Teenagers are at the perfect age to enjoy - or at the very least, tolerate - travelling with their family. They're old enough to remember it, mature enough to appreciate it (hopefully!) and can usually be afforded a little more freedom. This gives them the chance to explore on their own while you relax and get some much-needed rest on your trip abroad.
When thinking about travel destinations for your whole family to enjoy, you'll need to factor in recreation activities for all ages, along with family-friendly activities your teen won't be "too cool" for. While you may think a family sandcastle competition is just the ticket, this kind of thing may make them hang their head in shame, and nothing says 'spoiled holiday' like a sullen teen!
Teens can soak up the sunshine in Fiji while making friends with the affable locals, perhaps creating bonds to last a lifetime. Or consider a sojourn to Hawaii for sand and surf they'll be in awe of. Vanuatu also has your beach needs covered, along with delicious local cuisine to really sink your teeth into.
For those who can't get enough of the American dream, a USA holiday may be the perfect way to get a taste of the States, and there are more activities here than you'll know what to do with! Drop your kids off at the Hollywood Boulevard while you sneak off for a cocktail and some celeb-watching - you'll no doubt have plenty of stories to tell when you meet up again.
Laidback island destinations are perfect for those teenagers who don't seem to want to do anything other than sleep and sunbathe, and you can nudge them towards the water when you feel like some time out.
Plan your trip together with your teen, so that everybody gets a stress-free holiday that's memorable - for all the right reasons! This way, everyone gets a say on the destination, where you'll stay and what activities you'll do while you're there. Hopefully this will minimise any sass from your teens on the trip and help ensure everyone gets what they want - which is, of course, the travel experience of a lifetime.Back to Top
Teen Time in Vanuatu
If your teens are pestering you for a holiday away or you're looking to expose them to a little bit of culture, the island nation of Vanuatu is a perfect destination for the whole family. It's known for its easy-breezy combination of relaxing beaches, stunning nature and adventure activities to keep even the fussiest offspring occupied all day long.
Vanuatu has 113 distinct languages and many different dialects, so if you want to soak up some culture while you travel, this is the perfect place for your family. It's one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, so be sure to take your teens along to some of the many events that happen here every year.
Water sports enthusiasts will also be spoilt for choice in Vanuatu. Whether it's an exhilarating jet ride or a more serene ocean kayak experience, there's plenty here for all age groups and abilities. For a truly unique experience bound to impress everyone from fishing-lover Dad to your stroppy sprogs, try helmet diving with Oceanwalker Vanuatu. This allows you to get up close and personal with the nation's beautiful coral and tropical fish without even getting your hair wet - perfect for your image-conscious little ladies.
Challenge the kids to a blokart race and experience the thrill of land sailing. You'll get a full safety demonstration before you set off, then it's no holds barred to find out who the fastest person in your family really is.
Treat your teens to a 4WD adventure virtually to the rim of the world's most accessible active volcano on the island of Tanna. It'll be a race as to who can get to the top first, be warned though I think the kids will win this one. The volcano really comes alive at night promising you a natural firework show that you'll remember forever.
Teens who love to be pampered can take time out at one of the many relaxing day spas in Vanuatu. Indulge in some mother-daughter bonding time while you get a massage or facial, or treat yourself to a full body scrub to reveal healthy, glowing skin you haven't seen since 1987. The locals won't know who's mother and who's daughter - or at least that's what they'll tell you!Back to Top
Teen Time in Hawaii
We've all dreamt of travelling to Hawaii at some stage in our lives - and while originally your dream may not have included a couple of teens in tow, you'll soon find there are so many options for families in the sunny state. And hey, if the kids start to play up, there are plenty of individual pursuits to enjoy too!
Say "Aloha" to hundreds of beaches spread across the six main islands, and enjoy beautiful weather year-round. From Honolulu to Oahu, Waikiki to Maui, there are a huge range of activities to keep your younger family members satisfied.
