Teen on board…
From all-inclusive adventures and theme parks, to city breaks and volunteering trips, we’ve lined up an extensive list of travel inspo to get that globe spinning!
It’s no surprise that teenagers can make or break a family holiday. Though almost-adults can often be the most enthusiastic travellers (we credit the wanderlust to Instagram and too much TV time), their selective interests and sleep-focused schedules don’t always align with active younger siblings or make-the-most-of-it parents. Whether your teen’s dream involves sleeping in, getting ready till noon and attacking the breakfast buffet or waking up at the crack of dawn to go dolphin-watching and snorkelling, we’ve lined up options that the whole family will love.
After setting a date that accommodates your kid’s ‘hectic’ schedule (schoolwork-life balance is a real thing), you’ll want to make sure that they’re part of the planning process from the start. Picking the location together and planning activities beforehand are just a few of the things parents can do to make it a trip to remember. So if you’re setting out with your teenager in tow, here are our top picks to get you started…
Skyscanner Travel Tip: Trending travel destinations for families with teenagers allow the teen to discover new cultures and immerse themselves in new aspects of the world. From exciting jungle adventures in places like Sabah, Malaysia and Sri Lanka; or scuba diving in the beautiful seas in Okinawa, Japan and Australia; or even something meaningful and educational like volunteering in Cambodia or Nepal.
It’s easy to take the luxury of travel for granted (guilty). Ironically, it’s often opinionated teenagers who subconsciously remind parents of the value in consciousness. When thought-provoking education is at the root of your trip, you can be sure your little activist will be all the more determined to go after causes they care about. If you’ve got a global leader on your hands, check out WWOOF and Voltra for meaningful ways to donate your time – they’ll appreciate doing something out of the ordinary.
Animal lover? We’ve lined up 3 Ethical Elephant Sanctuaries for you to check out in Thailand. These centres use positive reinforcement training methods, whilst allowing visitors to feed and view elephants in their natural habitat. Leaning on the greener side of life? From private islands, outback bush camps, marine reserves and aquatic playgrounds, eco-friendly family stays come in all shapes and sizes.
And don’t worry, there are plenty of ways for you to give back to the community without compromising on the holiday you’ve been craving. One place that ticks all the boxes is the Shinta Mani Club, located just 15 minutes from Siem Reap Airport in Cambodia. This luxury hotel partners with The Shinta Mani Foundation to be a leader in responsible tourism by offering guests full transparency, and the ability to volunteer on holiday. The goal is to enhance the lives of the individuals in the local community by travelling with a conscience – which sounds pretty perfect to us. Wherever in the world you’re choosing to stay, it’s worth opting for accommodation that employs local staff and uses local produce, ensuring your holiday expenses feed into invaluable income, whilst truly immersing yourself in the culture.
Got an active member in the family? Anything from surf camps to ski holidays will do the trick – especially if the accommodation has kids clubs available. Though Club Med traditionally caters to families with younger kids, the all-inclusive ski resorts really do offer something for every age and ability. Check out Club Med Beidahu in China for a close-by option that still sparks a sense of adventure.
If you’re not concerned with covering a bit of distance (and substantially denting the bank account), opt for somewhere with an instant “far-away” feel to set that sense of wanderlust in. Set in 3,500 exclusive acres of the Fijian archipelago, Laucala Island offers 25 unique villas. Each villa comes with its own infinity pool and yoga deck, ensuring parents get a look at private luxury, whilst locking in some quality family time. Activities include golf, cooking classes, traditional Masi paper making, wood carving, horseback riding along the beach, snorkelling, mountain biking, diving and the world’s first DeepFlight Super Falcon submarine to view South Sea aqua life. On top of that, the Kids Club offers educational experiences for toddlers, kids, and early teens. Ideal for when you’re juggling kids of all ages.
Parents get a complimentary spa experience! Plan it for whilst your teen runs wild, exploring the island on the Laucala treasure hunt!
For an equally extravagant alternative, check out our Family Friendly Guide to the Maldives (with kids-eat-free and kids-stay-free perks for younger kids)!
