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holidays abroad with teens

(26 Posts)
foxdongle Thu 03-Apr-14 13:01:44

your best holidays/destinations with your teenagers?

In a few years it will be just me and dh.

got cruise and week in spain booked this year. possible cruise next year too, not sure where yet, thought Alaska -too scenic? ideas?
we like cruising/sights/beach- as long as plenty other stuff to do-
no to camping /driving miles, but fly anywhere.

I like to book early and don't want the scenario my friend had with dd16 refusing to go at the last minute! (she went and sulked)

at what age did they decide they didn't want to go on holiday with you anymore?
or do they still in their late teens/twenties? (why?)

Can't imagine mine will tbh. (dd 12 ds 14-if asked, apart from cruises, they would say NY and Spain-should we just do that? feel like want to show them more)

exexpat Thu 03-Apr-14 13:12:33

We did Cuba last year on a 'family adventure' holiday with a small group of other families with teenagers (the holiday was specifically marketed for families with teens), which worked very well - I had other adults to talk to, and the DCs had people their own age to mess around in the pool or play cards with. We went with Exodus, but there are several companies doing similar trips to lots of interesting places, usually with a mixture of activities, sightseeing and lounging around on beaches/by pools.

The year before that we went interrailing around Europe. We have also done city-hopping round the US, and various trips round Asia/Australia, but a lot of that was visiting family and friends. This year we're doing a cruise, as DS (15) has heard good reports of cruises from friends of his.

By 15 I'd stopped going on family holidays, but then my parents didn't do very exciting things. I get the impression that DS will be happy to come with me and DD as long as I am planning to go somewhere interesting.

Creamycoolerwithcream Thu 03-Apr-14 16:02:18

My 2 DS are 13 and 15 and we've gone a bit cruiseaholic in the last few years as they just seem to work for our family. Last summer when my DS just turned 15 he said he didn't want to go on any more holidays with us. We had just moved house and then went on a longish holiday and I think we all felt homesick and wanted to bond with our new home. Since then we have been trying to plan really good family trips knowing our son may only come away with us a few more times. We went to Atlantis the Palm in Dubai in Feb and that was a 100% success, my boys absolutely loved the water park and I loved everything. One of our best trips with young teens was a twin centre holiday to Rio and then onto Argentina to stay in a rain forest lodge and visit Iguassa Falls. It was the perfect balance of stuff to do and down time and a really good temperature for days out. My youngest son loved the beach football on the beach in Rio. Another good trip for similar reasons was Cape Town. We had a car and did shortish day trips each day and then had a couple of hours in the hotel pool. I always pick the holiday but then buy a guide book and let the DC choose what they want to do or go in that country.

mummymeister Thu 03-Apr-14 16:04:38

older teens who keep asking if we will take them away when they have finished uni smile We had a fab holiday in florida keys with lots of activities and have been planning a rockies adventure. plus city breaks which they all love. cant see we will ever get a holiday on our own as they love a wet weekend in Wales as long as we are all together. PM for details on Rockies/Canada. I have bags of info. plus I really, really want to go to Belize . worth looking at? friends went on one of these desert camps with their teens. a bit edgy and fun apparently but couldn't do the heat.

nannynewo Thu 03-Apr-14 23:45:18

In my experience, teens will start wanting to stay home alone around 16/17 while you go on holiday and then when they start uni and realise that money doesn't grow on trees, they will be begging to come on holiday again! I would say maybe somewhere that is family friendly but nearby for the teens to go off and do their own thing if they wish? Spain is great

foxdongle Fri 04-Apr-14 13:48:30

I think inter-railing sounds good, and city hopping i'm thinking NY and Chicago or somewhere exexpat. Any experience?

creamy You have written half of my to do list right there! esp. South America. Btw what were the best bits of Cape town? - tempted as there's not much time difference. Have seen your other comments on Dubai, on other threads, you seem to love it as does my db I think a twin centre with either Sri lanka or Maldives would be great.
Cruising is so addictive isn't? It works so well for us too, you just get to see/do so much. I am also looking at cruise and stay around the Bahamas from Miami and add on nights couple nights in NY. (flights not out yet)
Also I know what you mean- we moved house last autumn and dcs took a while to settle in, we usually have a winter holiday, but glad we have waited until May.
Our ds said last year on way back from Devon Thanks but no thanks to u.k. holidays from now on-that's what got me thinking.

