Teenagers on the Inca Trail

Tips for Travelling with Teenagers

Teenagers travellers are amongst the trickiest to please, especially when their travelling companions are their parents. Avoid the eye-rolls and shoulder-shrugs on your next family adventure with some of our top tips for travelling with teenagers.

Get them involved early

The easiest way to ensure your teenagers care about your upcoming adventure is to include them in the planning process. They need to feel like their voice is being heard just as much as an adult. The more you seek their opinions in the early stages, the more likely they will be engaged and the less likely they are to complain during the trip.

Young girl playing Tarzan in the Amazon, Peru

Preload your entertainment

Whilst many airlines offer great in-flight entertainment, a tablet that’s stocked up with downloaded Netflix shows, music and movies of their choice is an invaluable weapon against boredom on long journeys. Depending on your itinerary, you may have some long transfers ahead of you – so why not let them bring their favourite podcasts to pass the time? Travelling can be a sensory overload at any age and spending some time on your screen is an easy way to factor in some down time to take a breath.

Don’t sweat the screen time

Though the temptation to tear them away from their devices is understandable, allowing teenager travellers the opportunity to stay connected is important. After all, their chance to Instagram each days’ discovery isn’t so different to writing a diary entry – it’s a way to record a special moment and save it for the future. Whilst you don’t want it constantly, giving them a window in which to communicate with their friends gives them a chance to share their stories, and feel less isolated.

Woman looking on Bled Lake with Island, Castle and Alps Mountain on background.

Let them pack for themselves

If any specialist kit is needed for your trip (think bikes, surfboards, abseiling gear or snowshoes, for example), then Exodus will have it ready and waiting on arrival. Sure there are a few things you probably want to be certain that they definitely have, but for the most part allowing them to pack for themselves teaches accountability and helps give them a sense of control. Their bodies are changing rapidly and chances are they’re feeling conspicuous in their own skins – and if you’re a proud parent ready to snap at any opportunity, best let them pick out their own outfits.

“What do you want to see?”

All Exodus trips come with some downtime built in, and this is the perfect opportunity to give your teens a sense of agency and choice. Ask them what they want to do with this time – and if it’s different to your plan, don’t be afraid to split up! Giving them some control over their activities is the best way to make them feel involved, so let them do their own thing or make a decision on behalf of everyone in your family unit – maybe on the free day they get to decide where you eat dinner. It gives them a chance to part of the decision-making process throughout the holiday.

Scuba diving in the Red Sea, Egypt

Encourage them to channel their passion

Keen photographer? Assign them the important job of designated photographer. It takes the pressure off you to capture every moment and ensures you have plenty of pictures to remember your adventure. Plus, when you return home you can collate the best ones into a photo book that the whole family can keep. Your teenager probably won’t admit it at the time, but having a keepsake of your adventure that they known they created? That’s a creative achievement of which they can be proud.

Give them their own set of trip notes

Not many teens like surprises. Chances are, yours don’t either. All Exodus adventures come with a set of downloadable trip notes with all the information you could need for the trip, including which activities you'll be doing each day. Give them agency and a sense of ownership over their holiday with their own set of trip notes to read up on tomorrow’s activities – if they want to. If they don’t, no problem – you can’t be accused of patronising them.

Travel With Teenagers

Check out our selection of exciting family adventures designed specifically with teenagers in mind. These itineraries are aimed at pleasing travellers aged 13-16 - and their parents. 

Travel with Teenagers

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