It is that time a year again, time for the family beach vacation. Family vacations should be fun and memorable experiences, but for parents it can often present challenges. This is especially true for those of us traveling with our teenage kids.
Connecting with your teenagers during a family vacation and keeping them actively engaged with the family can be a tricky balancing act. However, there are ways to keep them happy, engaged and most importantly, from not driving mom and dad nuts during your week off. Here are a few tips on how to connect with your teenagers during your Ocean Isle Beach vacation.
Include them in the vacation planning
One of the first things you can do is let them in on the planning process. Teens are wizards on the computer. Turn this into a strength by giving them assignments on researching activities, local places to eat, events and even costs of things you want to do as a family. Doing this will give them a feeling of ownership and let you, as the parent, see what they are thinking your upcoming vacation will look like. This also is a great time to manage expectations.
Allow for some exciting adventures
There is just no way around it – your teenagers are likely going to want a little adventure. Sitting on the beach for hours soaking up the sun and a good book is unlikely. Go ahead and plan for this by setting up time for some exciting adventures. Maybe let them take surf lessons, rent a kayak or even head out for a day adventure to go zip lining. By interjecting these adventures you’ll better connect with your teens during your Ocean Isle Beach vacation.
Allow reasonable screen time
If your teenagers are like most, their phones seem to be permanent fixture. Of course, there should be time to step away from technology, and we recommend creating “screen free times”, but it is also important to give them some time on their devices. Let them check out from the family, connect with their friends and swipe, scroll and tap to their heart’s delight. Just don’t over do it, this is still a family vacation.
Give them room to explore
Depending on the age and maturity of your teens, when it’s safe to do so, give them the freedom to wander and roam outside your watchful eye. This allows them the opportunity to explore their own interests and feeds the independence they crave. Establish and review vacation boundaries and family safety rules ahead of time, and then let go of the reins for a little while.
Let them sleep in
Ah sleep … it’s an important part of life as a teen. This is actually very normal and part of their natural development. Nothing is worse than a cranky teenager who hasn’t had enough sleep. Try and limit the early morning activities. Set up some “house rules” for the family vacation, and maybe set a few days where you let the teenagers sleep in a little bit longer. Trust us, everyone will be happier with well rested teenagers in the beach house.
It is ok to let them have free time
Vacations aren’t meant to be these perfectly scheduled events. After all, we are all looking for that downtime of doing nothing. All of our days are filled with schedules, emails, events, and other obligations. The same holds true for teens, and these days, they are busier than ever. Make sure to include some free time when they can just relax on their own schedule.
Let them in on the budget
Teenagers can run through money almost as fast as their cell phone data. Bring your teens in on the family budget. This doesn’t have to be some big detailed discussion, but give them ideas in broad strokes, so they have some idea of what to expect. We like to talk about how many nights we are going to eat out, or what activities we are going to do. All of these conversations can help set reasonable expectations before you head to Ocean Isle Beach.
The only thing you need now to entertain your teens and family is, of course, to book an Ocean Isle Beach vacation. There is still plenty of time to book a great getaway to one of the best destinations on the North Carolina coast. Whether you are looking for a late summer or even an early fall vacation, we have a great selection of homes to choose from, all backed by our dedicated staff of professionals. Call us at 800-727-9222 to book your vacation today.