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International travel with teenagers?

International travel with teenagers?

Old Oct 9, 14, 2:45 pm
  #1  
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International travel with teenagers?

We have kids currently in elementary school, and we have traveled widely as a family - Europe (twice), Australia, Asia, and the US. I'm planning a trip to Japan for summer next year.

My question is relating to a trip that we can possibly make in Thanksgiving - to Norway of all places. We've never been to Scandanavia. I'm sure the kids will be neutral to loving it. My wife thinks it's a non-trivial expense, and the cost is better deferred to when the kids are older.

With teenagers these days, do they like to travel with their parents more than or less than when they were in elementary school? Do they like it more, since they can be more part of the "decision" processes? Or do they find it a "drag" to be with their "uncool" parents? And they'd rather stay at home with their friends and devices?

Do I take this trip, as something that we will enjoy and remember now? Or push it off for their later years, where it will likely be even more enjoyable?
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Old Oct 9, 14, 3:32 pm
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Have you traveled with them before? How did those trips go? How are the day to day interactions in your family? If things go well then the trip will go well. If your family has lots if drama and controversy, then the trip will too. Each family is different with individuals having different diets, tolerances, abilities, and temperaments. If you take into consideration everybodies needs and desires then you have a better chance of success.
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Old Oct 9, 14, 3:34 pm
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Per my post, yes, we have traveled extensively, and enjoyed it.

We will be traveling first class across the Atlantic. There were zero problems at all on a 15 hour flight to Australia in business on Qantas, and likewise to London and Munich. We've got international travel down pat.

So my question is, as such, will we enjoy it more now, or later? Generally speaking.
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Old Oct 9, 14, 3:46 pm
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I would travel as much as your can with your family as often as you can. There will always be somewhere else to go when they are older too.

As someone who traveled a good deal with my parents when I was a child and when I was a teenager... yes, there were times that I thought I was being dragged around (and I'm sure my folks didn't appreciate my attitude.) And I know that I "get more" out of the Louvre as an adult than I did when I was 14 than I would have when I was 7. But, the travel built great family memories and kept us close. And it instilled a different worldview in me than many of my friends have. We don't travel with kids to let them check off a "been there" list. It's much more about memories and about shaping who they will become. You don't know what they will remember or what tidbit will turn into something meaningful for them. So I say, go for it.
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Old Oct 9, 14, 4:16 pm
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We've always travelled with our children but now they are teenagers (14 and 16) we give them more say so this summer I has a business trip to Sri Lanka which we could have built our summer holiday around but when we discussed it they said if we were having a big trip (we do a transcontinental trip for at least 4 weeks about every three years and do about 3 weeks in Europe in between) then they would rather go to New York and do a trip from there.

I echo what has been said about creating memories. I am acutely aware that in a few years they won't want to come with us so am enjoying while we can (although I still holidayed with my parents as an extra holiday when I was 21 if they went somewhere good).
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Old Oct 9, 14, 4:28 pm
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I'll add my $0.02 here...I'm in my mid twenties and traveled A LOT with my parents when I was younger...between the fact that they were expats living in Asia and my dad travels a ton for work, frequent flier miles were basically free for us. I'm incredibly thankful for it...the perspective it gave me growing up was amazing, and I really feel more like a "global citizen" than a citizen of any one country. DO IT!!!

Side note: being around airplanes so much as a very young child gave me a huge love for airplanes. By the time I was 8 I could identify a 747, 737, A319/20/21, etc. I was also listening to UA's Channel 9 constantly and learning how everything works. Fast forward 15 years and I have a master's degree in aerospace engineering and am employed as a pilot flying some pretty cool airplanes...I owe it all to those trips to Thailand and England we did when I was younger!
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Old Oct 9, 14, 4:38 pm
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We lived in Europe for 6 years starting when the kids were 8, 10 and 12. Travel is such a part of who they are they can't wait for their next trip.

When possible we took turns allowing on of them to bring a friend. We allowed them to assist in the planning. They were given the responsibility of guiding us through airports and picking restaurants for dinner.

