1. The World’s Largest Ball of Twine. Face it. Your teen doesn’t want to visit every historical site, point of interest or small town attraction in the United States. If you’re determined to make the trip an educational experience, make it a FUN one as well. Pick a destination that offers a little bit of everything. A good suggestion is New York. Rich with history, the city also offers theater, shopping, sightseeing and people watching that can’t be beat.
2. Compromise. If your teen feels involved in the decision-making of the vacation, he or she is more likely to enjoy it. Let your teen pick out an activity for the family. Then do it. Another way to compromise with your teen is to make “deals.” IE: You’re willing to bungee jump off of a cliff if they’re willing to tour a museum. (OK, maybe not bungee jumping, but you get the idea.)
3. Spontaneity. No one likes a rigid schedule. It completely eliminates the natural flow of a vacation. Rather than plan a back-to-back agenda for the day, pick one or two activities and leave the rest up to whim. Ask your teen what they want to do with the remainder of the afternoon. Hit the beach? Go back to the room? Go hiking in the rainforest? Anything’s possible.
4. Share an Adventure. Consider activities that none of you have done before. Go for sheer FUN. Your willingness to try something new will leave a lasting impression on your teen. And chances are good the experience will be one they never forget.