The Do’s and Don’ts of Family Travels [Teen Article]

Becca is a 16 year-old from West Palm Beach, FL. She loves to cook and travel, and she would like to study International Business in the future.the dos and donts of family vacations

  • Do establish what type of travel you’re taking: Vacations have more free time and relaxation than trips.
  • Don’t plan every single minute of your travels. Even if you’re taking a trip, rest is key to maximizing how long you can stay out seeing sights.
  • Do ask your children to help plan. If we give input, we feel involved and will probably enjoy ourselves more.
  • Don’t become inflexible. Especially with family members who have different opinions, you have to keep in mind that not everyone will agree about each activity.
  • Do decide how much you can do on your own: There are plenty of companies that help plan both vacations and trips, but you can also create whole itineraries by yourself. If you use a company, you’re putting your travels into the hands of experts, but if you do it by yourself, you have the most control.
  • Don’t try to go to too many places in a short time. You’ll end up wearing everyone out and they consequently may not appreciate each stop as much. However, you should try to take advantage of the time you have- planning beforehand gives you an advantage.
  • Do try to stay at a hotel that is centrally located, especially if you’re on a trip with a lot of walking involved.
  • Don’t settle for the rack rate. If you’re staying as a family, you can oftentimes get lower prices on rooms.
  • Do research the weather of your destination so you can go prepared.
  • Don’t pack too much- nobody likes dragging heavy luggage!
  • Do see the most popular sites wherever you visit. You may not be back for a long time, and you want to give your children as many memories as possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Explore your destination and go to places that are off the beaten track.
  • Do ask locals for suggestions about where to eat- you’ll often eat your best meals in restaurants that aren’t in the guidebooks.
  • Don’t always eat sit-down meals. Picnics or street food can be fun, convenient, and a great way to save money.
  • Do compromise enough to cater to your children’s interests. After you cover the main highlights of travel books like Rick Steve and Fodors, find fun places like science museums or parks.
  • Don’t leave your family in the dark as to what your daily plans are once your travels begin. A daily recap plus discussing tomorrow’s adventures are a great way to start dinner each night.
  • Do allow for some alone time. Being with your parents 24/7 can be a big change for a kid who’s used to going to school five days a week and hanging out with friends on weekends.
  • Don’t block days for just museums. Intersperse them with other activities to get a varied schedule.
  • Do encourage your kids to keep a journal. They’re a great way to keep tabs of travels and fun to look back on later.
  • Don’t allow them to spend hours on the computer or phone. Take advantage of the family time while you can.
  • Do take lots of photos, even if you get complaints. They’re the only proof you’ll have of your travels!
  • Don’t forget that family vacations and trips are a great way to start the summer!

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