By Jackie White
Family vacations are great! So fun! Idyllic is a word that comes to mind…ok, let’s be real People, sometimes family vacations can be a pain in the rear, especially if you are traveling with teens! You want to provide a great family experience and a time to make memories yet your teen is likely not on board with that. I would say, unless you have a super easy going teen, you are probably going to encounter some resistance to traveling. Many teens just want to stay home and hang out with friends. These tips will help you and them really enjoy the experience together.
Extend the Data Plan...Seriously Do This:
1) First and foremost, extend your data plan so for the duration of your vacation your teens (and you) don’t have to fight over the remaining 2% of data left on your plan. My carrier allows you to do this for a month at time of a cost an additional $10. Money well spent. It keeps people from fighting over data and keeps you from paying overages on data.
Gas Station Food Won’t Kill Them:
2) Healthy Snacks versus Gas Station Food: Pack healthy snacks, but just let them eat the crappy snacks at the gas station when you are stopped to fill up!
Move Their Butts:
3) Get out and run! I mean the kids, not YOU! The truth is there may be times when you want to just run away from it all, but follow these tips and things will be fine! Now, back to what I meant, pull over at a rest stop and insist that everyone gets out and runs around to get some energy burned.
Books and Games Can Save the Day:
4) Pack books and games even if they say they don’t want you to. Insist they take a technology break and play a game or two together. Good choices for games are Would You Rather or The Alphabet Game. Easy and usually fun.
Get Their Input:
5) Go somewhere the teens will enjoy. If you choose to spend your entire vacation visiting museums, you might be sorry. Mix up museum trips with doing something your teen likes to do. Swimming, shopping, sporting events or doing something like a haunted city tour. Ask them for ideas, they might surprise you!
Ahhh, Nature Can Calm the Beast:
6) Nature is usually a good choice. Taking a hike, kayaking or spending the day at the beach can be good places to take teens.
If you can Swing It, Bring the Friend:
7) Let them bring a friend…seriously, this will be worth it! ‘Nuff said.
Get on the Road Before the Crack:
8) Leave very early in the morning. I know this sounds counter intuitive but hear me out on this one. Lug your teen out of bed and get them into a comfy car and drive for several hours before they even wake up! You can knock out a few states before they even join you on the road trip.
Blow Their Minds with Some Big City Sights:
9) Go somewhere stimulating like New York City, Chicago or New Orleans. Big cities are good because there are always so many things to do. Get your teen to weigh in on city activities and have them lined up before you leave.
Go Jump Off a Cliff:
10) Do something with “Wow” factor like Cliff Jumping (again, this is not a way for you to escape!), Zip Lining, Segway Tours, Dolphin Boat Rides or Deep Sea Fishing.
Cool Your Jets, Be Zen, Calm Down:
11) Ok, one more and it’s important…be calm, roll with the teenage emotions and/or eye-rolling. Be positive and be grateful for the opportunity for you and your family to experience a trip together.
12) Make sure to have fun!
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.