Written by: Frédérique Vachon
Not easy to ask your teen to miss a movie outing with friends for a family activity? So imposing a family trip of one or two weeks could be a daunting task! That’s because for most teenagers, friends are priority number one… and everything else is trailing far behind. This is obviously not always the case, but if you find yourself in this situation, here are some tips for your teenager to enjoy the trip (and cut down the number of years needed to realize that you were really cool parents to provide an amazing travelling experience at a young age).
Haven’t decided where you’re going yet? Ask your teen to pitch in: his or her idea of a nice trip might surprise you! If the suggested location isn’t realistic (proximity, budget, time frame), ask your teen why this destination is interesting; this should give you a better idea of the type of place you would both enjoy.
If the answer is “I don’t know” or “I don’t care,” give your teen info on some locations you are considering. This provides a better visual idea and feeds his or her imagination: London and its double-decker buses and red phone boxes; New Orleans and its voodoo culture and bayous filled with alligators; the breathtaking Canadian Rockies and their emerald lakes, towering ski mountains and abundant wildlife; New Brunswick and its amazing beaches and impressive tides…
Already chosen the destination? Consider your teen’s interests and passions to find ways to make the trip appealing. You can find great ideas for activities on the websites of tourist offices; many even suggest activities suited to different age categories, which will make your life much easier. But you should still take the time to look a little further!
Start by listing your teen’s interests, then look up activities that match these. You can also ask for some help with the planning or ask your teen to search activities of interest.
Your son’s a sports enthusiast? Is there a professional team where you’re going? Could you go watch a soccer or hockey game? Is a player of his favourite team from the country you will be visiting?
Your daughter loves playing a particular sport? If the place you’re travelling to is a great spot to practise that sport, make some time for it. For example, it could be ice skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, skiing in the Vosges in France, or paddle boarding in the Florida bays. Is there an Olympic park near your destination? Your teen could be quite impressed standing exactly where world champions stood!
What if you told your daughter she could get her picture taken in front of the tree that’s on the famous album cover of Jack Johnson’s In Between Dreams1? And what about your son, who collects vinyl records and is a fan of classics? It’s a safe bet he’d be over the moon if you told him that he’d have the chance to walk on the very crossing path the Beatles walked on for the album cover of Abbey Road2. Create unforgettable memories while your teen gets the perfect Instagram picture!
Maybe your teenager is a die-hard fan of Gossip Girl? A bus tour in the streets of New York City to visit the famous spots of the show with a guide who reveals shoot secrets, how great does that sound! Plus, this type of visit exists for various shows in plenty of cities.
I could keep going, but the main idea here is that you shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box to spark your teen’s interest. Who knows, you might stumble upon activities or places that will become favourites of yours as well!
Have a great trip!