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Think Outside the Theme Park
The Best Vacations for Parents and Older Kids
There is no shortage of vacation options tailored to families with young children, but what happens when your kids reach high school and college? You might think that vacationing with older kids is more hassle than it’s worth. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, an entire new world of vacation possibilities opens up once your children hit their teenage years. Dragging a 4-year-old through a national park tour might be a headache, but doing the same with a 14-year-old can be fun. The best part of vacationing with older children is that it’s a lot easier to pick a destination that appeals to the entire family. There’s nothing wrong with an all-inclusive trip to a resort for the sole purpose of unwinding, but a vacation can be much more than leisure. The next time you plan a family trip, consider these options tailor- made to delight teens and adults alike. An Urban Adventure If you’re the type of family that enjoys an activity-centric vacation, a major city is the perfect destination for you. Trips to cities offer a lot resorts. Mom and one child may want to spend time at a museum while Dad and another child catch a baseball game. Cities allow you to account for a variety of interests rather than forcing everyone to spend all their time together. Visiting a city also cuts down on the aspects of traveling that most people detest. With robust public transportation and the explosion of ride-sharing services like Uber, you won’t need to rent a car. You’re also far less likely to encounter the fifth-day fatigue that sets in when you’re stuck at a resort and run out of things to do.
The biggest appeal of cities is simply that there are an infinite number of activity options. From restaurants and farmers markets to parks and concerts, you can fill every moment of your vacation with something exciting. On the other hand, when you want a relaxing afternoon with nothing on the calendar, aimlessly walking the streets is a joy in its own right. An Outdoor Escape On the other end of the spectrum, a nature-focused getaway can be just as exciting. Whether you have a family full of thrill-seekers or bird-watchers, there’s nothing like spending time in the great outdoors. Ask anybody for their bucket-list sights, and you’ll likely hear about the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. Why wait to knock these breathtaking, one-of-a-kind destinations off your list? You may have been hesitant to bring a small child on a trip into the wild, but there’s no excuse not to once your kids hit their teens. As with city travel, you can craft the perfect outdoor vacation for your family. Some people may prefer settling down in a comfy cabin, cooking dinner every evening. Others might want to rent an RV and visit as many parks as they can. You can also calibrate the adrenaline level to fit your family members, and whether that entails peaceful walks or whitewater rapids is entirely up to you. Another draw for teens is the fact that everyone in their class has posted a selfie at a beach on Instagram, but hardly any will have one in front a geyser!
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