mm Belize looks amazing and you can cruise there from Texas. I would love rockies/Alaskan cruise too, not sure about dcs if it's too much scenery/wildlife and not enough other. plus dh likes to fry in hot sun when he's on holiday!

nanny my nephew did that, went off with mates around Africa aged 18, this year aged 20 at uni going again with his family on a cruise

Thanks all, loads of ideas to have some fab family holidays for as long as they want to come with us.
and if you think of anymore ideas, lets have em! smile

ssd Fri 04-Apr-14 15:23:37

can anyone recommend somewhere near Barcelona coastline to stay with teen ds's? thanks

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 04-Apr-14 16:38:51

Foxdongle, everything in Cape town is amazing. we tended to one day a trip up to about an hours driveaway such as Cape of Good hope or Boulders Beach to see the penguins and then the next day more local such as cable car up to the top of Table mountain or a trip to most beautiful Boatnical garden and then lunch a bit of souvenier shopping at the lovely V & A waterfront. We ate out somewhere different each evening and the DC enjoyed great big fish platters for under £10. Its the most beautiful place I have been to.
I forgot to mention another good holiday we did which was a few days in L.A (we went to Disney) and then a cruise down the Pacific side of Mexico. Your teens may enjoy that as there is often a lot of American people on board who are good fun and you can do whale watching as you cruise along.

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 04-Apr-14 16:43:34

Forgot to say if you do the Bahamas cruise your teens may like the water park at the Atlantis, its the sister one to the Dubai hotel I mentioned. there are lots of rides for teens and adults and an amazing lazy river/rapids.

foxdongle Sat 05-Apr-14 13:31:14

creamy very tempted by cape town, I have been googling and there's so much to do and it looks amazing. However looking at my dcs this morning, can't get up, can't be bothered with this and that, it could be a pain and think we could be wasting a load of money.
Me and dh had a chat over coffee and both thought it will have to be a cruise still, then we can leave them in bed and they can get up when they want and do what they want; pool, kids club, whatever and that waterpark looks right up their street.
and we can save cape town for just us 2 smile

clam Sat 05-Apr-14 13:46:31

We've done all-inclusive in the Caribbean. Lovely.
We've done 2 villas in Barbados for 4 families with similarly-aged teens - brilliant!
We do an annual ski trip, also with other families with teens. Keeps them occupied, knackered and therefore out of trouble. Great.
We've done a Californian road trip with just us 4. Excellent. Something to tick everyone's box.
It irritates dh no-end, but I subscribe to wifi wherever we are and let them take their ipads/laptops. It doesn't stop them from coming out and about with us, but is useful for 'down-time.'

clam Sat 05-Apr-14 13:47:58

By the way, we always expected they'd stop coming with us at around 16. Not so. Not while we're paying, anyway!

stinkingbishop Sat 05-Apr-14 13:51:54

When DS was a teen I had did lots of adventure holidays with him on me tod/in an organised group. He was (still is!) exactly how you describe in terms of staying in bed till the sun's practically gone down...but made much more of an effort when there was adventure to be had smile.

As a single Mum, we've done Mongolia (Off the Map Tours), Egypt and Cuba (Exodus, same trip as exexpat!!) and then with other family/assorted partners Capetown (fab, we got a beach house in Noordhoek as a base, so they could always sleep in while you explored), Peru (also with Exodus), Kenya and Sicily.

He's 20 now, and at Uni, but asked really forlornly the other day whether he was still allowed to come on holiday with me. He even offered to pay his half! As a result - because my ridiculously over grateful heart obviously melted at this request - we're driving round Iceland, just the two of us, this summer, leaving his half sisters and DP behind. Huzzah!!!

They may give the impression 99 percent of the time of being ungrateful sods, but I think travel is just so brilliant, and he's obviously stored up as many amazing memories of it as me. Job - to a certain extent - done smile.

PM me if you want more details of any of the specific trips. REALLY recommend Exodus and their special 'teen departures'.

Nocomet Sat 05-Apr-14 13:56:21

Mine just get taken to Majorca/Ibiza on normal packages. No complaints as they will spend all day in the pool and sea. The younger one always makes friends the older one is perfectly happy with her sister, us for company.

I was amazed and delighted when she actually chattered to a girl her own age (15) all the way back on a boat trip.

Vague mutterings about going to California this year, but no one has been organised.

Utterly inconceivable they'd want to stay home, there is absolutely nothing to do unless you can drive.

