The Do’s and Don’ts of Family Travels [Teen Article]
Posted Jul 14 2009 10:13pm
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.
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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