Having a child is a wonderful, life-changing experience, but going through their teenage years can be tough. Between mood swings, raging hormones, peer pressure, and slamming doors, it can feel like nothing can make your teen happy. But quality time with your child is still incredibly important and necessary during this period and taking advantage of school breaks is a great way to do that. While your teen might think they’re too old now for family vacations, these destinations may change their mind.
National parks are a great way for you and your family to reconnect with nature and the outdoors. The United States has hundreds of impressive national parks to choose from—Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, and Joshua Tree just to name a few. You and your family can explore the stunning natural beauty through climbing and hiking trails and soak up plenty of American history as well. Whether you’re into hot springs and waterfalls, big trees and dense forests, sand dunes and desert wildlife, or swamps and caves, there’s a park for you and your family. You can find a list of national parks online to help you pick a park for your next family vacation.
Taking a road trip with your teen to a national park is also a good idea if they’re a new driver or young driver hoping to get their driver’s license soon. A road trip can help your teenage driver practice safely and give them greater exposure to a variety of roads, highways, and driving conditions. Plus, you’ll have a great scenic drive along the way. Before heading off on the road, add a learner driver to your car insurance. You always want to be prepared so make sure you and your young driver are covered under your insurance policy. If your teen earns good grades, you may be able to secure a good student discount through your auto insurance policy.
The Emerald City is a great destination to take your teen to. Seattle has the perfect balance of family-friendly cosmopolitan culture and scenic wilderness. Take a stroll through Pike Place Market for good food and shopping. Climb up the Space Needle for a spectacular view of the city. And take a hike across Mount Rainier National Park, where the highest active volcano in the contiguous U.S. stands.
Want a tropical getaway? Your teen will thank you for an island vacation in paradise. Each island is unique so don’t limit yourself to just the Big Island. You have Wailua Falls, a 173-foot double waterfall in Kauai, with a beautiful pool perfect for swimming. Helicopter tours and snorkeling adventures in Maui so you get to see the underwater perspective and birds-eye-view of the island. And you have the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. Go during the winter season for whale watching or check out the idyllic islands in the summer when you can enjoy a hike in the mountains with a lesser chance of rain. Some family-friendly, quintessential island activities include a sunset boat tour, snorkeling trip, hula lesson, and luau. Your teen will get the chance to snorkel, surf, swim and lay on the sand.
Looking for another great place that perfectly blends urban life with wilderness adventures? Then check out Colorado. The state’s mountain peaks offer plenty of great outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and stargazing. While hip, forward-thinking cities like Denver and Boulder are bursting with art galleries, unique cafes, and eclectic boutiques. Instead of a hotel, consider staying in Denver furnished apartments for a more cozy, family-oriented ambiance. You can rent an apartment for a long stay to get a better sense of the city.