Are you desperately trying to create as many memorable moments with your teenager or tween (yes, that’s now a thing!) before they fly the nest? Does said teenager act as if you’ve kidnapped them when you try to take them on a family holiday? Are you determined that the whole family will have a gosh darn wonderful time if it’s the last thing you ever do? Well read on – holidays with teens can be fun!
Here’s some tips I’ve used (or considered – my teen parenting knowledge is most definitely a work in progress) – here’s hoping they will help you with your next family holiday!
To Bring A Friend or Not To Bring A Friend? That is the massive question. My first, possibly selfish instinct is to insist on a family only holiday! I don’t necessarily want the extra responsibility that an extra teenager brings, but truthfully, I don’t want to share. Parents simply cannot compete with their teenager’s friends. There’s benefits to bringing a friend though – not least of all the fact that your precious one is much more likely to be enthused about the holiday itself, so there’s one giant hurdle jumped! If you do bring a friend, consider the following suggestions:
- How well do you know their friend? (In other words, are they going to drive you, and your child batty after 3 days?)
- How well do you know their friend’s parent? (In other words, do you share similar values and rules?)
- Can you compromise and have them leave a couple of days early?
Smart Devices. If the smart device phenomena hit you from nowhere, and you’ve not been able to set or enforce guidelines around how much ‘quality’ time your teenager spends with their device, a holiday is the perfect time to start. Change their routine, by planning activities that force them to put down their smartphone and engage. Think hiking, ziplining and even swimming (too much screenglare in the the sun). It’s a good idea to set aside some time that they can specifically devote to their smart friends, (half an hour each morning and night perhaps) if it is proving a difficult separation. And if all else fails, plan a trip with little to no signal, and dodgy wi-fi!
Where To Go? Fiji. Fiji. Fiji. Some might think that the pace of Fiji isn’t exactly what your average teen is seeking. Although I’ve not been myself, I hear from countless of our customers who stay in Fiji about their experiences. And one of the main themes is that it’s fabulous for their family. Exposure to another culture is also a beautiful, educational way to bring teenagers out of their ‘bubble’. You can visit a local community, and many of our customers prepare donations and school supplies to visit local schools and orphanages. Plus, we’ve heard that Fiji will make you happy! Wyndham Resort Denarau Island is a great base for your Fiji foray – check out these great deals!
Geocaching. Alright – this walks the fine line between being ‘nerdy’ and ‘cool’. It therefore may just be edgy enough for your teenager to derive some enjoyment from – even if they don’t show it. Why is searching for a ‘cache’ in a public place, using only a GPS or a free mobile phone app so much fun? I think it’s the treasure hunt aspect. It gets you out, exploring your holiday spot, it’s fun and it’s free! What more can you ask for? If you’re unsure if your teen will agree, just don’t tell them what you’re doing. They’ll get caught up in it – guaranteed!
Music-Go-Round. So this could be done anytime. But when you’re on holiday your teen may be more likely to be in your general vicinity, given that they no longer have the comforts of their bedroom at their disposal. The ‘rules’ of this are simple. Everyone gets to play a song/you tube video of their choice – and everyone else has to listen to that song! You can play as many rounds as you like. We’ve played this game for literally hours, as the more music you listen to the more you want to share. It’s highly likely your teen has some interesting musical choices, and will jump at the opportunity to educate you on ‘real’ music. And haven’t you been dying to educate your teen on the musical genius that is Pink Floyd/MinniVanilli/Smashing Pumpkins? What a great way to spend a holiday evening!
What’s your secret to making the most of your precious holiday time – and that precious time with your teenager?
Jacqi has become part of the furniture at Wyndham Timeshare over the last 10+ years. She has worked in various teams, including Customer Solutions, Systems and now provides service and support to the Wyndham Timeshare online communities. She is passionate about health, holidays and roller derby. As a mother of a tweenage boy, she has also recently become passionate about footy!