The first rule of choosing the perfect holiday with your teenager is to ask them what they want, rather than simply telling them where you’re going. Give them a list of options: beach break, activity holiday, sports holiday, short-haul, long-haul. Of course, your budget will dictate how far you can go and how much you can spend, but consulting your teenagers about what they want shows respect for their opinion and gives them a sense of responsibility about how you share your family time together. You may be surprised at their response.
Great family holidays with teenagers
Holidays with teenagers can be notoriously tricky. Get them wrong and you can have a seriously grumpy teen on your hands. But get them right and you can create memories that will stay with you all for a lifetime.
Going on holiday with your teenage son or daughter can be a challenge for the most patient parents. Mood swings, silences, outbursts, glares – and that’s before you’ve even set off. But it won’t be long until they will be going away with their friends every summer, so you need to make the most of the remaining holidays you have together. With a bit of flexibility and an understanding of what they want, you’ll both be having a holiday you’ll remember forever – for all the right reasons.
Family holidays with teenagers can be expensive, but on an all-inclusive Club Med holiday all sports and activities are included in the price, so you don’t need to worry about the extra cost of keeping them occupied. The beauty of going all-inclusive is that your teenager can live life at their own pace – eating when they want, playing their favourite sport and meeting their new friends, all in a safe and secure environment.
It’s no secret that teenagers crave their own space – the large ‘Keep Out’ sign on their bedroom door is a good clue. So it’s important that they can retreat to a parent- and sibling-free area to hang out and chat to other teenagers. A number of Club Med resorts feature Passworld, an open club with a dedicated space designed just for teenagers, where they can meet new friends and learn new skills such as film design and mixing beats. Supervised by qualified staff, the spaces also feature a dance floor and DJ booth. And no, you can’t have a try.
For many teenagers, playing sports is a big part of their everyday lives, and there’s no reason why this should change on holiday. Every sport that’s available to adults in a Club Med resort is also available to teenagers, so sit back and watch them go. Golf, tennis, archery, horseback riding, kite surfing, sailing, scuba diving, wakeboarding, waterski – the list is as long as your teenager’s text history. The resort of La Pointe aux Canonniers in Mauritius is one of Club Med’s best locations for land- and watersports. Remember that all the equipment is included so your teen doesn’t need to bring anything apart from a pair of trainers and plenty of energy.
It’s not just sports that can burn off all that excess energy. Club Med resorts boast a huge variety of activities for your teenager, whether it’s exclusive circus workshops teaching trapeze skills in resorts such as Marrakech La Palmeraie in Morocco or beach parties and cinema evenings in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. And if your teen is fond of a spa treatment, some Club Med resorts such as Cancún in Mexico feature treatments exclusively designed for them, while the tech-obsessed can try the brand new virtual reality suite at Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon in France, where they can experience what it’s like to ski down a mountain at full pelt without even leaving the hotel.
Of course, your teenager may want to spend their time sitting by the pool, texting friends or buried in a book. It may not be the most sociable activity but don’t force them to jump up and get involved if they don’t want to. Remember that they are likely to have just finished a stressful time at school, with all the pressure of exams and assessments, and – like you – need some time to relax.
The most memorable holidays are the ones where you did something completely new or something unexpected happened. Riding camels through the desert or climbing an ancient Mayan pyramid near Cancún in Mexico are activities neither of you will forget, so take some time to try new activities or discover new places together. Even if it’s simply learning a new sport or skill at the resort, it’ll be something that you’ll have plenty of fun doing, and it could spark off a new hobby or interest you can take home and continue (assuming you can find a camel).
You don’t need us to tell you that your teenager is growing up fast. Soon they will be off on their own holiday with their own friends. So make sure that you take this opportunity to chat to them, listen to them and laugh with them. Since you’re both relaxed and have plenty of time, holidays are the ideal place to get closer to your teenager before the pressure of school and work comes around again. They may not say so, but they will appreciate all your efforts to give them a great holiday, because believe it or not, the best holidays for teenagers are the ones that you’re on.