Packing for your teenager is an unnecessary stress in your family travel planning, so why do it? Give them some general guidance about the essential items they will need for the family trip, and then give them the responsibility to pack for themselves.
Remember that many teenagers still haven’t mastered the organizational skills of mom, so it’s a good idea to make suggestions on items and attire appropriate to your destination. It would also be prudent to subtly leave a note lying on a dresser or in/near their luggage with the following teen-essential items that should help with boredom and enhance their family travel experience:
- Any type of i-device (iPhone, iPad, iPod) - Between apps, phone calls, and games, your teenager should be able to easily occupy themselves during those travel lulls, like waiting around the airport terminal.
- Headphones - This is a great tool for them to tune the world out and have a mental moment to themselves.
- Magazines - Whether it’s comics, educational information, or entertainment news, magazines are a great way to keep their cerebral cortex active and their vocabulary expanding, without them even knowing it.
- Sweatshirt - Even if it’s 100 degrees where you’re going, there’s something about a hooded sweatshirt that many teens love. At some point in your travels, it will come in handy.
- Camera/Video Camera - Allow your teenager to capture and document the vacation with their own camera and from their own vantage point. Not only do they become more vested in sightseeing but you also get an opportunity to star in more of the family photos.
- Sunglasses - The cool factor of sunglasses is essential for just about any teen. They also come in handy when they’re meeting new people and aren’t yet comfortable in their surroundings.
A happy traveling teenager makes for a happier family vacation.