Traveling with Teens/Tweens

In two weeks, my family is embarking on their 1st family vacation to Maui. I worry about traveling with the kids and keeping them busy. Can it be done?

My husband has been working some mad OT to fund this trip and I am super excited! I have always wanted to take my family on a vacation together. Now its going to happen.

Yet, I worry about keeping everyone happy and the trip peaceful for the 5 days we are away. I mean… we’re talking about traveling with a tween and a teen.

I have planned a trip to the Maui Ocean Center, a last night’s celebration to the Royal Lahaina Luau, a 5 mile West Maui Rainfall/Waterfall hike and then a bit of shopping and snorkeling.

But I need to consider the down time moments and keeping them everyone content.

Traveling with tween/teen Tips

Here are some great tips I came across the internet:

  • Let your teen sit separately from you on the plane (giving the teen space)
  • Free WiFi

    The hotel does have free WiFi, but my husband is thinking of not letting our son bring the computer. Is this a good idea? Love to hear your thoughts on it. Would bringing a PSP or Game Boy be a feasible vacation replacement?

  • Give teens their own spending money.

    I do this already. Gives them the freedom to buy in moderation as they choose.

  • Make sure teen and tween sit separately from each other on the plane. [Agreed!]

Have any other great ideas for traveling with older kids?

Other News:

I’ve maintained my weight for the last 1 1/2 – 2 weeks. No up or down (well by 0.5lb). Just stable. That’s a good thing! But the plateau means I need to work out if I plan on losing any more weight.

Hopefully, hiking in Maui will jump start this need. I’ve also mapped out a few raw vegan eateries to explore (healthy eating – yeah!)

“Working our way up” – Yakezie Challengers link luv Friday

This is a list of Yakezie challenges who are making great strides to meet the elite. :)

Fiscal Fizzle – Our One-Car Experiment and Car Decision

My Journey to Millions – Don’t Blame Others for Your Debt Get up and Do Something About It!

Enemy of Debt – Introducing IH8 DEBT Bumper Stickers

Deliver Away Debt – Hope Will Not Get You Out Of Debt

Ultimate Money Blog – Is it More Frugal to be a Minimalist or a Hoarder?

The Centsible Life – Moms can’t do it all: 365 Days of Homecooking FAIL

Not Made of Money – Return, Refund, or Exchange? Tips For Maximizing Your Success

Stride of my own

Evolution of Wealth informed me in a group message that I made it to page 1 of Wisebread’s Top 100+ Personal Finance Blogs (#98 as of Thursday).

32 thoughts on “Traveling with Teens/Tweens

  1. Simple in France

    I don’t have my own kids but was a high school and junior high school teacher and have traveled with kids that age.

    I like your idea of letting them sit alone on the plane and have spending money. Wifi, will probably be highly appreciated as well.

    I would also add, giving them as much choice as possible–maybe they can choose each day between three options you give them, or even plan one day’s activities (with your approval, within a certain budget etc). Even small choice options work wonders with folks that age–getting to chose the radio station in the car for a certain period of time etc.

    And free/autonomous time if you can find *safe* ways for them to have it is also great. (but don’t be like my high school French teacher who gave us a metro pass and a map to the Paris subway and turned us loose for the day!)

    Reply
    1. money funk

      a metro pass and a map – Woo Hoo! Party on! I bet that was fun. :) Well ya know… Maui isn’t that big. What’s the worst that could happen. LOL. J/K.

      a high school and junior high school teacher? i am sure that takes much strength. Those are great tips. But here is the problem with letting them plan (that I forgot to add to the post) – it is a surprise on the kids. They have no idea we are going! Gonna wake them up and take off!

      But i will be able to give them the choice of radio stations and picking smaller activities once we get there. maybe i will give them a choice of 3 different places to be a ‘tourist’ and they can pick the one. Boy, I hope they like that hike. ;)

      Reply
  2. Forest

    As he is a teen I would say let him take the laptop…. There is nothing more annoying when at that age than having your parents telling you what to do… His laptop, some spending cash and a bit of free roaming round the resort and it will be a break from the teen moaning that you never let him do what he wants ;)

    Well done on the WB top #100… I have been in Yakezie just over a week and have dropped fro around 280k Alexa to around 212k (waiting on today’s update so may even be better!)…. I need to get on the wisebread list as I may well find myself on Page 1 soon if I do!!! Yay Yakezie :)

    Reply
    1. money funk

      See now… if you all get onto the Wisebread list that is gonna bump me back on page 2. LOL. I don’t know, I might start a campaign to keep you all off of there. Haha. J/K! It just means that I have to work harder!

      Great job on your Alexa strides! That is great progress.

      And I share the same thoughts with you about bringing the laptop. There is nothing worse than kids pestering you like a pesky fly when they are bored. Done. Computer is going!

      Reply
      1. Forest

        Ha ha, I wouldn’t worry… you are ahead of me in the Alexa states by quite a bit.

        Have you seen any immediate benefits from being on page one?

        Reply
  3. Mrs. Money

    We went to Maui on our honeymoon!! I am so jealous. ;) It’s funny- we did all the things you listed. We stayed in Lahaina at the Royal Lahaina Resort I think. It was fabulous!

    Reply
    1. money funk

      Oh I can’t wait! We get this very cheap villa where the lot across the street is not built. So when you wake up in the morning you have a Perfect View of the beach and sunrise. Last time I went, all our friends paid good money for their rooms and we took the frugal garden room. But they were highly jealous of us during out stay. We lucked out. Hope that nothing is built when we go this time!

