Putting Together a Successful Vacation Package With Teens

Planning a vacation package with teenagers is sometimes not straightforward. There are a number of expert studies about teenagers and their fears and anxieties. A number of studies deal with teenager’s fear of the unknown.

If the vacation is to be overseas and a first trip some teenagers can experience anxiety about the unknown aspects of the trip, being in a strange culture, simple things like ‘where’s my passport?’, ‘will I get to watch TV?’. Teenagers’ anxieties may not seem serious but they can cloud what should be a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone. Putting together a vacation package that works for adults and teenagers can sometimes be about taking away those anxieties.

Here are a few tips that may help.

When they um and ah about going, ask why and try to identify what the problem is.

Include the teens in the planning.

Make a detailed, day by day itinerary. Teens will know where they’re going to be and what is planned to happen which is reassuring.

Show them the itinerary as you plan and finalise details.

Take the itinerary with you so they can see where they’re going and what happens next.

Plan to stay in a place for more than a day at a time. Teenagers seem to like a base they can feel at home in for a while.

Consider taking a serviced apartment as a base.

If the teens have to share a room in a hotel, book twin beds so they don’t have to share.

Reassure them you have documents like passports, airline E-tickets, rail tickets, car hire and accommodation bookings.

Don’t be upset when they don’t want to read about all the fascinating places you’re going to visit. They may just approach the experience differently than you.

If you’re planning to hire a car one with adequate space for everyone and the luggage is a must. A sunroof is also a good idea, it increases the feeling of space in the backseat and improves the teens’ view of that wonderful countryside or city you’re taking them through.

Try and avoid a touring holiday where you move from one place to another every day.

When a teen says they want to do something in particular that’s not on the itinerary it may be important to them and be an enjoyable experience you hadn’t thought of having.

Give them some of the local money so they can buy things without having to ask.

When they get tired and irritable it may not be about the trip, but they may need a rest, travelling and sightseeing is tiring. Take a break, let them watch TV or a DVD, eat in.

Planning to see things they like, whether it’s electronic museums, theme parks, bands or movies with subtitles is all part of the sharing experience.

Take them with you to the sights you want to see, this is a shared vacation.

They won’t smile all the time and asking them if they’re happy probably won’t be helpful. If they’re not smiling it might not be about the trip at all. You know your teen best, maybe you need to ask what the problem is.

They may not react as you do to the Uffizzi in Florence or the Vatican Museum but will probably take something away from it.

Teenagers seem to appreciate museums and fine art in small doses, a couple of hours at a time may be enough.

A touring holiday where they spend time in a car or train may be easier if they have an iPod but laptops and phones might not be helpful, especially if the focus is on games or social websites rather than the shared experience. A stop at an Internet cafe every few days might be a good trade-off.

Meals in cafes and restaurants can be chances to talk and share, they probably know how even if they won’t admit it.

Let them have ‘weekends’, time out to be themselves and have a break.

Three weeks away seems to be enough, at four weeks they can get irritable and want to go home unless you’ve rented a villa in Tuscany or the South of France for the summer.

Taking a friend for one and not the other may cause problems so if that’s the plan it should be agreed by everyone.

If you take the teens’ friends be ready for your teens to be with the friends and not you.

If things go wrong include them, solve it together, they may be more mature than you think and have ideas to contribute.

The memories everyone gets from a well planned trip last a lifetime. A trip, especially one overseas with teens, doesn’t always go smoothly but planning and inclusion seem to help in making it more enjoyable for everyone.

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