Getting the holidays right with teenagers in the family can be a challenging task. They are not little anymore, they seek to be by themselves and be independent and the prospect of going away with their parents is not exactly appealing to them. Curious, rebellious, active, and thrill-seekers, adolescents can be fantastic travel mates if they are involved in the decision-making, given plenty of time for relaxing and bonding and, last but not least, if parents nail it with the destination.
Now that with the COVID-19 spread traveling locally and abroad is more difficult, it can be ironically the best time to do some research and look into those countries, cities, and types of holidays that can be the most appealing for teens and their families. To make it easier for you, at Bonzah we’ve listed some of them. Go on reading and choose where you’ll travel next!
Exotic, fascinating, and culturally diverse, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is a great travel destination for families with teens. It’s definitely the place where to satisfy everyone’s need for an adrenaline rush! Any adventure enthusiast in the team? Book your ticket to Dubai then!
As the largest city in the UAE, it seduces tourists with its mix of history and glamour. Walking through the souks of Old Dubai, visiting the Al Fahidi Fort or the Dubai Museum are great ways to learn about the history and architecture of the city.
Its white sandy beaches are great for sunbathing and chilling out but if that’s a too boring plan for your teen or tween, take them to the Arabian-themed water park, Wild Wadi. It has rides for all ages and artificial waves!
They’ll also love the Aquaventure waterpark at Atlantis The Palm as well as the IMG Worlds of Adventure, the largest indoor theme park in the world. You can also try skiing in the Mall of the Emirates, that’s definitely an unforgettable experience!
An all-time.favourite is going on a desert safari on a four-wheeler. Many even include the chance of sandboarding down the dunes! And, for an all-rounded desert experience, you can enjoy traditional dishes in Bedouin-style camps and watch belly dancing under the skies after dinner.
Needless to say, no visit to Dubai would be complete without climbing up the Burj Al Arab, the tallest building in the world, for breathtaking panoramic views of Dubai and the surrounding Arabian Sea and desert.
If your tween or teen is more shopaholic than a thrill-seeker, head to the impressive shopping malls in Dubai. They are not only huge and boast each and every one of the top brands you can think of but they also offer interesting amenities such as ski centers, aquariums (Dubai Mall), a replica of Ancient Egypt (Wafi City) and, of course, incredible food courts. Shopping malls in Dubai are absolute fun!
2. New York City
Tell your teen or tween that you’ll be going to New York City and you won’t probably hear any complaint. The city that never sleeps, that has been the setting of thousands of movies and series, and the place almost everyone wishes they lived in is a great holiday destination for families with children of all ages. With something going on at all times all year round, it’s impossible to get bored in the Big Apple!
New York City is probably the most Instagrammable city and with the most iconic places in the world and your older children will definitely take advantage of that! The Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, The Grand Park, the skyline of Manhattan, the skyscrapers, and the Empire State Building are some of the landmarks they just won’t want to miss!
Take them to a Broadway show as Mean Girls or Beetlejuice and to meet penguins and sea lions at the Central Park Zoo! Walk the bustling sidewalks of Chinatown and enjoy the wind in your face of the speed boat tours of the Hudson River. Explore the streets full of graffiti of the Lower East Side and be moved at the memorial to 9-11 at the Twin Tower sites. Visit Little Italy and don’t miss the chance to try a delicious Italian pizza or dish of your favorite pasta!
Museums are also a captivating attraction in the city. Whether you and your family love nature, art, or science, there’s a museum for you. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MOMA, or the American Museum of Natural History is definitely worth exploring!
Older children will love the buzz and lively atmosphere of NYC. It’s cool, cosmopolitan, full of energy, and offers plenty of things to see and do.
Paris, the city of love and charm can also be a great destination for families with teenagers. Impressive architecture, outstanding culture, and plenty of attractions will delight travelers of all ages. Whether you cruise on the Seine or devote a couple of days to have fun at Disneyland Paris, the French capital won’t disappoint you.
Give your teens a trip to Paris and you’ll give them unlimited access to memories for a lifetime! This stylish and sophisticated metropolis is a cultural center and fashion capital. If you’ve never traveled abroad, it’s a great first international trip.
Teens who love food will be delighted with the crepes, baguettes, croissants, petit fours, and the variety of delicious traditional French dishes they’ll be able to try.
They’ll also love to follow the #ig_Paris to find Instagrammable and Snapchat hot spots in the city. Depending on their interests and style, there are plenty of them available. Amongst the most popular ones we can mention:
The Eiffel Tower at various angles, but especially from the gardens below or from the Champ de Mars green space.
The glass Louvre Pyramid is an iconic shot. There are plenty of tricks and jumping shots to try!
Go to the Musee d’Orsay’s top floor. The giant clocks that look out into the Seine River and the Tuilerie Gardens are very popular.
