• Elizabeth Perry (The Nerd Travel Pro)

5 Best Vacations with Teens


How do you get your teenager to stop looking down at their phone and engage? You’ve probably asked yourself this question when planning a family vacation. You want a trip where everyone is involved and enjoying themselves – including your teen! With the right destination and the right planning, this isn’t as unattainable as it might sound. Here are the 5 best vacations to get teens involved and away from their screens.

1. Ocean Cruise

Ocean cruising has evolved to be an incredibly diverse vacation option with an incredible variety of onboard activities. Does your teen like thrills? Check out zip-lining, rock-climbing, or surf simulators. Being active with friends? Check out roller skating, bumper cars, or a whole variety of other activities on an expansive sports deck. Or, maybe your teen just wants to chill with other teens. Ocean cruise lines have supervised, teen-only clubs with group activities, games to play on their own, or areas to just hang out and chat.

Many cruise lines that sail to the Bahamas and Caribbean also have private island destinations with areas and activities just for teens. Ocean cruising also gives you time together as a family – delicious dinners together, activities and shore excursions for the whole family, and shows everyone will enjoy. It’s a great balance of having family time together as well as activities for your teen to have fun on their own time, perhaps while you take time to enjoy the ship’s spa!

2. Beaches Resorts

Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos offer all-inclusive fun and great service for everyone in the family! Teens definitely talk their own talk and walk a different walk, so Beaches Resorts make sure that they have their own special spaces and places to play it their way. From pizza bars to soda bars, to their own "nightclub" with karaoke, teens have their own scene all day and places to hang each evening, as well as teens-only watersports, beach games, theme parties, and more.

3. Universal Orlando Resort

For thrill-seeking teens, there’s no better place than Universal Orlando Resort. Take on incredible roller coasters like The Incredible Hulk Coaster and immersive 3D simulator rides like Skull Island: Reign of Kong and Transformers: The Ride 3D. You can also explore the resort’s amazing themed areas such as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, or spend the day on thrilling aqua coasters at the resort’s new Volcano Bay water theme park. On-site resorts within walking distance of the parks make your vacation as stress-free as it is epic.

4. Southern California

Embark on an adventure to the many attractions of southern California with destinations to engage and thrill any teen. Explore iconic Hollywood attractions from the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. For an extra day of thrills you can also visit Universal Studios Hollywood for incredible roller coasters and simulator rides, as well as their Studio Backlot Tour. In San Diego, encounter marine life at SeaWorld Adventure Park, or the whole animal kingdom at the world-famous San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. You can also enjoy the theme parks of Anaheim such as Knott’s Berry Farm and, of course, the famed attractions of Disneyland, from the thrills of Space Mountain and Radiator Springs Racers to new out-of-this-world encounters.

5. Adventures by Disney

See the world without all the exhaustive planning, and with activities everyone can enjoy. Adventures by Disney offers a unique perspective on iconic world destinations with VIP access, hands-on immersive experiences, and special adventures designed to educate, entertain, and engage every member of the family. Adventures by Disney takes care of all the details, from hotels and transfers to attraction tickets and dining, so that you can focus on special moments with your family – and seeing your teen interact with a whole new world.

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