15 Exciting Vacation Ideas & Spots For Families With Teenagers

As far as family vacations go, to say teenagers can be harder to impress than younger children, is an understatement. For this and other reasons, it can be difficult to come up with family vacation ideas and spots for families with teenagers. That, however, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

The key to a successful family vacation with teens is ensuring there’s things to do to keep everyone in the best of moods. As the family vacation planning gets underway, you may notice that your teen is the most enthusiastic one, as they often hunger for new experiences, like traveling overseas.

Go with this momentum and get them involved in the planning process. This will allow them to give input on the dates, destination, and activities you all can get up to while on vacation. Be sure to ask lots of questions which revolve around how best to plan your family getaway and where to go, so the intention and objective of the trip is clear from the very start.

Beaches Turks Caicos Family Snorkel

Picture: Enjoy your family vacation and enjoy endless fun activities together in Beaches Turks & Caicos.

Consider all things – from beach vacations, to train vacations and all-inclusive trips to a tropical paradise. Weigh the pros and cons of each, and keep in mind that vacation for teens often equates to freedom – however this translates to them. You likely don’t want to spend your vacation trying to reel in a teen who has different ideas than you do on what they should or should not be allowed to do on foreign territory. Try to get on the same page with this early on.

All in all, the best family vacation spots to go to with teenagers will have a little something for everyone, and this is what you should be looking for as you plan your vacation. Below you’ll find some helpful ideas!

Vacation idea #1: All-inclusive beach resorts in paradise

Beaches Turks Caicos Overview

Picture: Dive into a one-of-a-kind, unbelievably exciting Beaches all-inclusive Turks & Caicos vacation for the whole family.

All-inclusive vacations can help ensure everyone is kept occupied doing things they enjoy during your family trip. This is especially so for resorts like Beaches Resorts in the Caribbean, which cater to children of all ages, including teens. At Beaches there’s also the benefit of being able to give your teens a little more freedom, while still being able to keep a close eye on them, as most activities can be found right on property.

There’s a wide range of things to do at the resort for teens including watersports, teen-only boat trips, beach volleyball and soccer, a games room and even a teen-only nightclub. Beaches also offer spectacular waterparks which appeal to kids of all ages.

Vacation idea #2: Waterpark vacations

Beaches Turks Caicos Surf Simulator

Picture: Come show off your surfing skills at our SurfStream® Surf Simulator in Beaches Turks & Caicos.

The Caribbean is one of the best places in the world to go for waterpark family vacations. In Turks & Caicos you’ll find the Pirates Island Waterpark. This experience revolves around enormous water slides, multiple pools, water cannons, whirlpools and swim-up soda bars. You and the kids can also meander down the lazy river, or you can watch as they try the Caribbean’s only surf simulator. It’s hard to lose when selecting an option as exciting as this for your family getaway!

Vacation idea #3: Beach vacations

Beaches Turks Caicos Hobie Cat Ride

Picture: Every water sport imaginable is included along with top-of-the-line equipment and professional instruction.

Beach vacations are often at the top of the list where family vacations are concerned. This option is highly ranked because chances of enjoyment are high, and this is a great way to bring all your kids together, no matter their age. The Caribbean is synonymous with beach vacations, and in this destination, you’ll find some of the best beaches in the world. Here, your teen can live the laid-back beach life and return home bronzed and refreshed. Islands like Jamaica and Turks and Caicos promise beach vacations that are well worth the investment.

Expert tip: There’s no beach like Grace Bay Beach in Turks & Caicos. Powdery white sand meets turquoise waters. No wonder Grace Bay Beach has been voted the most beautiful beach in the world. Go on a snorkel adventure right from the beach!

Vacation idea #4: International adventures

Jamaica Zipline Tour

Picture: You can book tons of tours at any of our Beaches Resort and have an exciting adventure along with your paradise experience.