Paris is packed with hundreds of must-see attractions and highlights and, fortunately, most of them are a favorite amongst tweens and teens. Families in Paris can’t miss climbing up the Eiffel Tower and taking in the breathtaking panoramic views. Seeing the city from above offers a wonderful perspective, it’s fun and helps to map out other important buildings.
No trip would be complete without exploring some of the city’s best and world-famous museums: the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay or the Musee de Cluny. They are all home to masterpieces and beautiful works of art of all times including paintings, sculptures, ancient artifacts, textiles, and historic relics. You’ll be able to admire the Gioconda, the Victory of Samothrace, and many others. Most museums organize scavenger hunts and special visits for children of all ages so that a tour to a museum is not that boring. They’ll probably enjoy the Centre Pompidou the best as it’s home to many modern paintings that will catch their attention. The structure of the building is quite fantastic as well, with colorful pipes visible on the outside and a nice and joyful fountain nearby!
If you’re traveling with shopaholic teens or at least with a teenage girl with a strong sense of fashion, don’t miss the chance to go shopping in the French capital. Avenue des Champs Elysees, the famous boulevard that runs between the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde, is filled with many stores and cafés: a great plan to share with your shopping buddy! Boulevard Hausman has many clothes stores but it’s also the place where the old Parisian department stores are such as the Galeries Lafayette or Printemps.
As already said, Paris is packed with teenage-friendly attractions. Apart from the Eiffel Tower, you need to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to have some of the best views of the main highlights in the city, visit the Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie to admire the most stunning stained glass windows you’ll ever see and the stunning ceiling in navy blue and gold and wander the bohemian streets of Montmartre and visit the Sacre Coeur.
Les Invalides is a top place to visit in Paris with teens. It’s the place where Napoleon Bonaparte is buried and its gold dome can be appreciated from multiple points of the city. The Pantheon is another amazing attraction. Teens will enjoy wandering around and seeing the artworks and murals and the crypt where they can see where Voltaire, Marie Curie, or Victor Hugo are buried. Montparnasse Tower, though not exactly beautiful, offers magnificent views of the city as well. It has a viewing platform at the top and an enclosed viewing level as well.
4. Japan, especially Tokyo
Those interested in an exotic destination that will fascinate their tweens and teens just need to have Japan in their radars. This country of contrasts combines a high-tech urban landscape in Tokyo with the serene and ancient temples and Zen gardens of Kyoto. It’s the place where Harajuku girls take selfies next to women of the same age who spend all but two days a month training to become geishas. Food tours, sumo wrestling matches, or calligraphy classes can all be part of your trip.
Safe, clean, culturally rich, and with very polite locals, Japan is a lovely destination for families. Besides, its efficient and punctual transport system will take you to any part of the country you’d like to visit.
Vibrant and quirky, Tokyo will captivate teens with its unique entertainment options and cool pop-culture atmosphere. Some of the best areas for teens are Shinjuku, with its karaoke bars, games arcades, and iconic bright billboards; Akihabara, with its anime atmosphere, comic book and manga stores and Harajuku, the colorful center of Japanese teenage culture and fashion.
Adventurous teens will love traveling north to Sapporo. It’s a great ski destination but it’s also fascinating all year round. Teens can explore underground passageways, the important Hokkaido Shrine, and try traditional Japanese food.
Venture away from the capital and take your teens on a lesson on world peace. Visit Hiroshima, its shrines such as Fushimi Inari, and learn about traditional Japanese culture.
The archipelago of Hawaii is another great destination for families with teens in tow. Just picture yourself enjoying an island-style vacation, surrounded by stunning scenery, and having the chance of going on a boat cruise, visiting beautiful natural parks, and doing all kinds of water sports. If your teen or tween is adventurous and an adrenaline-seeker, they’ll have a blast in Hawaii.
Honolulu, the capital city, is fantastic as your touch base in Hawaii. It offers all the teen-friendly excitement of a cosmopolitan city with the natural beauty and outdoor delights of the surrounding Oahu. Kayaking, hiking or snorkeling are just some of the activities you can do here. Waikiki Beach is a popular surfing spot both for tourists and locals! Don’t know how to surf? Don’t worry! A great plan can be to take surfing lessons as a family. Waikiki beach is also a great spot for snorkeling; you can encounter amazing creatures underwater such as Manta Ray!
Your teens will love spending time in Hawaii! Social media is so important at their age that they´ll love to post photos on their feed that show them in such fabulous and cool locations! Breathtaking volcanic islands, unforgettable sunsets over the ocean, colorful coral reefs… all you need to make a teenager happy.
There are also impressive and advanced tours of nature on the Hawaiian islands. Kaua’i’s Na Pali Coast is a highlight. Take a day hike or daring helicopter ride and teens will be pumping with adrenaline! Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island is an absolutely unforgettable experience. Come dark, take a guided twilight tour or adventure out on your own to witness the surreal phenomenon of hot lava flowing into the ocean. You can also try zip-lining through ancient forests!
History buffs can spend some time in Pearl Harbour or visit the USS Arizona Memorial.