Tips for Traveling with Teens

Posted by Fodor's Editors on July 19, 2011 at 3:05:15 PM EDT | Post a Comment
It may seem that just yesterday you were packing diapers and stuffed animals, but even older kids require some special considerations on vacation. To keep the whole family happy, we've got some basic reminders below to get you started but we'd like to hear your tips too. Do you set limits on technology use? Or modify their curfew times? Share your experiences in the comments below. Teen-travel-family.jpg

Give teens some freedom.

All-inclusives and cruises give older kids their first taste of independence. The finite space of a boat or resort means a rare opportunity to play and dine at will. Buses at places like Walt Disney World afford the chance to motor around independently.

Give yourself peace of mind.

Organized activities entertain teens while allowing parents to keep track of them. Many resorts now offer teen clubs, exclusive spots open only to certain ages. Such clubs are often equipped with soft drinks, game rooms, karaoke, and dance floors.

Set a budget.

Motorized sports are the mama of all extras. Teenagers will zero in on them the moment they arrive. Jet Skis and parasailing can cost upwards of $60 an hour. Little things like soft drinks and virgin cocktails—$1 to $5 each—not to mention arcade games, can add up in a hurry, especially since they're often bought with resort charge cards that don't seem like actual money. Use prepaid cards when possible. Either way, set a budget and stick to it.

Bring a friend.

Nothing entertains a kid like another kid. Before offering an invitation, talk to the parents of the potential guest. Agree on who's paying for what, and how much supervision will be offered. Written permission—signed by the guest's parents and notarized—is needed to fly. Such documentation, plus insurance info, is also needed to get health care in an emergency. Photo Credit: Elenathewise / iStockPhoto
Posted in Travel Tips Tagged: Family Travel, Teens

Member Comments (2)  Post a Comment

  • ArleneW on Jul 27, 11 at 11:46 PM

    Ranches are a great place for teens -- all inclusive, plenty of activities, takes them out of their normal element, presents a challenge, lots of fun, gives them independence, great bonding time. We found the perfect ranch on - Sugar and Spice in Texas specializes in mother/daughter weeks. it was so perfect and so remarkable.

  • Amy_D Fodor's moderator on Jul 20, 11 at 04:01 PM

    I definitely agree with letting your teen bring a friend. One of my most memorable family vacations was when my parents let my sister and I bring a friend on our annual family trip to Michigan. We got to share our favorite vacation spot with our friends while also having some quality family time. We still talk about how much fun we had that year.