Parents know there are many phases in a child's life that will not only make our hair stand on end, but also bring our patience levels to new lows.
Since my interest lies in travel, I decided to research travel with teenagers.
Generally speaking, teenagers are not easy to please. If you are the parent of a teenager, you understand this far better than someone else. From that perspective, it means that vacations with a teenager can be an adventure in itself.
It might also mean a vacation you won't want to keep as a memory.
Therefore, to make it a great vacation for everyone involved, I highly recommend that you choose a destination that takes into consideration the life of a teenager during a vacation at a resort.
Doing that little bit of homework with a travel consultant and planner will certainly help prevent boredom and an unhappy teen and result in happy travels for everyone.
When selecting destinations focusing on a teenager, you will have to consider your child's interests, likes and dislikes.
Look at the destination's amenities, available activities and facilities to be sure there are plenty of things your teenager will enjoy.
Certain travel companies strive to do just that: cater to families with children. These include Beaches, Franklin D. Resort and Pebbles, all of which are in Jamaica and are all-inclusive. This last is an extra bonus, as the cost of meals for teens can put a serious dent in your travel budget.
Closer to home, we have theme and amusement parks, which are also very popular destinations that tend to cater to teenagers more than others. Some parks can be completed in one day, but there are several amusement park resorts that are great for entire families.
Floridians know only too well that such resorts include Disney World and Universal Studios.
A little further north, for instance, in North Carolina and West Virginia white- water rafting is a great choice for vacations with teens. If you do select whitewater rafting, it is important that you research the location, consider your child's level of rafting experience and on-site training for a non-experienced traveler, whether it be for you or your teen.
A guided tour is always the best recommendation for inexperienced rafters, including yourself.
So, a word to the wise when considering what in the travel industry jargon is named "soft adventure travel," is to keep safety in mind. A good time for all is a great goal, but safety should always be at the top of the list.
Cruise ships are often overlooked as good vacation destinations for teenagers and smaller children, as programs abound for all age groups on all cruise ships. As mentioned in an earlier article, cruise companies have gone out of their way to market and gear themselves toward families.
For those of you who have never had the cruise experience, you will be pretty amazed that no matter the destination, your teenager can find many activities on board, such as rock climbing and surfing on the Royal Caribbean, dancing in the teen disco on Carnival ships, playing with video games in the arcades, swimming, practicing basketball, ping pong, watching movies, etc.
As each cruise company has its own programs, it would be smart to check what amenities and activities the cruise ship you are considering offers, before making your reservation.
Of course, check with your favorite travel agent who would be well versed on which cruise company would be best for you and your family members. That is always the safest way to go. You get professional consulting at no extra cost.
If you are ready to embark on a vacation adventure with your teenager, where boredom will not exist, remember to take all the pointers in this article into consideration. We are certain your teenager will be wowed and put you on a pedestal.
Until your actual trip, happy travel dreams.
Geraldine Blanchard is vice president of Global Tours and Travel, at 559 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne. She can be reached at (321) 676-6040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information visit, www.globaltours.com.