Where have your best holidays been with your teens?(29 Posts)
Hi, I am struggling to know where on earth we can holiday with our 15yr old triplets, girl and two boys. In the past life was easy, but since 2009 their Dad has been battling bowel cancer, currently in remisssion We haven`t flown since 2007, our last holiday was our best ever, 4 weeks touring the West Coast of America. We would love to return, but its been a nightmare to try and get him travel inurance. So.....we need a holiday, we need inspiration for short breaks etc. We have had breaks in Center Parcs which we have all enjoyed but now only affordable if we take them out of school. School refused us last year to take them out for one day, despite their Dads illness. Last summer we had a week in Sherwood Forest with Forest Holidays, lovely lodge with a hot tub. Trouble was nothing to do except walks, then dd had her period so couldn`t even use the hot tub! She hates to be seen with us, and won`t go off with her brothers!! We can`t take a friend as we only have 5 seats in the car, we have suggested PGL but none of her friends wants to go! Its a nightmare isn`t it? We all love animals, forests, nature..............but then they want theme parks and shops and take aways too! Any suggestions please for what you have done in UK, or maybe a cruise, or all inclusive etc abroad.......................very open to suggestions! We are not the youngest of parents, so what we might want to do won`t appeal to them. Just trying to find something for everyone...................thank you!
Spain is more expensive for travel insurance, so a great French campsite for Teens is Prairies de la mer - again, no car needed. Get boat trips to San Tropez, boat trips around Port Grimaud (the resort) and coaches run to Monaco.(We drove though). The campsite has its own beach and there was "Plage rock" taking place so concerts on the beach at night for the teens. If you go there, get a van with a covered deck as it was far too hot without shade for freckly me. The air-con & deck made it perfect, and the village of Port Grimaud is just perfect for wandering around in the evening, eating ice creams, people watching etc.
Another fan of the French campsites here. The large ones have loads of teens & teen clubs. A few years back we drove (2 long days doing Dover/Calais ferry) to just South of Barcelona, to the Sanguli Campsite (stayed with Thomson Alfresco). Lots of people flew there as you could happily not have a car. The beach is right opposite the campsite, as is a huge supermarket. The station is a 20 min walk away for day trips to Barcelona - where you can get open top bus tours, and there is SO much to see.
Best for DS - Portaventura is in the same town so we had passes that allowed us to come & go as we pleased (we did take the car - 10min drive - but buses run).
The campsite had great pools and the usual evening entertainments and onsite restaurants & takeaways, and the town had lots of good restaurants as well.
It was VERY hot though (August)
We're off in July after kids finished exams. Barcelona, Cannes, Lisbon, etc. DS and DH are going to some football stadium in Barcelona while DD and I have planned to hit the shops. As I said previously, something for everyone
DH and I are going back to Santiago De Compostella(sp) alone as was rather romantic the last time we went, can't wait...
Probably not relevant, but can be part of a cruise - Iceland?
Thermal springs, glaciers, volcanoes, northern lights.
Not that I've been myself. DS's secondary school had a geog trip there which was a great success and looked fabulous.
Don't know, ours did 3 comfortably. I would have thought there would be larger ones though.
Did the balcony cabins you had sleep 5 then, we have looked at the website and got the brochure but can`t see a cabin we could get 3 in, its prob me, full of cold and not concentrating. I like the idea of Kenya but would worry abit about my dh if he was ill, do you need horrid jabs to go there? After ivf I am a wimp when it comes to them, even typing and seeing the word makes me feel faint !
Have you thought about Kenya? you can find surprisingly cheap all inclusive holidays and fit in a few days safari? It is not nearly as expensive as you think...I took two teens and there ws something exciting to do every single day.
We had joined balcony cabins which have a retracting panel on the balcony that you can slide back to create a larger outdoor area and instant access to the teens via the patio doors. Not that we went looking for them much
Royal Carribean, but TBH I've not heard anything bad said about any if the other main companies. The DC were either out with us when in port or very busy amusing themselves with the older teenage clubs
We all got together for a formal dinner every night. Was a great excuse to get dressed up, even teen boy Scarlett enjoyed himself ( although he did eat the same meal every night, that boy likes his sirloin)
I think the reason it was so great was, aside from the chill out factors of sailing, was that everyone could be together or not and still have not enough time to do everything. And the food has to be seen to be believed, the service too
Katie, I am interested in a cruise as eeryone says they are brillliant if you choose the right one, do you mind me asking which company you are going to? Our problem is there are 5 of us, so usually doubles the cost because of room size.
We have done PGL, MW, Disney, Europe, centre parks, holiday cottages etc.
The best one was def the cruise so we are doing it again in July. DC are 17 and 16. Only had to see them at dinner
Gosh I would have never thought of taking the dcs to Florence! Is it as wonderful as I remember, I was there in 1974 with a girlfriend...............fabulous time and happy memories!
Ah, that explains why my DS is so keen to go to Florence.
We had a couple of great holidays as a family in Cascais near Lisbon. It's a nice, safe feeling resort, Lisbon is only 30 minutes by train and there's quite a lot to do there in terms of museums, culture, shops etc plus if they like history Sintra is easy to get to.
