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Great holidays with teenagers

Once your kids are teenagers there are two holiday options available: with you, or without you. Both can be equally fraught in their different ways. If they come with you, are they going to spend a fortnight exclaiming how bored they are, how it's too hot / not hot enough, their friends have all gone backpacking across Asia, you're just so unfair dragging them to the Med like this? But it doesn't have to be like this....

Some tips for holiday success

Involve them

Let them have a say in the discussions about where you're going and the type of holiday you're planning. Make sure they know the budget you're working to and let them make suggestions of their own. If the holiday isn't just something they're being taken on (or dragged along to) they're less likely to go out of their way to find fault,

 

Ground rules

Discuss and establish the ground rules for the holiday before you go - spending money, curfews, the amount of time they'll be expected to spend as part of the family. And compromise - a day sightseeing with you will earn them a day they're allowed to off exploring on their own.

Use them

Your teen may well have skills that can be useful for the sake of the holiday. When researching the trip they might know their way round the internet better than you. Once there, chances are they could speak the native language better than you. Anything that makes them feel more involved is a bonus.

Take a friend

If the budget allows, let your teen bring a friend along. It often doesn't cost that much more and can make all the difference in terms of them having fun. Make sure it's a friend you know and like, however; two weeks can feel much longer in the company of somebody else's surly brat.

 

Accommodation

House swaps

Often near cities and with room for your teen to bring a friend along. With the added bonus of saving money.

Hire a cottage

Either in the uk or abroad, cottages are often sited near centres of activity and allow for a degree of flexibility.

It helps to choose a location with a broad range of activities - canoeing, snorkelling, rock climbing etc - within easy reach.

All inclusive

If your budget can cover it, staying at an all inclusive site can solve lots of problems. Activities to tempt even the most jaded of teens are part of the package, as is evening entertainment.

The fact that the sites are often self-contained means you can relax when your teen wishes to go exploring on their own. Plus, there'll be lot's of other families around, which means lots of other teens, so they can all get together and complain about their respective parents.

Dad Partners

Family Matters Institute Dept. for Education Step Change Children's Legal Centre
DWP National Family Mediation CMEC Memset
OneplusOne CMO