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5 Tips for Traveling with Teens

August 10, 2012

Traveling with your teen doesn't have to be a bust because with a little preparation, traveling together can be something the entire family can look forward to. Before you plan and pack up though, you'll want to be sure to avoid any triggers that can turn a potentially terrific vacation into a terrible one. Also Read: How To Show Your Love As A Mother Figure

If you're about to embark on a vacation with your teens, consider these five tips:

1. Consider age-appropriate, interest based trips. If your teen loves being in and around water, a cruise that includes a snorkeling adventure is bound to bring more excitement than a hiking trip in the mountains. Consider your teen's age and interests and this will help you plan a vacation that he or she will enjoy. Cruises, ski trips, adventure trips and trips to theme parks and historical sites are popular vacations as they typically offer something for both teens and adults.

2. Get and keep your teens involved. From helping to pick the destination to assigning her a task, get and keep your teen involved with the vacation planning and execution. Teens can help narrow down group tours to go on, historic places to explore and theme parks to visit. For teens who like to take photos, assigning them to be the official vacation photographer may be a task that is excitingly embraced.

For teens who enjoy trying new foods, researching restaurants to try that feature local cuisine may be a fitting chore. When teens are involved with planning the family vacation, they become vested in helping to make it a success.

3. Give your teens space.
For most teenagers, privacy is their middle name. While it can be tempting to save a few bucks and pile the family into a one bedroom hotel room, don't. Teens value their alone time and need their space. While the purpose of vacationing with your teen is to do things together, he or she will also want some time to do some things by himself.

Whether it's sleeping in on one morning, eating lunch alone at the next table over at the cafe or going for a walk around the block; giving your teen a little freedom will go a long way in making your time together enjoyable. For parents who would like to spend a romantic evening out on the town, hiring a nanny that's familiar with the local teen scene may be a worthwhile investment. While you're enjoying adult time, a local nanny can serve as chaperone and chauffeur to your teenage brigade. Also Read: The "No Kill Policy": How To Control Anger As A Parent

4. Establish a spending budget. If you want to curb the "I wants" prior to ever leaving home, establishing a spending budget can be the trick. If your teen knows how much of the vacation fund is allotted to souvenirs and free spending, he or she will likely be more cautious about voicing her every request. Providing your teen ways to earn money prior to the trip or encouraging him to pick up small jobs, like babysitting or pet sitting, can help her ear her own vacation cash.

5. Set clear expectations. When teens don't know what the expectations are, they can't live up to them. Be clear about what you expect in terms of behavior, electronics use and the level of independence your teen will be given while away from home.

If you typically allow your teen to drive to the local mall while home, you'll want to let him know prior to leaving for vacation that you'll be doing all the driving on the trip. If you usually allow him unlimited access to his smart phone and other electronic gadgets, if you plan to change the rules you'll want to discuss them long before leaving for your trip.

Traveling with teens can certainly pose challenges, but doing so can also bring great rewards. Vacationing with your teen provides opportunities for adventure and exploration for the whole family. Also Read: Help! My Kids Are Spoiled Brats [VIDEO]

Written by Michelle LaRowe for YourTango.com.

Michelle LaRowe is the editor-in-chief of eNannySource.com. eNannySource.com has been helping families and nannies can find each other since 1994. LaRowe is also the author of Nanny to the Rescue!, Working Mom's 411 and A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists. She was the 2004 International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year.

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