You are rushing out of the house with your suitcases in hand. Your teenage children are having an argument outside at the car – and one of them hasn’t even finished packing yet. Your spouse is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, you are checking to see if you have the passports and tickets with you, and as you look at your watch for the fifteenth time, you realise you only have minutes to spare before getting to the airport for check-in.
Surely it’s supposed to be easier than this!
Travelling abroad with your teenage children shouldn’t be this stressful, right? Well, with a little preparation you can make this experience fun, adventurous, educational and purposeful.
Here are some sure-fire tips to help you do this:
- Set aside a big chunk of your time to prepare before the trip so the whole experience won’t stress you out before you have even left home soil
Remember, no matter whether you are travelling with one teen, or four, it still remains a holiday. Therefore, if you approach it with adventurous frame of mind you’ll be more equipped to deal with whatever comes up. Make sure you also set aside sometime the day before to double-check everyone’s all packed with everything they will need.
- When you travel with your teenage children, include them in the planning process.
Get your teenager involved from the very start and have them give their input and suggestions so they feel part of the planning process. Encourage them to be more helpful and even in charge of some easy aspects of the trip – like planning which restaurants to go to. Also (depending on their age) when you arrive at your destination, encourage them explore and go off on their own provided they have all important numbers and the location of the hotel you’re staying in.
Be sure to tell the time they have to return!
- Look at accessibility and location of the place you’re going to
Are there amenities close to where you are staying? Are you close to shopping areas, restaurants and local transport routes? Make sure you take these things into consideration. Also, will your teenager be comfortable in their location and will there be people their own age to interact and do activities with? Ask them if there are places they would be interested in going and be sure to include them in the itinerary.
When helping your teenager get packed to go on vacation, there are three things you need to consider:
- Location you are traveling to
- The technology they can’t live without
- A checklist of must-haves (so you don’t forget anything)
Research your holiday destination in advance so you can be sure to pack the correct items of clothing. For example, if you plan to travel to Dominica you would pack shorts, a few t-shirts and swimming suits as opposed to travelling to, let’s say, Russia. In this case, you would be packing thermal tops and thick jumpers, jackets, hats and a couple of scarves. Make sure your teen has packed for the right climate.
When you travel with your teenage children, remember they will get bored easily, so be sure to bring some technology with you and don’t forget they may need different voltage chargers. But it’s also important to set some very clear boundaries around when these can and cannot be used: you don’t want them to be constantly glued to their iPhone screen and missing out on family bonding time and great sights during the trip. A few essential things to bring are:
- Mobile phones
If your teen decides to bring their mobile phone, it would be wise to get advice on roaming charges or get a prepaid roaming plan (especially if you’re the one paying for it). The last thing you need is to come home to: a heart-attack-inducing phone bill. So plan wisely and get the appropriate plan.
Create a checklist for what you need to bring when you travel with your teenage children
Bring your family together and brainstorm a list of essential stuff to bring during the trip. This must definitely include:
- your passports
- plane tickets
- hotel addresses or places that you’re staying in
- insurance papers
- important contact information
Be sure to go through this checklist the day before you are scheduled to leave to make sure everyone’s all ready to go. That way you can prevent the nerve-wracking scenario of rushing to get to the airport and realising you forgot something really important.
With your prep done and your bags packed and ready to go, the last thing you need to bring is an open mind and a smile. It’s vacation time, so enjoy it.
What about when your teenager is being…well….a teenager?
Solo travel can be stressful, but travelling with demanding teenagers can leave you feeling frazzled. Now here’s the thing, if you are trying to quit smoking you may be worried about extended travel. Not only do you have that smokeless, long travel journey to deal with but, depending on where you are going the cost of smoking can become prohibitive – ask any Australian about the cost of a packet of cigarettes!
The Veppo disposable e-cigarette could be the perfect solution to travelling with your teenage children and still enjoying the occasional smoke. You can check them out right here. Light, compact and available in a variety of strengths and flavours, it could be just the thing to help you endure enjoy a few weeks vacation with your teens whilst still keeping your cool.
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Finally, we realise we don’t have all the answers, so , if you have other suggestions for how to prepare and pack for travel with teenage children AND stay smoke free….we’d love to hear them in the comments.