Head off on an international adventure with your teen for some incredible vacation experiences. The options are endless, and the objective is letting your teen experience cultures and lifestyles that are very different from what they’re used to. Depending on where you go, you and your teen can explore the forest, go hiking, see active volcanoes, try water skiing, go snowmobiling, ziplining, camel riding, and pretty much anything under the sun. Work with your budget to find the experience that’s right for you, and don’t forget to take lots of photos!

Vacation idea #5: Voluntourism trip

Voluntourism Trip

Photo credit: Rawpixel . com/Shutterstock.com

Volunteering is a great way to get your teen interested in giving back. With that said, you can plan a voluntourism trip, which some parents opt to do to give their teens a dose of the real world just as they’re getting set to graduate from high school.

A bit of research will help you find the best destinations for a trip of this nature, which typically involves helping the less fortunate, taking care of animals, helping to preserve the environment, and overall making a lasting impact on the lives of local constituents.

There are many ways your teen can get involved in volunteering opportunities while on vacation whether this is done with a church or school group, a non-profit, or as a personal effort. The best part of this experience is that once they’ve done their part, there’ll be enough time for some well-deserved fun!

Vacation idea #6: Food tours, cooking classes & farmers’ markets

Conch Fritters Beach Food

Photo credit: MevZup/Shutterstock.com

Who wouldn’t love a vacation that’s all about food? Go on a trip that allows you to be immersed in culinary adventure in a phenomenal place. Try food tours, get involved in cooking classes, or visit farmers’ markets to keep the trip centered around food and expose your teen to a new culture. Visit some of the best restaurants – from the more high-end to simple street vendors and encourage your teens to share their thoughts on each experience. Do some research on travel destinations which offer the best family-friendly food tours and culinary experiences which should help you figure out the best place to go.

Vacation idea #7: Cultural trips

Jamiaca Culture Local Musicians

Photo credit: Yevgen Belich/Shutterstock.com

Cultural immersion is always a win, as it helps shape character and can allow your teen to get a better appreciation of the world around them. Expand their horizons with a trip centered around experiencing various cultures in non-Westernized countries. This is one vacation that will challenge their perspectives, stretch their communication capabilities, and expose them to new ways of living. Try places like Jamaica, where you find unique dishes, reggae music and the Rastafarian lifestyle. This kind of trip is a sure way to forge a better bond with you, your teen, and the rest of your family as you’ll all likely be totally out of your element.

Vacation idea #8: College tours

College Tour Los Angeles

Photo credit: David A. Litman/Shutterstock.com

This might not seem like a conventional vacation idea, but a college tour is one of those things your teen may get excited about. They’re at that age where they may soon be heading off to college, and you taking them on this tour means that you trust them to be out on their own and want to help them make the best decision.

This is a good opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with your teen who has their sights set on college. You can fit multiple locations into this trip, though it is important not to try to hit too many birds with one stone as doing so can add a frenzied feel to the whole engagement. Zero in on the schools your teen is most interested in so you can decide which schools are best to visit. If you can, stay near the campus so you can get information from students or other locals who live in the vicinity. Let them have a taste of college life style!

Vacation idea #9: Adventure vacations

Scuba Diving Jamaica

Picture: Only Beaches all-inclusive Caribbean resorts offer the most comprehensive resort diving program, and best of all, it's all included.

Is your teen keen on adventure? Do they love things like skiing, surfing, hiking, or snowboarding? How about snorkeling and scuba diving? If you answered yes to any of these then an adventurous vacation may be ideal for you and your family. Plan a vacation along the lines of the things your teen likes doing and ensure there are also things to do in that destination that appeal to parents and younger siblings. Vacations centered around adventure are a great choice because most activities can be enjoyed by the entire family. Teens can also get a chance through this experience to try things they haven’t before. Consider going on a cycling tour, or even rock climbing. Get out of your comfort zone for an unforgettable vacation!

Vacation idea #10: Train vacations

Train Vacation View

Photo credit: Gary Rolband/Shutterstock.com

Going anywhere by train tends to add a whole different feel to any trip. Train vacations make it possible to see places you haven’t before, long before getting to your actual destination. Even your ‘hard to impress’ teen will be impressed by some of the cultural heritage sites and other points of interest they may spot along the way.

