Traveling with a teenager can in itself be rewarding, but at the same time challenging to pull off. The challenges tend to get harder as the teen gets older and wants to exert their independence. As a parent, your first concern is to protect your teen from harm, and in a world that is chaotic and increasingly violent, that can be hard to do, especially when you are traveling. From knowing when and when not to let them drive on your vacation to knowing where they are at all times, read on below for a few of the top tips to successful, and safe traveling with your teenager in tow.
Don’t be Naïve
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that peer pressure is very real, whether it’s at 13 or 16, at home or on vacation. The thing is not to be naïve about underage drinking and the very real possibility that your teenager could be offered both on your family vacation. The trick is to have this conversation with your adolescent son or daughter early on. According to Mission Harbor, an adolescent treatment program, forewarned is forearmed, and letting your teenager know what is expected of them on your vacation is a step in the right direction.
Keep the Expensive Electronics to a Minimum
Teenagers love electronics and there is nothing wrong with that. Of course, they are going to want to take out there iPhones and document your trip by taking pictures and uploading them to their favorite social media sites. The thing is, the Wi-Fi in some places, especially abroad, can be dangerous to use. Make sure that you brush up on safely using Wi-Fi and teach your kids about it as well. Don’t let your kids flash their expensive electronics, especially, if they are out alone.
Set and Enforce an Early Curfew
Every parent has heard the horror stories on the news about teenagers disappearing on vacation. Setting an early curfew is one way to reduce that risk with your teenager. As a parent, you already know you can’t keep your teenager under lock and key every second, so keeping in touch constantly, and having a designated time for them to be back in your hotel room is the next best thing.
Supervise Activities that Could be Risky
Whether it’s spelunking or water skiing, teenagers need supervision when risk is involved. Making sure to book their activities through a company that is reputable and has great reviews is a start. When it comes to these activities, go with your gut, and you can’t go wrong.
These are just a few tips to help you keep your teen safe on your family vacation. While you want them to have fun and not feel smothered, you are still the parent above all and their safety is your top concern.