Hotel Online  Special Report

 Family Travel Editor Reports Travel With Teens
Is Rewarding; Thoughtful Planning is Important


July 24, 2004. (Scottsdale, AZ) -- Hitting the highway or the skyway with your teenagers can be well…..multifaceted! But embrace the opportunity (they’ll be gone before you know it !) and enjoy! Editor Lynn O’Rourke Hayes offers these tips for making the most of a holiday with your teens.
  • Give your teen some credit! I often hear people talk about traveling with teens and they assume young travelers cannot get along without a Play Station or headphones. My sister-in-law and I took our teens to London and Paris. The four were a delight. They were eager to learn and explore and happily (for the most part) trekked from museum to museum, listened to music and were eager to try new foods. Encourage them to explore!
  • Include them in the planning. You’ll all have more fun if they are part of the process. Discuss destinations, activities, and budgets. Encourage them to help by doing Internet research. 
  • Consider a wilderness trip where you will have a chance to spend quality time without the interference of telephones, television or video games. My teen-age sons and I recently spent five days on Idaho’s Salmon River with Salmon River Rafting ( where we kayaked through rapids, slept under the stars and enjoyed each other’s company. 
  • Encourage the young traveler to be self-sufficient en route. Suggest bringing snacks, books, music or whatever might be important. Provide your teen with their own itinerary and perhaps even their own travel documents. Discuss what to wear while traveling for comfort and appropriateness.
  • Once you’ve arrived at your destination agree on how much freedom your teen will have to explore the area on his or her own. Discuss the need for safety and communication in your new locale.
  • Sleep! If you are sharing a room with your teens don’t expect to change their sleeping habits while on holiday. My teen sons are night owls used to watching late night movies. My solution: ear plugs.
  • Look for hotels, lodges or ranches that have special programs for teens. Many spas now include options for young clients.
  • Include friends or relatives. There are times when it works for everyone to include someone your teen’s age in your travels. 
  • Expend energy. Plan lots of activity to use up their excess energy. Learn a new sport, partake in an old favorite and get out and explore the new destination.
  • Talk with each other. Share ideas. Compare notes. Make memories!

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Lynn O’Rourke Hayes

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