The road to raising a tween can be filled with bumps, but hitting the road with your tween can be filled with even more challenges. From bringing a friend along to not forcing her to participate, here are 5 tips for traveling with tweens that will ensure it will be smooth sailing.
Invite a friend along
The buddy system can work to your advantage when it comes to travel with kids ages eight to 12 years old. They can explore your vacation destination together as well as entertain one another during long rides. This traveling tip also works if you meet up with a cousin or family friend of the same age during a family vacation.
Get your tween planning
Let your tween voice an opinion when planning a family vacation. Give her a chance to cast her vote on destinations, activities and even where you eat — within reason, of course. You can also ask your kiddo to research traveling tips for the family based on your destination so she knows it is her vacation, too.
>> Before you plan, get tips on travel with kids – planning a family vacation
Look for tween programs
Resorts and cruise ships often have programs for different age groups, giving tweens a place to hang and socialize. Or seek out tween activities by talking to locals or to the staff where you’re staying. When traveling, tips on hidden gems and local favorites that your tween will likely love can be easily discovered by talking to the concierge or travel agent.
Plan for time away from your tween
“Traveling is stressful enough, but tweens can go from ignoring to trying to get under your skin, which can really up the stress factor,” advises psychologist Elizabeth R. Lombardo, Ph.D., author of the bestselling book A Happy You. “Be sure to plan for time away from your tween during your vacation, like booking a massage. When you know you have a carrot waiting for you, dealing with the ups and downs of your tween is much more palatable.”
Don’t force your tween to participate
Allowing your tween to sulk and ruin a family vacation is unacceptable, but giving her the independence to hang back and watch from the sidelines may make travel with kids this age easier on everyone. However, getting your youngster involved in the beginning of the trip may give her the opportunity to meet another tween or two that she wants to hang with, so balance is key.
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When planning a family vacation, remember that travel with kids requires a little more flexibility, even with tween-aged adolescents. Kids ages eight to 12 are transitioning from the immaturity of childhood into their independent teenage years, and sometimes have a hard time expressing how they feel. Regardless on how you’re traveling, these five tips for traveling with tweens — and a lot of patience — can help you get the most from your vacation!
More on family vacations
- Family vacations: Dealing with the unexpected
- Best family vacation spots for teens
- Travel with kids – planning a family vacation