Travel and Leisure

Keeping Teens Entertained on Vacation: Strategies for Parents

Teen-Approved Family Vacation Ideas and Activities

Planning a family vacation with teenagers can be challenging, as they are often difficult to keep entertained and may be disagreeable or rebellious at times. However, understanding the behavior of teens is key to having a successful and enjoyable vacation with them.

Here are a few ideas to help you plan a memorable vacation with your teenage kids:


Visit theme parks and local attractions:

To keep teenagers engaged and away from their phones, plan a visit to a theme park or other local attraction. This will not only provide them with entertainment, but also give you a chance to bond with your kids and have meaningful conversations.


Give them some free time:

Teens want to be independent and make their own decisions, but they also need protection and guidance from parents. To strike a balance, give your teens some free time at the hotel pool, away from mom and dad. This will allow them to relax and have fun on their own, while also giving you some much-needed alone time.


Keep dining options simple:

While fancy restaurants may be a tempting choice for adults, teenagers may prefer fast food or casual dining options. Don’t expect your kids to be excited about going to an expensive restaurant, and consider including them in the decision-making process when it comes to where to eat.

Involve them in decision-making:

As your teenagers are fast approaching adulthood, they want to be treated as such. Include them in decisions about where to visit and what activities to do during your vacation. This will not only make them feel valued and heard, but also help them develop decision-making skills for the future.


Remember, a great family vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. Look for sales or discounted prices when booking flights and accommodations, and try to avoid putting the entire vacation on a credit card. Saving money on hotel rooms can be especially helpful, as prices can range from $90 to $300 per night.


Overall, planning a family vacation with teenagers can be a fun and rewarding experience if approached with the right mindset. By understanding your teens’ needs and desires, and involving them in the planning process, you can create lasting memories that will be cherished for years to come.

Allow for downtime:

While it’s important to keep your teens busy and engaged during your vacation, it’s equally important to allow for some downtime. Teens can get overwhelmed and stressed just like adults, so be sure to build in some time for relaxation and rest. This could be as simple as spending an afternoon lounging by the pool, reading a book, or taking a nap.

Consider a vacation rental:

If you’re traveling with a larger family or group, a vacation rental may be a more cost-effective and comfortable option than a traditional hotel. With a vacation rental, you’ll have more space and privacy, as well as the ability to cook your own meals and save money on dining out. Plus, your teens may appreciate having their own bedroom or space to hang out with friends.


Encourage adventure:

Teenagers are often looking for excitement and adventure, so consider incorporating some outdoor activities into your vacation. This could include hiking, kayaking, zip-lining, or even a hot air balloon ride. Not only will these activities keep your teens entertained, but they may also create lasting memories and bonding experiences for the whole family.

Embrace technology:

While it’s important to disconnect and spend quality time with your family during your vacation, don’t be afraid to embrace technology to enhance your experience. Use apps like Google Maps or TripAdvisor to plan your itinerary and find local restaurants and attractions. You can also use social media to document your trip and share photos and updates with friends and family back home.


In addition to these tips, it’s important to remember that every family is different and what works for one may not work for another. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things until you find a vacation style that works for your family. Whether you’re traveling to a new destination or revisiting a favorite spot, the most important thing is to create lasting memories and enjoy your time together.

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