Castaway Cay - Tips for Traveling with Teens

Disney’s Castaway Cay. Photo Credit: Connie Roberts/Disabled TravelingMom

Summer vacation from school often means summer travel with teens. For younger teens that means a family vacation. Older teens may be allowed to travel on their own depending on their parents’ decision. Either way, how do you make your summer vacation with your teenager entertaining?

Where to Travel with a Teen

Your destination can be the difference between a great vacation and one that goes down in family history as “the worst trip ever”. Keep in mind what activities your teenager enjoys. Talk to them about where they would like to visit and any budget constraints.


For the Adventurous Nature Lover:

For Those Who Like to Relax:

  • The beach creates time to sit back and soak in the atmosphere. Teens can take a book and some music along, lounge in the sand or a cabana and take a break from everyday life. Enjoy a real seaside escape.
  • All in one resorts pamper every guest including teens. For example, Atlantis Paradise Island offers everything from a movie theater to Dolphin Cay. They also have a number of pools to choose from. A couple are specifically made to relax such as the Grotto Pool and River Pool.

What to Do While Traveling with a Teen

  • Give them some independence.  A guided tour on their own is an option, especially one during a cruise. Be sure to check on age requirements before reserving one. For example Disney-owned Castaway Cay, toured during all Disney cruses, has a teen beach named the Hide Out.
  • Video games during car trips – I know that you are supposed to be spending quality time with your family, but video games, music and movies will keep a teen happy during a long car ride.
  • Shopping – Visit malls, souvenir shops and unique stores for both window shopping and actual buying. Set a budget limit.

Bring on the Fun

  • Theme Parks are a teen’s dream – There is so much to do, eat, go on roller coasters, check out new technology and meet new people. They can enjoy some independence too. For children with special needs, more planning is often necessary.
  • Bring along a friend – Having someone to hang out with during a trip is invaluable. Sharing adventure with a friend makes everything better.
  • Choose the biggest, best adventure – If It’s in the news or talked about on the teen grapevine, visit it. Bragging rights are something that matters to teenagers.

If your teen has disabilities, research the destination before you travel. Get advice from others online and always check on the phone in advance of your trip for accessible hotel rooms and other needs.

Summer travel with teens doesn’t need to be stressful. Follow these tips and have a wonderful time.