Travelling with Teenagers
Hitting the road with your family can be a great way to build traditions as well as make lifelong memories. However, as time goes on, you may want to plan your trips a little differently to accommodate the increasing ages of your children. As children get older, they can be more independent and long to do things that aren't necessarily with the family. Here are some ways to help make your older children happy on your vacation as well as keep the peace.
- Involve them in the planning - When your children get to be around twelve or thirteen, it can be a great time for you to start involving them in the planning of your vacations. While they aren't going to have the final say in location or budget, their input can help you adapt your vacation to include their interests as well. This also teaches the art of compromise, which is an invaluable lesson for them to learn.
- Allow them to bring a friend - If your older child would like to bring a friend with them, this can help to make them happier overall. Not only will they be able to have someone to go places with (making both of them safer), but it will also allow them to focus on their friend rather than bothering their siblings. It can also create better behaviour for your older child as they want to seem 'cool' in front of their friend.
- Give them a few activities to do on their own - Into your vacation, incorporate some activities that they can do on their own. Or when you are going places, be sure to allow them some times where they can explore on their own. This will help them feel as though they are independent and will make them more likely to go along with activities they may not necessarily enjoy.
- Create family times where everyone is together - When you've given your older child the opportunity to be off on their own, they are going to be more likely to willingly go along with family plans. Try to schedule meals that always include everyone or some other traditional event that everyone needs to participate in.
What you might also want to take into consideration is having your child (if you deem them old enough and responsible enough) watch over younger siblings while you and your spouse head off to enjoy time alone. You may want to pay your child for this service or reward them with an activity that they might like to do at a different time.
Travelling with older children can be quite simple and peaceful, so long as you given them an opportunity to be on their own too.