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family holidays with teenagers

Discussion in 'Personal' started by huevosrancheros, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. We dont go on family holidays abroad anymore with our teenage and early 20 offspring.
    During the year, we may get them all together on say a boating holiday or abroad, but only for a few days, and then we encourage them to take holidays together without the rents.
    I've just done my last "family" Xmas and from now on it will be a more varied timetable where for once I get to have a rest. Defray is now my motto.
  2. IME teenagers have no desire to hang out with the embarrassing old fossils who spawned them and would much rather be left at home alone for a week than dragged round chateaux or taken for long walks.
    However since I wouldn't have trusted my lot at home on their own for one day without their falling out or burning the place down, they had to join us. Either they had a mediocre time doing stuff we liked or we sacrificed ourselves to do stuff/go places they liked. No-one totally happy.
    A cottage is your best bet - reasonably soundproof walls, their own space. The downside is that they're not usually near the centre of the action. An alternative is to book two separate apartments/hotel rooms but it's more expensive.
  3. Yes Lily, the self-catering cottage route worked well for us too. Also, we had good holidays with a firm called explore (website explore.com) who do adventure type holidays specifically for families with teenagers. You don't have to be especially fit to do most of them. We did a did a sailtrek holiday in Egypt which was fanatstic. Cheaper options which were good with a 15 and 17 year old were staying in a mobile home plus one tent for teenage son, booked direct with a french campsite in the Dordogne. We did loads of canoeing and the kids lounged round the pool while we did the markets and pottering about villages. Enjoy it while it lasts!
  4. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    Safari is okay, if they get bored you can throw them to the lions. That perks things right up.
  5. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    Tents somewhere warmish so there's less chance of rain, with a range of activities so that everyone has something to do. I spent many happy years in France wandering around gardens etc while others burned next to the pool ;)
  6. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    We always used to go to France when I was a kid (from when I was 8 until I was 16). We booked a house through http://www.cheznous.com/ and then took day trips out, a mix of what we wanted to do and what my parents wanted to do. The first few years we went my parents couldn't afford to rent a car because my mum wasn't working then, so we just walked everywhere. I have really good memories of family holidays.
  7. Snap. Although we went camping with Eurocamp. They label specific sites as good for teenagers as some have bars and nightclubs on site. I used to go off boogying with my brother and leave the folks to it. They would also go off for the day and we could sit by the pool - some of which were like mini waterparks. Had some brilliant holidays.
  8. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    When our kids were teenagers we spent many Summers in France and Spain camping with firms like Canvas.
  9. henriette

    henriette New commenter

  10. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Same foreign campsite, different tents, preferably separate pitches, with your pitch as far away from the Kids Club/Bar area as possible to get some peace. Hire a couple of bikes and you could go for a whole week without crossing paths with your offspring. You get out on the bikes and see the locality, they mooch around on the campsite swings comparing iPods with the Dutch kids, who can teach them how to speak English properly and boost their GCSE grades. Everybody gains ;-)
  11. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    None of ours have missed a holiday yet and the oldest is twenty-two! We almost always go self catering and they come out with us or not as the mood takes them. Every holiday we have I think will be the last they're all there but so far they've kept coming. I think it helps that we have similar interests. I'm always open to doing something that one of them particulary wants to do. I don't care that much what i do on holiday as long as I'm away. We never spend a great deal on holidays. Cottages vary wildy in price and the internet makes finding the cheaper ones easy. Places with their own website tend to be cheaper than ones that use an agency. Last year the gite we booked in France got us about a third of the ferry price too, so it wasn't much more than staying in this country, as gites tend to be cheaper than houses over here.

