1. Free Time. Don’t expect your teen to want to be by your side every waking moment. Allow them to go off and do their own thing. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together. It’s healthy – and necessary - to take a break. This gives them the opportunity to seek out their peers and gives you the chance to unwind and spend time alone. This goes a long way towards making the time you DO spend together more relaxed, enjoyable and meaningful.
2. Isolation. Be careful about where you choose to stay on your vacation. You don’t want to be miles away from the closest attraction, as this can make your teen feel “stuck” or isolated. If their only means of escape requires a car, they’re not going to be happy. Think “freedom,” and you’ll make the right decision.
3. Accommodations. One great way to create a “home away from home” environment is to stay in a rented vacation home instead of a hotel or motel. Typically, there’s more space for everyone to spread out, dinners can be prepared together and shared around a family table and teens feel more comfortable coming and going at will. Again, location is key.
1. Expect the Less-Than-Perfect. No family vacation is exempt from moments of tension, frustration, difficulty, anger and exasperation. Try your best to roll with the situation, and remind yourself that some of the richest, most meaningful family memories come from these times. You WILL laugh about them some day. And so will your teen.
2. Smile. Happiness is contagious. If you have a good time, chances are your teen will too.