6 ways to have a happy holiday with teenagers
Holidaying with teenagers can sometimes be tricky – if you’re not careful you can come back exhausted, having spent the whole time trying to find ways to put a smile on their face. But, as Chris Clarkson, Managing Director of online travel agency sunshine.co.uk explains, it may not be as complex as it seems…
1. Look at things from their point of view
If you haven’t booked yet, sit down and talk about what their – and your – idea of the perfect family holiday would be, taking younger children into consideration too, and then work out from there what and where you should book. Try to remember when you were their age and what you would have wanted from a family holiday, or what made a past family holiday particularly good, then do your best to find somewhere that meets at least one of everyone’s requirements. If you’ve already booked, it’s still worth sitting down and having a chat about everyone’s ‘hopes’ for the trip – forewarned is forearmed.
2. Explain your budget
If your teen is of the mindset that money is no object on this holiday of yours, but that certainly isn’t the case, gently make them aware of this so that you can manage their expectations. Let them know how hard you had to work to save the money for the holiday and they may just be that bit more appreciative. You could also suggest they look for a holiday job so they can save their own money up too, if they want new holiday clothes, say.
3. Give them space
Just as you might not want to spend every minute of the holiday with your teenager, they most definitely won’t want to spend all of their time with you, so give them some freedom (within reason, of course). Let them go to the older kids’ clubs or activities if they want to and ask them how they want to spend some of the holiday to ensure that they are doing things they will love as well. Talk with them as an adult about acceptable boundaries to where they can roam, curfews and behaviour. If they help make ‘the rules’ they may be less likely to break them!
4. Make friends
Your teen will probably be hoping to make some friends on holiday that they can hang out with, yet teens are notoriously shy/too cool to make the first approach. So make an effort to get chatting to other families with children similar in age to yours and hopefully this will help them get the conversation going. But don’t embarrass them, whooping ‘what have you two been up to?’ when your son and his blushing new female friend emerge from the games room. They’ve probably been playing Ping-Pong in awkward silence.
5. Be considerate
Although you may have big plans to visit every museum in the local vicinity and that market trip excursion may have caught your eye, try to book some experiences that your teen will appreciate too. Don’t just drag them along to all the things you want to do and expect them to be happy with it. Remember that they might fancy something a bit more activity-based, like a trip to the local water park or a day doing water sports at the nearest beach. Holidays with teens are about give and take, so make sure there’s a good balance of the things you want to do and the things they want to do. That way, they won’t mind as much when they have to come along on one of your preferred trips if they know they have something to look forward to.
6. Go easier on them
Try to let a few of your home rules go out of the window when on holiday with your teenager. For example, if they don’t make their bed properly and their space in the hotel room or accommodation is a bit of a tip, don’t stress too much. Holidays are the one time of year when you can afford to be more lenient, especially if you have someone popping into your room every day to give it the once over. We’re not suggesting that you don’t let them lift a finger, but cut them a bit of slack, you are on holiday after all!