On some long-distance trains, you’ll find volunteer guides who can answer questions, and share information on the things and places you’ll see along the way. Students aged 13-15 save 15 percent on Amtrak fees, while kids 2-12 get 50 percent discounts if you book three days ahead of the trip. Another benefit of train travel is that you don’t have to pay baggage fees, and you get to avoid traffic jams that you might experience via a road trip.

Vacation idea #11: Theme/amusement park vacations

Amusement Park Roller Coaster

Photo credit: SIHASAKPRACHUM/Shutterstock.com

If kids could make rules, theme park visits would be a critical component of every childhood. If your teenager has yet to visit a theme park, or just wants to experience it once more, consider going on a vacation centered around an amusement park.

You can choose from mega theme parks, movie inspired locations and everything else in between, all of which will keep them engrossed and entertained. Though this can be costly if you don’t plan right, theme park memories are something your teen will hold close for years to come.

Other options are vacation experiences that include horseback riding, photography, scuba diving, cave explorations, and more. If you can’t find a package tour around the theme you think your teen will get into, simply create your own!

Vacation idea #12: Backpacking in the mountains

Backpacking Mountain Vacation

Photo credit: blazg/Shutterstock.com

Take your teen on an adventure they won’t stop talking about anytime soon by signing up for a backpacking adventure. This is a great way to get your teen to disconnect and live in the moment. They’ll get to experience new landscapes, learn about different types of plants and see a range of wildlife.

Vacation idea #13: Big-ticket trips

Paris Eiffel Tower View

Photo credit: Catarina Belova/Shutterstock.com

Take your teen to that destination they’ve always wanted to go or have always seen in the movies for your family vacation this year. The teenage years are a great time to do this as you can get your teen involved in the planning process, perhaps even offering some insight into the costs associated with a trip of that nature. This can only inspire them to work harder to be able to afford it once they’re out on their own and making their own money. Encourage your teen to document the trip by way of photography or journaling. They’ll appreciate being able to reflect later.

Vacation idea #14: Take them to experience some adult activities

Meuseum of Metropolitan Art New York

Photo credit: Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock.com

In the mind of your teenager they’re all grown up already, but in actuality this may be far from the case. Though it can break your heart to see how fast they’re growing up, you can step in in a positive way, by introducing your teen to grown up things, like Broadway shows, sophisticated dining, trips to the museum or art galleries, and more. The intention of all of this would be to expand their horizons, and to show them that you do respect and appreciate that they are getting older. During a vacation, the best way to do this is with doses of teen-friendly endeavors sprinkled in as well, for the sake of their sanity.

Vacation idea #15: Wildlife adventures

Bamboo Raft River Ride

Photo credit: Jam Travels/Shutterstock.com

It will be hard for any child, teenagers included, not to be impressed by wildlife. Witnessing exotic wildlife is something out of the norm, and even your teenagers likely won’t be able to wipe the smiles of wonder off their faces during this experience. Options include going to a nature reserve, or on a safari. There are many places you can go to that will provide opportunities to see animals like penguins, lions, green monkeys, and even alligators in their natural habitat. Wildlife adventures are ideal for family vacations, or graduation gifts for teens.

There you have it… family vacation ideas & spots with teenagers made easy!


Picture: Beaches all-inclusive resorts for families with teenagers are the only places where there are no rules ever. So do whatever you want... or not.

There are lots of options for places to go with teenagers, but one of the most important things to keep in mind when travelling with teens is that you’ll need to be prepared to navigate around their schedules, which often include sleeping in late, and generally doing things at their own pace. Perhaps this is something you can take their lead on; relax and sink into the true meaning of being on holiday. Plan things to do, but also make some time to do nothing at all, and just appreciate the time away with the ones you love.

Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Writing for 13-years, Kylie discovered that experiences tell the best stories. As a Caribbean mother who wrote for newspapers, magazines, and blogs, she believes inspiration is even found in our kids!

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