Now that we are settled down and they have started taking their first steps into adulthood they are much better rounded than many of their friends who don't even own a passport.

Did they grouse on occasion? Yes. Was it a challenge at times? Yup. Would I do it all again. You bet.

Last edited by Gamecock; Oct 9, 14 at 8:11 pm
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Old Oct 9, 14, 4:54 pm
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International travel with teenagers?

My girls are 5 and 7. In the last 18 months we took them on four trips to Africa and once to the Cook Islands. Such a joy.
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Old Oct 9, 14, 4:59 pm
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Just take them...they're your kids more than you are their parents.
When they get older they can take you on a trip of their choice.
That's what we told our daughter and now that she's older she still like to go with us no matter what country.
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Old Oct 9, 14, 5:19 pm
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Depending on how old these teens are you may wish to design in a private side trip just for them. Give them a day or two to explore and travel on their own via rail. It can be a great experience for both parties (some mom & dad time) and give them some grownup experience while being a short distance away.

Start in City A and on your way to City B the group splits of parents and teens going to 2 relatively nearby cities that connect to city B. This all depends on the age and how comfortable you feel with the idea.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 2:31 am
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As a mid-20s guy, I agree with the masses here: go for it! Bring them along!

In my family, my parents took us on an international trip every three years until we were 18. We went all over Europe, Australia, South America, and I truly believe it's what made me want to go abroad and live in Singapore while working on my masters.

Even as an older teenager, I still enjoyed going with my parents. They were good about letting us go off on our own once we told them our plan. I know we were pains more than a few times, but the experiences really helped us cultivate a better global perspective.

We were also very fortunate that our father was frequently traveling internationally and we had the opportunity to go along with him 1:1 periodically. We also had the benefit of using his FF balances to snag C & F tickets on SQ, TG, LX, and LH.

To do this day, I still have the wanderlust instilled in me thanks to my parents. Right this moment, my twin brother and I are sitting in Istanbul headed to Egypt tomorrow...
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Old Oct 10, 14, 3:06 am
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I agree with the general sentiment around here. Do it - why wait?. I've found that younger kids can be more open to new experiences than teenagers. I've stopped traveling with my parents at age ~15, so you may have less family trips before you than you think.

Two points to think about:

1) Norway in November is not really the ideal season I feel. It will be cold, days will be short, high chance of rain. If you haven't, do a bit of research so that you don't end up disappointed.

2) Norway is essentially about nature. Fjords, mountains, glaciers, waterfalls. Being outdoors, hiking etc. This could be a real adventure trip for 8-10 year olds. But every kid is different. Do your kids enjoy that type of activity?
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Old Oct 10, 14, 3:08 am
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Your teenagers should consider themselves fortunate that you're allowing them to travel the world. They have no right to complain.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 4:13 am
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Not to be a grump, but I think only you can answer your own question. No one knows your children/family the way you do, and accordingly assess whether they will enjoy it or not.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 7:01 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Not to be a grump, but I think only you can answer your own question. No one knows your children/family the way you do, and accordingly assess whether they will enjoy it or not.
Originally Posted by bmchris View Post
We have kids currently in elementary school, and we have traveled widely as a family - Europe (twice), Australia, Asia, and the US. I'm planning a trip to Japan for summer next year.

My question is relating to a trip that we can possibly make in Thanksgiving - to Norway of all places. We've never been to Scandanavia. I'm sure the kids will be neutral to loving it. My wife thinks it's a non-trivial expense, and the cost is better deferred to when the kids are older.

With teenagers these days, do they like to travel with their parents more than or less than when they were in elementary school? Do they like it more, since they can be more part of the "decision" processes? Or do they find it a "drag" to be with their "uncool" parents? And they'd rather stay at home with their friends and devices?

Do I take this trip, as something that we will enjoy and remember now? Or push it off for their later years, where it will likely be even more enjoyable?
I'd agree with LondonElite - frankly, none of us knows your kids, their likes/dislikes, temperament, etc. Those of us who have traveled with out teens can relate our experiences, but they will all vary.

Have you started by...asking your kids if they would like to go on that particular trip?
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