      Reply
  4. Anne

    I’d let him take the laptop because it’s his vacation too and he should get to spend it how he wants (to some extent) even if that means on the computer doing exactly what he’d be doing at home. I’ve seen my nephews when they don’t have their usual computer access and it isn’t pretty.

    Reply
    1. money funk

      True. And I am trying to explain to my husband that it won’t be pretty either. I know what you mean! And I don’t want any grumpy or argumentative words going on. I think i will sooth the masses. Computer is going. :)

      Reply
  5. Kimberly

    We have 4 kids and travel extensively. Yes they can bring their own stuff but inevitably they get bored of their stuff pretty quick on the plane. Throughout the time before the trip I will pick up little things here and there and put it into a travel bag (we call them fun bags) for each kid. They do not know what is in there ahead of time so they have never seen this stuff before so it is all “new” to them and thus it keeps them busy longer, the novelty of it all. For really young children, I do not give them the entire bag at once, but dole out each item periodically, otherwise they will go through the entire bag at once and you might have shaved off 1 hour of your trip. At least that way you can stagger the time a bit.

    For teens & tweens:
    -new CD
    -new nintendo game
    -travel games or cards (Travel Hungry Hungry Hippo is always a blast, even for adults!)
    -new book they have been eyeing
    -embroidery thread to make friendship bracelets
    -puzzle books
    -if you take the laptop a new game cd to play or let them download pics onto laptop and mess with Photoshop for awahile (I could spend hours Photoshoping pics – its addictive)
    -i think the idea is be creative since the same old thing gets boring really fast.

    Little kids:
    -anything would work here as long as it is new to them

    Reply
    1. money funk

      Oh, those are some great tips! I didn’t even think about packing the fun bags. I do that with the car rides, but didn’t think about doing it with this trip.

      Travel Hungry Hungry Hippo, huh? Ever play Apples to Apples? Makes for a fun adult game, too. Okay, I am packing the traveling games. And I always load up with my magazines. Love being able to read them all when I am on flight.

      I think I am off to buy a couple new used video games. Thank you. I really love those suggestions!

      Reply
  6. The Lost Goat

    I wouldn’t be having a vacation if I was separated from my laptop. And I felt the same way at his age; it would have been more like a punishment than a vacation. Unless you think he’ll spend all the time on the computer and none with the family, I’d let him take it.

    Reply
    1. money funk

      LOL. I know, my computer is attached to my hip, too. But I have a better tolerance for being without it (only cuz my BlackBerry has Internet – LOL).

      He is a computer junkie, but I think being his first time to Hawaii that he will kick back on it a bit. Now to entice the hubby.

      Reply
  7. Moon Hussain

    Oh a teen and a tween? Laptop in moderation is fine I suppose. I remember not appreciating family vacations when I was younger. Or not as much as I would now, that is!

    You have to take lots of pictures and share them. Sounds like you’ve got some great times planned. I’d love to lay on the beach like a lazy ass for a few days.

    Mhmm :)

    Reply
    1. money funk

      Ya, okay.. that first question there makes me feel old. LOL. And that’s just it, needs to be in moderation. And i know i need to start giving him a little more freedom now that he is growing up. Maybe he’ll enjoy his vacation a bit more with it.

      And I will be sure to take pictures of my kids being grumpy on the 5 mile hike. LOL. They’ll have fun playing at the waterfalls! Will share. :)

      Want to be a stowaway in my bag?

      Reply
  8. RainyDaySaver

    I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii — but it’s so far from New Jersey! We have planned a trip to Las Vegas, though, with friends — I think it will be our last hurrah before funneling all our extra money into home improvements. Have a great time!

    Reply
    1. Money Funk

      I will thank you. And you should hit Vegas before it gets very hot. That will be a fun trip. And Hawaii is only a few more hours from Vegas. ;)

      I see you are having fun with those home improvements. Glad to hear they are going well.

      Reply
  9. Craig/FFB

    Maui?!? Sounds awesome! I think the plane trip will be the hardest part.

    Bringing a computer along can be ok as long as there are limits that are stated and understood before-hand.

    A challenge when traveling with kids is to understand the trip has to make the kids happy more than the adults sometimes. Kids happy = happy parents; kids unhappy = parents unhappy.

    Reply
    1. Money Funk

      I think so, too. Because of the low rate we were able to find also means a longer plane flight. But I can hang.

      I agree, I think if my son can keep it in moderation, than all be good. Because you’re right, Kids happy = Happy MOM. ;)

      Reply
  10. Ted

    Have you asked your kiddos what they would want to do? Or let them research their own?

    I always hated my parents on vacation because they did what they wanted to and sort of forced us to come along. So giving them chances to choose. Even a pizza and movie night while the old folks go out.. freedom yet family time too.

    Reply
    1. money funk

      Nope. The trip is a surprise. ;)

      But we are going to give them a few options to choose from, because I’ve heard from a few of you that giving a choice is a good thing during a vacation. Pizza and Movie Night sounds great (cuz Clash of the Titans will be out). Thank you for your comment. Am enjoying the feedback!

      Reply
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  13. BibleDebt

    Let us know how your trip goes. We do not yet have kids (but are expecting) and I can only imagine how difficult it is to travel with a whole family. Have fun!

    Reply
    1. money funk

      Hi BibleDebt! I will. Going to take lots of pics. I am really looking forward to our hike.

      We’ve been camping and done weekend trips. But, this is a first taking a ‘big’ vacation with the kids. So, I hope it goes fairly smooth.

      Reply
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