I'm not leaving a 17-18y my car keys.

foxdongle Wed 09-Apr-14 12:38:03

creamycwc and SB do you think a week in cape town is enough?
we usually go feb half term for winter and other years we have been able to add on a couple of days to make it worth going long haul.
Now Goves new rules plus ds will be doing his gcses has put a stop to that.
we are fairly active and can fit a lot into a week, but don't want to feel like we've really crammed it in or, worse missed something.
alternatively we could go at easter.

SB I think you are right that mostly they do get a lot out of travel/holidays.

clam considering carribean cruise still with maybe stopover in NY. we have been to lots of the carribean before dcs so would be nice to show them.

Shoopshoop2 Wed 09-Apr-14 12:47:20

ssd,this hotel in Barcelona is near beach,and town.

Creamycoolerwithcream Wed 09-Apr-14 14:47:39

We did actually go to Cape Town for the Feb half term and the weather was great. We flew out Thursday evening (Friday was an inset day) and flew back Saturday evening and arrived home Sunday lunchtime. That was plenty of time to see lots of the sights. We hired a car and stayed in a place called Bantry Bay which is quite close to Camps bay. We found loads to do within an hours drive but did spend quite a bit of time researching different day trips before we went. We combined a few places into one day out such as Stellenbosch and Winelands, Simons Town and Boulders beach, Botanical garden and Cape Town Castle. Eating at different restaurants each lunch and dinner also made the holiday feel really long.

foxdongle Wed 09-Apr-14 22:23:38

Thanks CreamyCWC that's good to know that loads can be done in a week/8 nights in Capetown. unfortunately no inset days showing for feb half term 2015, but we could go Friday evening as live only an hour away from two main airports.

narrowed options down to Capetown or NY and Carribean cruise - Capetown is more tempting cus only +2 hrs time difference, so no jet lag- could do 1 next year and 1 year after smile

cromwell44 Wed 09-Apr-14 22:36:24

Ssd, sorry just seen this. Try Tarragona or VilaNova Isla Gultru. We've booked an apartment here plus three days in Barcelona in August. Two teenagers with us, DS 15 and 16. I hope it works out.

elQuintoConyo Wed 09-Apr-14 23:09:50

I live in Tarragona grin
Vilanova i la Geltru is lovely. Sitges one stop closer to Barcelona on the train (and not even ten minutes!) is gorgeous.
Tarragona is wonderful, of course! Roman stuff galore, lovely old streets, very very safe, big central plaça for having dinner until stupid o'clock. And Port Aventura nearby for big rollercoasters.
There's a frstival.on in August, an Magi. Can't think.what day it is, but I can find out.
I'm looking forward to seeing the Italian gladiators re-enacting in the amphitheatre next month <froargh>

cromwell44 Wed 09-Apr-14 23:13:24

elQ, really glad to hear your comments. It's put my mind at rest about my Summer holidays. Do you mind my asking if you think teenagers will enjoy the area? My two will have 3 days in Barca before moving to the coast. I'm hoping they'll be chilled by then.

elQuintoConyo Wed 09-Apr-14 23:36:44

It will be H-O-T, hotter than Hades. So lots of siestas, shade, factor fifty, plus hats - even for Barcelona, just to be on the safe side and so you can enjoy everything rather than moaning in pain (been there!).
Barcelona's fantastic, but don't bother with the beach, especially if you're going to chill out on the coast later (Barceloneta beach is awful).
Vilanova and Tarragona have lovely beaches. And lifeguards, showets etc. Very safe and clean.
PM me if you've got any other questions - don't want to derail the thread!

foxdongle Thu 10-Apr-14 09:56:23

elQ please carry on. all ideas re teens on holiday welcome. gives us all ideas/hope smile
we are going on a day trip to Barcelona from salou at end of august so interested in all comments.

Theas18 Thu 10-Apr-14 10:06:33

Best ever holiday was driving all around the Iceland ring road including the West fjords staying in youth hostels.

it was amazing. We are going back in the summer to take a bus across the interior. DD1 has mostly stopped coming on ordinary holidays. Told her we were planning this and she wants to come too, so it must have been good!

cromwell44 Thu 10-Apr-14 14:54:01

Thanks elQ. I did a weekend in Barcelona with my 18yo DD last August and enjoyed it so much i'm dragging the males of the family back this year smile Glad to hear about Vilanova beach.
Given the temperature and teenage slothfulness I don't think I'll have to do too much entertaining, beach, beer, tapas and ice cream should do the trick.
Plus history at Tarragona is just the thing for DH.

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