If it's pristine beaches, crystal clear oceans, swaying palm treats and superb scenery you're after, look no further. Hawaii is known as paradise for good reason - it's simply stunning. Surfy teens will love Oahu's North Shore for watching world-famous big wave surfers take on the biggest breaks you'll ever see. Sneak away for a sunbathe and perhaps a cheeky drink as they take in the sight of their new heroes.
Make sure you include a trip to Pearl Harbour on your family's to-do list. You'll learn about a vital part of America's history, plus get the chance to explore the memorials and museums found in the area. Your teens may not thank you for it now but in time they'll realise what an important visit it is to make.
Active teens (or those with active parents!) will love a trip to Hawaii's Big Island for treks through vast rainforests, botanical gardens and waterfalls. From here you can snorkel, fish or scuba dive off the Kona Coast, plus take in the world's most active volcano of Kilauea.
Teenagers with a passion for fashion will have a world of shopping at their fingertips in Hawaii, especially in the capital Honolulu. From the Ala Moana centre to to the Waikele Premium Outlets, you'd be hard pressed to return from your holiday without having purchased a new item or two!
Finally, when you're exhausted from shopping and seeing the sights, sprawl out on one of Hawaii's world-famous beaches to top up your tan and relax in one of the world's most beloved holiday locations.Back to Top
Teen Time in Fiji
Friendly Fiji is the perfect place for a relaxing trip away with your terrific (or terrible) teens. This South Pacific oasis is bound to impress even the most discerning holidaymaker with is lush surrounds - plus it's got plenty of activities for all the family to enjoy!
Whether you choose to explore Nadi, the Coral Coast, Denarau or all of the above, you'll find many unique experiences to enjoy together or apart - depending on how family-orientated you're feeling at the time. Many of the resorts on the islands cater to teens and kids and offer everything from huge pools, arcades and golf to swim-up bars and Fijian dancing.
Teens are usually at an age where they can be allowed a little bit of freedom, so send them off to the other end of the pool while you sip away at a fresh cocktail. Alternatively, relax beachside while they try their hand at a range of popular water activities such as snorkelling or paddle boarding. All you'll need to do is raise your head from your book occasionally to give them an encouraging thumbs up and they'll be away laughing.
The Fijian locals are incredibly friendly and inviting, so with any luck you may even find your older kids buddying up with others on the island. They can explore the stunning reefs while you laze by the pool with a magazine, or if you're feeling energetic you may want to treat your whole family to the thrill of jet skiing or white water rafting. You could even get the chance to swim with manta rays in Fiji's crystal clear waters, so make sure you've got your camera at the ready!
If your teens are determined to shop away their holiday, take them to the Fiji Markets to collect souvenirs and presents for friends back home. Here you'll find everything from carved bowls to replica war clubs, plus plenty of fresh produce and clothing items to make use of while you're on holiday.
You'll find the warm weather and relaxed style of island living encourages a slightly different dress code than what you may be used to, so stock up on beautiful Sulus! These are one-size-fits-all wraps for both men and women, and once you put one on you'll never want to take it off. Your teen might even come home with a whole collection!Back to Top
Teen Time in Thailand
Is your family driving you crazy? You'd be forgiven for thinking a holiday with them sounds a little mad, but time out in Thailand with your teens could be just what the doctor (or therapist!) ordered.
It's a diverse country offering everything from exquisite natural beauty through to inspiring temples, impeccable hospitality and ancient ruins ripe and ready for exploration. If that all sounds like too much work for your kids, reassure them of the beautiful beaches on the islands, where they can swim, snorkel, roam and work off their teenage angst.
If your kids are fond of everything fast-paced, they'll love Bangkok. This is the exuberant capital of Thailand, jam-packed full of sights, sounds and things to do. Wander the streets and take in the Thai way of life, grab some local food from street stalls and haggle brilliant bargains from a vendor. Bangkok is a real treat for your senses, so come prepared to have your eyes opened!
