In some ways, traveling gets much easier as your child grows up.
Long gone are the days of packing diapers and worrying about your child getting getting lost and not knowing your cellphone number.
Traveling with tweens is something entirely different. All of a sudden your child feels like a travel buddy, one who is capable of being a great traveler. That’s what I’ve discovered as we entered this new phase, so I thought I would share with you my tips for traveling with tweens.
Let Them Make a Big Decision in the Trip Planning
As my daughter has gotten older, I realized that she has enjoyed taking part in planning our family trips. Though the destination might be too big of a decision to relinquish to your tween, try something smaller.
For us, that meant she got to choose the make, model, and color of our rental car last week. While it certainly wasn’t my pick, we walked away with a bright (BRIGHT) green sporty car. I have to admit that it was easy to spot in a parking lot – an unexpected benefit! Small decision to give her, but the smile on her face…priceless!
Prepare a Travel Bucket List
I have a travel bucket list. Oh, I like to dream big with places like Germany and Italy, but I love the smaller things too. Chances are your tween is the same way.
Ask them to write down their bucket list destinations, whether close by or oceans away. This way, you know what they are thinking (something that can be increasingly difficult in this stage of parenting).
Give them a Job
It turns out that my daughter is a great navigator. She understands local city maps of a downtown area. She can read signs from quite a distance. She keeps an eye out for anything that doesn’t seem right.
Find a role for your tween, something that works with their strengths. Maybe put them in charge of planning out the order of events for the day, or navigating the best way to get from point A to point B.
Give them their Own Suitcase
If it hasn’t happened by now, get your tween their own suitcase. This opens up a whole new world of responsibility.
They can start learning to pack for themselves. This would come with a last minute look-over from Mom or Dad of course – I mean, you wouldn’t want to arrive at your destination and your kiddo is without underwear).
Stock Up on Snacks
Any great trip is full of excitement, but even the most relaxing of trips can take a toll on you and your tween. It’s important for your growing kiddo to eat their meals, stay hydrated, and stay fueled with plenty of healthy snacks.
I choose Dannon ® Danimals® Yogurt Smoothies when traveling with tweens for so many reasons.
They are a great source of calcium and vitamin D for my tween, something that is so important. Why? She’s growing like a weed right now!
Danimals Smoothies need to be refrigerated, so if on a road trip I put them in a cooler.
If we are lucky enough to be staying a place with a kitchenette or full kitchen, I head to the local Walmart and stock up.
With a great taste, my tween couldn’t be happier.
An added bonus…knowing that someone will win a trip to Disney World!
Yes, look for specially-marked packages!
We picked up a Dannon ® Danimals® Yogurt Smoothies Strawberry Explosion® 12 pack this last time at Walmart, and a certain tween I know tried to find the winning smoothie! 🙂
I can’t say I blame her. She’s a traveler at heart!
What are your best tips for traveling with tweens?