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Where have your best holidays been with your teens?

(30 Posts)
triplets Mon 21-Jan-13 00:30:03

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 remisssionsmile 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!

bigbluebus Mon 21-Jan-13 17:58:31

We are struggling to think of somewhere to go with DS (16) this year that will suit us and provide entertainment for him. He will finish school early this year as he is doing GCSE's so we are able to go before the main school holiday.
For the past 2 years we have stayed in this country and gone for City Breaks -last year in York and the previous year London. Lots of museums and tourist attractions and when in London, we went to Paris for the day on Eurostar.
The previous year we went to Bude and paid for surfing lessons for DS every morning and did other things in the afternoon. We were very lucky with the weather though so we were able to lounge around on the beach whilst he surfed - it was 28c even though it was only May half term!
We thought we would venture abroad this year but he doesn't want a villa/pool holiday as he would be bored and we are not into lively resorts. We looked at city breaks again - possible Italy, but just can't agree on accomodation. We did look at cruises with Thomas Cook and he is surprisingly open to the idea, but we'll see.
If I remember correctly PGL do family holidays and they do some abroad (France) as well as in this country - as we did consider doing that one year. Would that be any good for you? They have a variety of activities and I don't think you have to take part - but it would give the teenagers something to do!

BlackandGold Mon 21-Jan-13 18:01:50

In the past we've done camping holidays in Europe with teenagers.

Google Eurocamp, KeyCamp etc as there's a variety of settings, attractions etc.

bruffin Mon 21-Jan-13 18:08:42

The last holiday we had at Centerparcs in europe. We went to Kempervenen where my dcs 17 and 15 spent everyday on the waterski lake either waterskiing or waterboarding, there is also a indoor ski centre all year round.The dutch go back to school the last week of august so you can get a VIP villa for a reasonable price then.

SpringyReframed Mon 21-Jan-13 18:11:49

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.

Ragwort Mon 21-Jan-13 18:15:39

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. grin

cory Mon 21-Jan-13 18:23:58

Cottage holidays in France have done us well; Brittany Ferries do passage and cottage deals that are not much more expensive than this country.

chocoluvva Wed 23-Jan-13 21:54:26

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.

exasperatedemma Thu 24-Jan-13 11:23:47

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!

purplewithred Thu 24-Jan-13 11:29:36

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?

triplets Thu 24-Jan-13 11:53:13

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.

Bignorthernlass Thu 24-Jan-13 23:32:10

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

WhatsUpToday Fri 25-Jan-13 17:11:33

Do you know le " puy du fou " ( ) 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" (, 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!

GCSEChaos Fri 25-Jan-13 17:17:55

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).

Jins Fri 25-Jan-13 17:21:35

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

gemandjule Fri 25-Jan-13 19:02:01

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!

BestIsWest Sat 26-Jan-13 01:18:38

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.

triplets Sat 26-Jan-13 01:26:41

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!

KatieScarlett2833 Sat 26-Jan-13 03:20:02

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 wink

triplets Sat 26-Jan-13 08:20:50

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.

KatieScarlett2833 Sat 26-Jan-13 12:11:02

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 wink
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 grin

KatieScarlett2833 Sat 26-Jan-13 12:14:37

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 smile

TeenageWildlife Sat 26-Jan-13 19:08:11

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.

triplets Sat 26-Jan-13 22:28:00

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 !

KatieScarlett2833 Sat 26-Jan-13 22:31:04

Don't know, ours did 3 comfortably. I would have thought there would be larger ones though.

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