Those looking for a more laid-back trip should make sure to stop off at Koh Samui. It's Thailand's third largest island and is positively exquisite. It's renowned for its laid-back culture and azure oceans, with pristine white sand just waiting for you to recline on with a good book and perhaps a cheeky cocktail or two - after all, you're on holiday.
For families wishing to indulge (or force) their children in a little bit of culture, Chiang Mai is a must-visit. Its striking mountain backdrop makes way for over 300 temples, giving the island an air of history and mystique. For a taste of the traditional way of life, visit hill tribes to see families living without running water and electricity. Pick up some traditional handicrafts and handmade furniture from the locals before hopping aboard an elephant (yes, really!) for the most unique way to explore a holiday destination.
Teens interested in history should head to Kanchanaburi for a visit to the infamous Death railway and Bridge of the River Kwai.Back to Top
Teen Time in Bali
It's no secret that Australians love Bali and the Balinese love Australia. It's only a short flight away for many of us, but has a completely different culture and vibe that teens and adults alike fall in love with.
Pack your family's bags and head to Bali for a unique adventure you'll remember forever. Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali tempts tourists with everything from volcanoes and jungles to the most spectacular beaches you will ever see. Plus, there's a whole world of spiritual temples and traditional villages to explore, so you and your family are bound to meet some interesting locals along the road.
Style-savvy teens will love the opportunity to snap up a bargain at Bali's markets, where you can buy both casual and made-to-measure tailored outfits. There's also an abundance of locally-made jewellery and handicrafts to take home as souvenirs, plus you'll be benefiting local artists and craftspeople! Talk about a win-win.
You'll be hard pressed to tear your mini-Kelly Slaters away from the beach, as it truly is a surfing mecca. Bali boasts some of the most stunning coastlines in the world, with both black and white sand beaches. The warm waters will tempt you with their almost unbelievable turquoise tone, so bust out your swimmers, ignore your cringing kids and dive right in.
Take teens to Bali Safari and Marine Park to get up close and personal with some of their favourite wild animals. They can interact with elephants, check out the highly intelligent orangutans (who may seem smarter than your kids at times) and spot stripey zebras roaming the grounds. Animal-lovers will be happy to know the park prides itself on its sustainable environment and focus on preservation, so you'll be contributing to their hard work when you visit the site.
Relax with your family on Kuta Beach with a cool drink at the end of a long day and watch the sun set over this pristine island.Back to Top
Teen Time in America
America - land of the brave, home of the free. It's a country we see so often on television, up on the big screen and in the media that sometimes it can feel like our culture is theirs. But to really get a taste of American living, you've simply got to experience it for yourself.
If you can tear your teens away from the TV long enough to plan a holiday, why not try the USA? It offers incredible diversity to satisfy even the most discerning traveller in your family. With so much to see and do, it's a good idea to plan early and set aside a good amount of time to make the most of your holiday!
Teens obsessed with movies and Hollywood culture will love a stopover in Los Angeles. The city is the heart of America's movie industry, where you can get guided studio tours, witness live filmings and even spot a celebrity or two! Take a stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame to travel in your favourite actor's footsteps, and make sure your camera's at the ready to snap away at your favourite stars.
New York is another fantastic city for teenagers. They'll be swept up in the bright, bustling streets and be in awe over the sheer scale of the buildings. It's truly one of the world's great cities, and teens will relish the chance to watch their favourite Broadway show, check out the Empire State Building and pay tribute to the Statue of Liberty herself. Don't even bother trying to limit time spent on their cellphones - there'll be selfies aplenty on this trip, but at least you'll get them off the couch and experiencing the big wide world!
Budding musicians can't go past New Orleans for a taste of real jazz music. You'll all be enchanted by the soul of this city, and the locals are bound to charm you as well. Make sure you enjoy some of the world-famous delicacies while you're there! From po'boys to gumbo to slaw with a twist, you'll never want to leave, even if you have to loosen that belt buckle by a notch or three.Back to Top