Wondering how to bond with your teen this summer?
Plan a family vacation!
Teens love new experiences—trying new activities and seeing new places. But what they enjoyed when they were younger may not fit the bill now that they’re older.
If you want to have a successful family vacation—one where everyone has fun and lifelong memories are created—keeping your teen in mind is a must. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of ideas sure to please even the most apprehensive of the bunch. We’ve included ideas for every budget that are sure to be a hit with the teen in your life.
Here are the 8 best vacations for families with teens:
Teens love thrills! A day or two at a theme park is just the way to give them the fun they crave while making family memories at the same time.
While we’re partial to Orlando, Florida (the location of our headquarters!), if you’re not within driving distance and are looking for a trip without airfare, there are theme parks throughout the U.S. There is bound to be one within driving distance of your hometown.
If you really want to be a hero in your teen’s eyes, be willing and ready to do things you may not want to do—like go upside down and all around on a crazy roller coaster. Being willing to come into their world and do what they enjoy goes a long way with teens.
2. National Parks
National Parks offer fantastic opportunities for hiking, camping, and exploring the great outdoors. Some parks even have guided tours and educational programs to help teenagers learn about the environment and wildlife.
3. Road Trips
Sometimes just hitting the road and changing your scenery is all it takes to have fun. For this trip, it may be a good idea to sit down with your teen and find out what they would find fun and exciting in a road trip. Perhaps a visit to the beach, a camping trip, or a particular landmark or city your teen is interested in visiting. Just the drive together can be an adventure!
4. Water Parks
When the hot summer sun hits, there’s no better way to have fun with your teen and cool off at the same time than to visit a water park. Whether at a local water park for the day or an indoor/outdoor waterpark hotel like Great Wolf Lodge or Kalahari Resorts, water parks will surely please even the toughest-to-please teenager in your life.
5. Historical Sites
Instill the heart of a patriot in your teen by visiting historical sites around the country. Washington, D.C., is home to countless museums and historical sites. Consider visiting the Smithsonian museums, the White House, or nearby Mount Vernon. Throw in a trip to the Spy Museum and the new Museum of the Bible for added excitement!
In other parts of the country, you’ll find Mount Rushmore, Pearl Harbor, the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, and a host of other places. No matter where you reside, you’ll find historical sites of interest from sea to shining sea!
6. Adventure Sports
For teenagers who love adventure, there are many options for activities such as rock climbing, white-water rafting, and zip-lining. This could be part of a local day trip or a weekend getaway. Kayaking and hiking are free and low-cost activities that teens enjoy, as well.
7. Day Trips
Sometimes a day trip is all it takes to bring the family together and make lasting memories. Some ideas include golfing, miniature golfing, bowling, laser tag, a local family fun center, axe throwing, or a professional sports game. Throw in donuts in the morning and lunch after your activity, and you’ve given your teen and family a great mini vacation!
8. Volunteering Trip
Volunteering can be a rewarding experience for teenagers who want to make a difference in the world. Many organizations offer volunteer opportunities for teenagers, such as Habitat for Humanity and Samaritan’s Purse. Families can travel together, or it can be a father-son/mother-daughter trip.
Serving others helps teens develop a sense of purpose and confidence. It also allows them to learn new skills. Plus, research finds that people who volunteer are happier, and who doesn’t want their teen to be more joyful?
We hope these ideas for the 8 best vacations for families with teens inspire you to hit the road and make last memories with your teen. It may not seem like a big deal to you as parents, but the sense of belonging a family vacation brings to a teen has a lifelong impact. So get packing and happy travels!