    Manns holidays in North Wales are well priced.
  12. How old are your teenagers?
    We used to go on camping holidays with Canvas/Eurocamp etc until ors were about 12 &14, always a success if you carefully select the site.
    Depending on your budget there are more pricey options with companies like Sunsail, Mark Warner that offer all kinds of activities for teenagers.
  13. Flyingcarpet

    Flyingcarpet New commenter

    Reading these posts shows me that I've obviously exhausted all options already in previous years(except camping in tents- not an outdoors/camping family) from mobile homes( which after the last time we went in one showed us how the size of individuals really means this is not an option again....but we siad that the time before that and still did it again but in a greta climate ), English/Welsh houses/France in various gites in various regions/using the Internet to put together travel etc separately/ short breaks using Eurotunnel/ long breaks on cheap flights/short breaks in Engliand with a bit of walking thrown/ ...all of which have been mentioned in the posts.
    I guess I haven't done too badly then and will continue in my usual way and remind myself that teenagers all can get moody and selfish wherever they are, so I reckon I should always make sure that the location of the holiday is one that I personally like, to make up for the almost inevitable adolescent behaviour issues regardless of location. And remind myself of all the good memories that we have from previous holidays together. Certainly, the children not getting on top of each other in confined space is a good idea, so a rented aprtment/villa will probably be the way to go from now on.
    Also, am I alone in hating long car journeys ? I am always amazed at the number of British families who drive for ages through France to reach a mobile home. For me, a flight plus car hire is worth the extra money for the more peaceful and less physically distressing start(and end) to the holiday.

  14. We have done the Eurocamp holidays for many years with success - this year, thinking it may be a last family holiday with just the 4 of us we are going back to an apartment in Majorca, which was also very successful. I booked the flights and apartment ages ago and got good prices on both, so it's costing us about the same as a French driving and mobile home holiday. As our kids are now older teenagers we have compromised on location, staying close to, but not quite in, <strike>Sh</strike>Magalluf . There's plenty to do for the kids plus a lovely pool and beach for us. Hopefully it will work and teenage angst/arguments etc will be kept to a minimum...
  15. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Having just driven 1700 miles around France in the last 10 days I couldn't disagree more - I loathe flying and love pootling around between one place and the next at ground level, seeing all the local detail and making it up as we go along, but then again we own a camper van so it's a lifestyle choice. I can't abide being processed through an airport, stuffed into a cramped metal tube, then being launched so high over a country that I can hardly see any of it. The prospect of having to repeat that at the end of the holiday spoils the bit in between for me.

    I suppose my next suggestion that you hire a classic VW Camper and put the kids (or yourselves) in a separate tent at night will probably fall on deaf ears then ;-)
  16. Flyingcarpet

    Flyingcarpet New commenter

    Moi , en camping, jamais.
    Horses for courses. Everyone has different preferences holidays and I respect that. A private toilet/ hot and cold running water/ proper , full size comfortable beds/private bathroom... these things happen to come high on my list . If I want to rough it, I would. But I don't want to.
    Luckily, not everyone wants to potter around on the roads - if they did the traffic would be much worse in the height of school holidays and then those who want to drive so much would probably find it more stressful.
    Enjoy your holidays everyone ,one person's hell is another person's heaven.
  17. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    We used to get the train and ferry (this was before Eurostar). My parents worked for the railway so we got free travel in the UK and only had to pay 25% abroad, so we'd get the sleeping train from Calais to Nice. One year we went to Italy - travelled by train and ferry all the way from North Yorkshire to Naples! It took ages but it was fun.
    The only time i've had a driving holiday was when i went to the USA with my sister, and that was amazing. There are some beautiful things to see that you miss from a plane.
  18. praha. How old are your teenagers? We went by train to Provence last year, like magicsurfbus I loather airports, and the train journey was brilliant, best way to travel. (We had a cycling holiday, just the two of us, although I know friends who took their teenage children).
    A few years ago we did a Multi Activity week at this place http://www.hausobermoos.com. It was brilliant and I would imagine great for teenagers.
  19. When our kids were little up until they were into their mid teens we too travelled around France doing the Eurocamp/ Canvas Holiday/ our own Caravan thing. We never tried the fly drive thing but did the motorail to Italy (fantastic) and to the Dordogne (awful) to save on travel time and stress.
    We came to the conclusion that nothing you can do will meet the needs of a truculent teenager. If they want to be a bloody pain then they will no matter what you do. We just left them to get on with it. Now that they are both in their mid to late twenties they keep banging on about the fantastic holidays they had as teenagers in France and how great the campsites were and how great it was traveling around and seeing the real France.

    Yeah, right.

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