Family vacations do not have to be dreaded, with a little bit of planning, they can actually be fun!

Tip 1: Ask their Opinion- Teens love to feel included. So instead of making the decision with only adults, ask everyone at home for suggestions. If you do not choose someone’s idea be sure to explain why and keep it as a possibility for next year.

Tip 2: Have them do some Planning- Not only will this give you less to do, but it will also make your teen feel empowered. Ask each family member to plan something. If your teen daughter loves art, tell her that she is in charge of picking one museum for each of the three cities your visiting. Have your husband choose all the restaurants in one city and your other teenager choose some dinner restaurants in another. This way, everyone can have fun doing research and feel included.

Tip 3: Think outside the Box- There are some great adventure trips, white water rafting, safaris and hiking trips that you can take to teach teenagers what it is like to be in nature. Or go on a themed cruise depending on your family’s interests. Eco Tours offers green tours of Latin America and the Caribbean that might be a good option for some families. The most important thing is to try new things, if you always take road trips, try something new and take a cruise.

Tip 4: Get and Give Alone Time: Make sure to plan alone time into the schedule. This is good for you and your teenager. You can pick resorts like Club Med that have teen areas, kids areas and parenting areas or let your kids have an afternoon where they can go to the pool or a museum by themselves to get some space. If you have space built into the schedule, there will be less fighting from too much ‘family time’.

Tip 5: Try Shorter Frequent Trips Rather Than One Long One- We all need a little off time more frequently. Sometimes the long trips can be exasperating and too long too. Instead of taking a long trip, try taking a few smaller weekend trips through out the year. This will also help bonding throughout the year instead of concentrated into one period of time. You can buy cheap tickets to a music or film festival in a smaller city such as Denver or Portland and attend some unique shows, or take a three day camping trip.

Author's Bio: 

Vanessa Van Petten is the teen author of the parenting book “You’re Grounded!” She writes a parenting blog from a teen’s perspective to help parents understand what is actually going on in the mind of kid’s today to make life a little bit easier.