Does the thought of traveling with a teenager drive you crazy? If so, you can relax. These tips to have the best road trip with teens will help you have the getaway you want and have fun doing it.
Traveling with teens on a road trip isn’t all bad. After all, vacationing together gives you the chance to reconnect and catch up with each other.
Through the years, I’ve found that the trick to traveling with teens on a road trip is to keep them occupied. They can easily become bored on a long road trip. Having a few activities can help keep them actively engaged on the road trip. As you can see from the list below, the activities don’t have to all be fun and games to be effective.
Here are a few ideas that may help when when a road trip with teens seems daunting.
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Talk With Your Teen
Don’t forget about this important opportunity for the family road trip: conversation. When you’re all stuck in the car for hours, it’s a great time to talk about how to stay safe, make good decisions, and have a little fun along the way.
It’s also a good idea to talk with your teen and ask what they would like to do to pass the time in the car. You may be surprised at what he or she will come up with.
Involve Them in Planning and Budgeting
A bored teen is an unhappy teen, and unhappy teens can lead to unhappy vacations. To help your youth stay engaged on the trip, it’s a good idea to give them something to do and have them help with the planning.
When traveling with teens on a road trip, it can help to make them feel like an adult. Are you tracking gas mileage, keeping a vacation budget, or reading the map? These may be perfect for delegating to the back seat and give your teen important life skills.
Have Fun with Snail Mail
Many teenagers enjoy the idea of snail mail; before traveling with teens on a road trip, outfit yours with postcard stamps, pens, and an address book. Toss in a few bucks to buy postcards with, and you’re all set. Likely recipients are friends and family members, children, or older people that you know.
Teens will love to pick out a kitschy postcard to send to their friends.
Create a Vacation Playlist
Teenagers love music. When traveling with teens on a road trip, you can put this passion to work.
Assign your teen the task of developing a vacation playlist. You may have to set parameters, but this task is one that your teenager will jump at the chance to take on.
Need some fun ideas for playlist themes? Here you go:
- Songs that mention the state you are in. (i.e. Midnight Train to Georgia)
- Songs by bands and singers from that state.
- Classic road trip songs. (i.e. Born to be Wild)
Of course, they need to be reminded to choose family-friendly songs, but this task will certainly open their musical repertoire beyond what’s coming through those earbuds.
Be the Family Photographer
When traveling with teens on a road trip, someone has to record all those memorable moments. It’s a back seat job that your teenager may jump at the chance to have.
To make it extra-creative, have your teen create a blog chronicling the road trip. Not only will you have something to look back on, but your far-flung family will have a way of seeing your latest adventures and your teen can learn some important technical skills.
Enjoy Your Road Trip with Teens
As all parents know, there’s no better way to learn about your kids than spending time with them.
This is especially true when you’re on the road: the stress of navigating unfamiliar territory, the thrill of seeing new sights, and the incredible boredom that often accompanies long stretches of driving all lay bare the dynamics of your relationship in a way that’s as enlightening as it is fun.
So, it’s important to think of ways to make your road trip with teens more enjoyable and stress-free. Take the time to get them involved in the planning and execution of your family trip and they will learn life skills as well as play a role in your family adventure.