Traveling is hard. Let’s face it. It is not easy to pack up your own little world into a plastic case and submit yourself to the mercy of big companies that determine whether or not you get to your destination on time. It’s difficult for some personality types to just let things go. One must be relaxed and able to roll with the punches in order to tolerate any kind of travel because anything can happen while on vacation.
Airline travel can be especially frustrating. Even more so with small children. For me, nothing was as challenging as navigating through an airport with a crying toddler, stroller in tow, fumbling through security, and being the parent with the screaming child on the plane. I get it! I’ve been there.
But even when you aren’t traveling with small children, it can be difficult. For instance, try traveling with teens. Teenagers add their own interesting spin to family travel. Whether it’s moodiness, trying to assert their independence, or being glued to their phones, determined to be mentally with friends than with their (boring and embarrassing) family. Teens can easily upset the peaceful family balance that’s all too necessary when traveling.
Just like babies and toddlers, teenagers need sleep to function. Early morning wake ups and early flights don’t mix well with the night owl mentality of teens. Crankiness and irritability will almost always ensue. Having to follow schedules not made by themselves, participating in activities they’d rather not, or just having to submit to their parents’ wishes can create conflict when all one is looking for is rest and relaxation with their loved ones.
Despite the angst that traveling with teens can sometimes bring, I just hope teens can be grateful and realize how fortunate they are to be able to see the cities and sights. Travel is a luxury, not afforded by the masses. It offers a person a much bigger appreciation of the world around them, providing a cultural education that not everyone receives.
Perhaps each seed planted, in each destination traveled, will one day blossom into a joyful and enriching garden within the mind of the man or woman your teen becomes.
How do your teens adapt with travel? Let me know in the comments!