times and menu options can be flexible, and – as long as it’s a safe area – consider letting them do some exploring on their own.
To find a family-friendly hotel in a destination that will please the whole family, visit www.countryinns.com.
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With more than 1,000 locations in 74 countries and five hotel brands, including Radisson Hotels & Resorts and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Carlson Hotels Worldwide is a leading authority in leisure and business travel.