We are still stuck in the dreary dark winter months – so it’s often the time when thoughts turn to booking the family summer holiday. As a mother of teenagers I listen enviously to the newer parents in the office discussing their plans with babies and younger children. Yes toddlers can be a handful but I’d swap travelling with a tot for travelling with a disgruntled teenager any day!
Making the right choices for your holiday can make all the difference though – get it right and a successful holiday with your teenagers is fantastic. There’s nothing better than discovering that away from the daily pressures of school, work, friends etc. that you do still really enjoy each other’s company. My boys wouldn’t be seen dead shopping with me in our home town but put us in another city and it’s a guaranteed success!
So what makes for the perfect break with teens? – Obviously it will depend to an extent on the individual preferences and interests of everyone on the trip. There always needs to be a little give and take on all sides. But generally one of the fundamentals is Wifi. If you’ve ever been stuck without Wifi on a cruise ship with a 16 year old you’ll know where I’m coming from with this one! Make sure that not only is Wifi available but that it’s going to be reliable. Lots of hotels offer free wifi but this may be patchy at best. Generally those imposing a small charge offer a more guaranteed level of service.
Most teens prefer physical activities to more passive sightseeing. Trailing round city landmarks wouldn’t normally get a teenagers vote but done on a Segway this can become one of the highlights of your holiday. Best to plan ahead as much as possible – this doesn’t mean that every minute of each day needs to be scheduled but if a Segway trip in Aberdeen was a great success then find a Segway operator for your next trip to Birmingham, Edinburgh or wherever.
One of the most important decisions on any holiday is where to stay. Your choice of accommodation can make or break the trip and that’s where serviced apartments really hit the mark. Teenagers love privacy so having their own bedroom and possibly even their own bathroom will make all the difference. Hotel breakfasts are normally only served until 10am – insisting your teen makes it down for this is a sure fire way of getting the day off on the wrong foot! Having the convenience of your own kitchen means breakfast can be at any time of day and not having to dress for breakfast is more relaxing for everyone. Keeping a fridge full of drinks and snacks will save you a fortune too.
Writing this I’m realising that I only travel with one teen now – the elder son now being 21. He still chooses to come on holiday with us whenever he can albeit usually with his girlfriend in tow now too. Think that means we’ve done something right?