The Tweens are a special age. They’re children, but they’re not quite adults. They’re smart, but not yet fully formed independent thinkers. When it comes to vacationing with tweens, there is a lot that you have to consider. I’ve got the inside scoop on how to make the most out of your time away with your children. Today we talk about the top family vacation destinations with tweens, as well as some of the best travel tips for slowing them down and becoming closer as a family on vacation.
Ahh, yes, family vacations. Where the family comes together and has fun for a few days. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking. With kids now being born as early as 21 and 19 years of age, there is a generation gap that can lead to misunderstanding between the grandparents, parents and the siblings. The holiday seasons are great when the families come together for big family events. But it can be especially challenging for those with tweens who seem to have their own opinions about everything.
Family Vacation With Tweens
I remember back when our daughters were 10 and 12, we took a family vacation to the beach. We stayed in one of those condos that’s about a five-minute walk from the ocean, with the 9′ x 11′ glass wall in the living room that opens up so you can listen to the surf and watch people strolling on the beach below. The tweens can be a rough bunch. As much as we want them to appreciate family vacations with us, the fact is that they are just not that interested in camping and yes, it’s a little boring for them sometimes. But as parents, you’ve got to keep the faith, knowing that someday they will treasure these memories you create for them today.
8 Fantastic Tween Vacations Ideas in the U.S.
The best vacations for 10-12 year olds offer plenty of active options to keep busy, mixed with roomy accommodations for tweens to have some personal space.
Norman Rockwell once said that he loved to paint “tweens” (although he didn’t use that modern lingo) because they could be both deeply emotional and also equally “boisterous.”
As a mom of a now teen, recent tween, I agree that this is a great age, and truly a sweet spot for travel. Tweens in the 10 to 12 year old age range are old enough that they can try more challenging activities, but still young enough that they want to spend time with their parents – which isn’t always the case as they round the corner to high school!
I also loved traveling with my son during this age, since he still wanted to spend time exploring together, but he could experience things — like a water slide or arcade — on his own, without my having to stand over him.
The best vacations for this tween sweet spot offer choices with plenty of active options to keep busy (which I found was the key to a successful middle school vacation), mixed with roomy accommodations for tweens to have some personal space.
Here are some great tween vacation options around the country
As it is, it can be quite a task to get the adolescents in your clan excited about family vacations.
And then comes the pressure of getting the vacation right; ensuring there’s just the right amount of family time while also letting them have the freedom for their own kind of fun can be quite a tricky balance!
Agreed, your not-so-little ones are obviously not little anymore and the idea of a full-blown Lampoon vacation may not really be enticing to them.
However, adolescence is when the kids are at their most curious and active best and you’re in for a great travel buddy if you manage to excite them enough (pro tip — involve them in the decision making and give them sufficient time to bond and relax!).
But even pro tips apart, nothing short of magic could probably transform your teen into the ideal traveler overnight; however, taking them to the right spot sure can help make great headway in the process!
To give you a hand, here’s our list of the top vacation spots that have something for you and the teens alike.
Rock-and-roll emporiums, sporting venues and stadiums, pristine beaches for surfing, or hair-raising adventure parks — these vacation spots are teen-friendly hubs with a ton of teen-friendly activities, no matter where their interest lies!
Read on for some inspiration on family vacation ideas with teenagers and putting together a family vacay that every member of the family will cherish for a long time to come!
1. Honolulu, Hawaii
A beautiful spot that manages to strike the right balance between being a cosmopolitan city and a tropical paradise, Hawaii is a great spot to start off with if you’re wondering where to take a teenager on vacation!
Family Attractions and Wide Open Spaces for Tweens in Virginia
Williamsburg, Virginia, is pretty much a perfect destination with tweens. They’ll be equally excited to interact with living history at Colonial Williamsburg as they are to rider the coasters at Busch Gardens.
After you’ve explored the area attractions, there’s still a whole vacation’s worth of fun to explore at Kingsmill Resort. The property is set on 3,000 acres along the James River, and there’s plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, including outdoor pools and a lazy river, bike rentals, tennis, fishing, and kayaking. Plus, there’s a championship golf course with junior summer camps for kids ages 7 to 13, not to mention a million-dollar spa where parents can relax.
Another highlight of Kingsmill are the accommodation options. Instead of a hotel room, families can take advantage of multi-bedroom cottages and vacation homes offering plenty of elbow room for everyone.