Whether it’s the overflowing energy, the undiscovered street food, or the prospect of shopping for brag-worthy items (the last appears to be most likely…), bustling city breaks have proven to be a hit amongst the not-quite-kids of the family.
If you’re looking to stay close to home, head to Bangkok for a quick city break. From exotic eats and vibrant clubs, to striking temples and relaxing massage centres, this place is brimming with a personality of it’s own. For unbeatable luxury, check out The Siam, complete with an extravagant afternoon tea, complimentary cruises, and classes for teens (everything from muy thai to cooking). For a more affordable option (from HK$680 a night), the Novotel Bangkok Ploenchit Sukhumvit, offers a no-fuss stay, with top quality service, and family room options. Plus, it’s located right in the city centre, with quick beach breaks only a short flight away!
Despite our arguments that Hong Kong is the city that never sleeps (teenagers were toddlers too, once upon a time!), New York still holds an indisputable brag-factor for teens. Whilst you may struggle successfully steering avid shoppers off the streets, it’s worth checking out an exhibition or film at the Museum of Modern Art, the NYC Movie & TV On Location Tours, or Madame Tussauds (bigger and bolder than Hong Kong’s version). Head to Luna Park in Coney Island for an adrenaline rush, fuel sport fans with the Yankee Stadium Classic Tour, or go for the shock-factor at ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not!’ in Times Square.
Top tip: Save on the dough by booking an Airbnb in Brooklyn instead of a hotel.
Nothing caters to a group holiday like a big, homely villa. If your teen travels best when in the company of others, it’s time to look into booking a villa with another family. Bonus points if the kids are a similar age and already get on. From swimming pools (yup, plural) and an expansive garden, to parking and a fully staffed space, Villa Suami is next on our family travel wish list. This stunning accommodation is The Luxe Nomad’s newest managed villa in Canggu, Bali, and offers 5 bedrooms (ensuite – so siblings should be able to survive the trip stress-free), and easy access to the beach and Ngurah Rai International Airport.
As a bonus, kids under 6 eat for free, so the on-site chef will be satisfying little ones and parents alike. Families staying at Villa Suami also get a complimentary Canggu Club Membership, offering tennis, swimming, massive water slides, football pitches, bowling and trampolines.
As another Asia alternative, head to Kerala to explore a road (slightly) less travelled for Hong Kong families. With convenient flights (you can leave around 2pm Hong Kong time and be in bed before midnight), breathtaking views, and incredible flavours to try, every member of the family will be kept entertained. Accommodating up to 10 guests across 4 spacious private guest rooms, and plenty of activities in store for older kids, the Indian Summer House is a stellar option. Each of the spacious guest rooms overlook the garden, have an outdoor rain shower, and offer exclusive use of the tropical garden, private pool, on-site spa and gym. The staff and your dedicated host will be on hand to prepare meals, organise local activities, arrange yoga or meditation classes and book Ayurveda treatments during your stay. For a little wanderlust inspo, here are 5 things the guidebooks won’t tell you about Kerala. Yes, it’s every bit as dreamy as it sounds…
Sometimes, there really is no place like home. If you’ve got a tight time-frame (or a teen who’d rather chill out than head out), a staycation is a low-risk, cost-efficient option. Say “so long!” to the stress of flying with the family, battling jet lag and all the unglamorous bits of travel. We’ve lined up some our our favourite staycations, and some slightly lower budget options, to make sure you’re exploring the best of what our city has in store.
If you’re going for the splurge, the renowned Mandarin Oriental or Grand Hyatt come with 5 star service, an award-winning spa, and delectable dining options. For more of a quirky take, opt for an area you have yet to explore, and learn to fall in love with this city all over again. We love the sound of the quaint and quirky hotel and serviced apartments, Little Tai Hang, which gives an excuse to get to know a different area of town. Head over for a couple of nights of uninterrupted unwind time, and check out the surrounding local spots which would have otherwise slipped off your radar.
Plus, a staycation means you can carve out some family time without completely clearing all schedules. After all, no teenagers or parents will ever need convincing to set up camp in a convenient hotel and hit the reset button…