I like the sound of the flotilla or the cruise but I'd never get DH on a boat.
We have 4 kids. DS1 18, DS2 16, DD1 14 and DD2 nearly 12. Agree with poster above, we've had great fun skiing but it can be expensive. We did get great value in Slovakia one year, staying in a log cabin in the National Park. The kids loved it
We've also had great breaks in Paris and Florence. We went to Florence last October Mid Term and it was fantastic, We rented an apartment right in the centre so the older kids could come and go without us. Because we were there at the end of OCtober it was off peak and so great value and not crowded. Still about 20 degrees so nice and warm. We did a day trip to Sienna, cycling tour of Florence and lots of window shopping. We also went to the big galleries and I was amazed how well the kids did at them. They are not exactly cultured and refined. In fact the boys were so excited going because of Assassins Creed, the X-box game, and the Pizza place from Jersey Shore is there!
After 4 skiing holidays, one sailing holiday and a trip to Paris as teenagers if you asked them their favorite it would be Florence. In fact my oldest was trying to persuade his friends to go back with him for their A-level holiday this year!
The most successful holiday we've had with our teens has been Paris. Cheap flights with Easyjet and we found an aparthotel at reasonable cost which meant we didn't have to eat out all the time and kept the cost down a bit
French campsite holidays for us as well. We generally go for 3 bed mobile homes or lodges. Eurocamp/Keycamp/Canvas all have a good range. Alternatively you can book direct with the campsite which can be cheaper (though not always).
Do you know le " puy du fou " ( http://www.puydufou.com/en ) 3 hours from Paris by car, our teen loved it! The apartment we rented in Paris was exceptional, which made our stay even better.
I have used a website agency called "At Home in France" (www.athomeinfrance.com), they was very helpful in suggesting itinerary accommodations for our 1 month trip ( Mom+3 teenage girls!). I boarded the plane to France feeling confident about the trip, but seeing our Paris apartment assured me we had made a good Booking. We also booked a Provence property for 2 weeks that was also wonderful!
What about festivals, many family oriented. Safety wise I hear womad Is the best, solfest, end of the road etc. you can all do your own thing. What about hay festival, drumming workshops for teens etc. good luck with dh's scan xxx
Thank you everyone, lots of ideas! My brother from Durham said his mate had been on a Thompson Sensorati holiday to Greece and their teens loved it, so got all excited then was [shocked] when I saw the price for 5 of us! I think I am going to wait until my dh gets his ct scan result next Thurs, fingers x`d it will still be all clear then we know we have 6 months before the next one to plan something.
Skiing. The only thing that suited when XDH and I were together. Since then the kids and I had a great trip to Orlando. Not much help.
What do they want to do? rent a bigger car and take friends for all of them (OMG Triplets!!!!)? do activity days out? forget doing stuff all together and do it separately? overnight/one day trips to Alton Towers etc?
I've got a DD 14, and DS 16 - our DS has told us that this year will be the last that he goes on holiday with us, quite sad about that really as I've enjoyed all our holidays and the time is over so quickly. Anyway, in recent years we've had some really successful holidays in France (Vendee) with Thomson Alfresco staying in chalets on sites where you can just mooch about or go for days out (my two hate going for days out!) also, lodges on the Isle of Wight - free holiday with Tesco vouchers at Park Resorts - make sure you only go for Gold level of accommodation or above, anything below is just not nice! Villa with its own pool (can be pricey) - this summer we're staying in a caravan on a site in Dorset that can accommodate a friend each if they want on the sofabeds - my DS says the only way he'll come on this holiday is if we don't make him go out at all!! it has wifi so I guess he'll just be holed up in the caravan for most of the time!
A family I know went on a cruise round the Baltic with the grandparents as a present for the gps.
They all had a lovely time.
Cottage holidays in France have done us well; Brittany Ferries do passage and cottage deals that are not much more expensive than this country.
Do you ever do separate holidays or would that just not be the right thing for your family? I remember at 13 having a few days in Paris, just with my mum. It felt really special and we had a lovely 'bonding' time - in fact we still talk about (over 40 years ago !!!).
Just an idea.........
You could look into the cruise idea but make sure you get some really good advice so its not all OAPs or young families. We've had great holidays at Eurocamps - perhaps get one near a Thme Park?
Good luck finding something, we just have one 11 year old and thats hard enough.
I would say absolutely the best holidays when my DC's were teenagers were Flotilla saiilng holidays. They are not cheap but Neilsons tend to be the best value. There will other teens, something to do every minute, a new skill to learn and just as important great fun for the parents and not just because the teens are having fun! It is very sociable and making new friends is easy. I would recommend Greece, Croatia or Turkey. All good but Greece is the best value. My DC's are now in their 20's and still sail and still talk about those early flotillas we did. We laughed until we cried on occasion it was such good fun. Your DD will be able to lie about on the yacht sunbathing if she doesnt want to join in the sailing bit, planning her outfit for the next evening in the next harbour.
If that doesnt
float you boat take your fancy I understand the shore based water sports holidays are also great.
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