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Tips for a teen-friendly family holiday

Travelling with teenagers isn't easy. But to help, we’ve compiled some all-important tips, as well as teen-friendly destination ideas, to ensure your holiday is spent in blissful relaxation.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated May 13, 2022

Holidays with teenagers

Keep them well fed

If you’re parent to a devout vegan, a teen with food intolerances, or just a good, old-fashioned fussy eater, dinner time can pose a challenge. Are you planning to go half or even full board? Then a stay in a larger family resort might be just the ticket.

Buffet-style dining tends to offer a range of healthy options, vegan and vegetarian alternatives. There's usually local dishes if you’re lucky enough to have an adventurous teen, and chips galore if you’re not. Don’t forget to speak to hotel staff about allergies ahead of your trip, so they can be as accommodating of your family's needs as possible.

What Mumsnetters say: 

“All-inclusive works best for us. We have tried a couple of self-catering holidays but we ended up having every meal out. And because my teenage boys are always hungry we went way over budget.”

WiFi, WiFi, WiFi

Teens on ipad

Be sure your hotel has unlimited free wi-fi, or prepare to suffer the wrath of a Snapchat-deprived teenager.

What Mumsnetters say: 

“Book somewhere with free wi-fi. Then you can enjoy the holiday and your child can either join in and have fun or sit by the pool bar and use the WiFi. You'll avoid plenty of arguments, trust me.”

There’s no such thing as having too much to do

Teens playing a ball game

Variety is most definitely the spice of life when it comes to holidaying with teens. Having them watch you lying in the sun sipping on G&Ts for a week probably isn't their idea of a good time, so keep them busy!

Be sure to take into consideration their hobbies and interests when booking your trip. Many resorts offer teen hangouts where they can meet other kids their age, as well as organising sporting and fitness activities to get them moving and give you a little bit of peace and quiet.

What Mumsnetters say: 

“Our teenagers have always had a great time on resort holidays – there's usually plenty of other teens about and something new to do every minute of the day.”

But do watch the weather

Scorching heat might sound like a lovely alternative to the grey and dreary climes of home, but the last thing you want is to be stuck with is a sunburned teenager. Keep this in mind, and be sure to tackle your teen with the sun cream every few hours (even if they insist that they're covered).

What Mumsnetters say: 

“It's much harder to persuade teenagers to put on sun cream. I find myself constantly nagging them.”

Where to travel with teens

Majorca:Majorca is an old favourite for us. There’s sun, sea and culture for the adults, and it’s teen-friendly too with plenty for them to investigate on the island.”

Spain: “We took our teens to Barcelona last year and they loved it. We spent half the time around the pool and the other half sightseeing, shopping and eating. We enjoyed it so much that we are going again this year.”

Bulgaria: “We went at the end of August and stayed in Sunny Beach. The service, the people, the cleanliness – we really couldn't fault any of it.”

Cyprus: “Beaches in the Larnaca region are some of the best in the world. Very clean, little fishes on the shore line, fine, golden sand, and ideal for kids of all ages.”