These Destinations Will Get Your Teen Excited About Family Travel

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Teenagers are a great study in patience when traveling. Anyone who’s ever visited another city with a 15-year-old in tow knows that keeping them happy and entertained means a successful vacation for everyone. Even if luxury hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants are the backdrops to your ideal getaways, they may not be exactly what your minor wants to experience while away. Here are five destinations to visit that’ll ensure your teen comes home in high spirits:

Turks & Caicos
Photo Credit: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos has all the right ingredients for a fun teen adventure, especially for the independent soul. To start, book a room at Beaches, an all-inclusive resort that makes it easier to let minors roam freely and give them the opportunity to create their own experiences. The hotel has built a reputation for catering to youth with amenities such as a Scratch DJ academy that teaches teens how to become the next Calvin Harris; Club Liquid, a 21 and under dance venue with a cool South Beach vibe and an arcade complex at Trench Town with flat screen TVs, laser hockey and a hip lounge area. Pirates Island is a 27,000-square-foot waterpark with a surf simulator, lazy river, ‘50s-style diner, kids-only swim-up bar and plenty of water slides. Outside of the resort, Big Blue Unlimited Eco-Tours treats tweens and teens to an afternoon of kayaking through mangrove-lined channels to spot the archipelago’s wildlife. Throw in the option to enjoy a snorkeling excursion as well to get the most of out of the experience.

Oahu, Honolulu
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With year-round beautiful weather, plenty of young locals around the beaches and a number of hotels to choose from, Oahu is an easy choice for parents. For hotels, Waikiki Parc Hotel is the sister hotel of Halekulani and offers great perks for families while not sacrificing luxury for adults. Those under 17 stay free and the hotel’s Parc Arts program offers guests complimentary access to museums across the island such as the Waikiki Aquarium and Honolulu Zoo. 

Waikiki is also known for its long surf breaks that make it easy for any level of surfer to learn the water sport. Group lessons from Hans Hedemann Surf School are priced at $75 per person (a day), and is for those aged 14 and above. The great part about the non-private experience is that your teen may even make a friend for the week as well! Private lessons are also available for children between five and 12, should they prefer a little more one-on-one time with the instructors. The city is also a great spot for shopping and teens can meander the mall for hours picking up their favorite brands and island-specific trinkets.

New York City, New York
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New York

No matter what age, visiting New York is a must, and as a teenager, is the ideal place to live out your Gossip Girl dreams and experience the Big Apple as B and S would. The stylish and trendy Refinery hotel located in midtown is just the place to post up during your vacation. Designed inside a renovated historic industrial building, the property offers modern amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi and iPhone docks, but it’s most valuable perk for teens is its proximity to the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Macy’s and Herald Square.

Since the city never sleeps, the tour options are endless and your young family member can choose from activities such shopping on 5th Avenue, riding the TMZ celebrity bus, experiencing an On Location New York TV and Movie Sites tour or seeing their first Broadway musical. Right now, Sara Bareilles’ debut Waitress has hit the stage, a musical based on the 2007 film by the late Adrienne Shelly. The story follows pregnant waitress Jenna, who makes creatively-titled pies that lead to a romance from an unlikely newcomer. Afterwards, they can hit up Bowlmor, a 40-lane bowling alley featuring old-school arcade games, laser tag, mini golf and air hockey.

Saratoga, Wyoming
Photo Credit: Brush Creek Ranch


If your teen is the outdoorsy type who loves getting their hands dirty and experiencing nature, consider vacationing in Wyoming this year. From dude ranches to horseback riding, mountain biking and exploring Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, the state is a scenic playground for active families. Brush Creek Ranch is a luxury property with an award-winning spa, meaning, mom and dad will enjoy the hotel as much as its young guests. Along with spacious accommodations and tempting dining experiences, the ranch hosts a number of fun activities for teens. Minors can participate in ropes courses right on property and test their skills in different obstacles on low or high ropes. Teenagers preferring to stay away from heights can participate in paintball courses in an open hilltop meadow or jump on ATVs to explore the million acres of Medicine Bow National Forest. The half-day excursion ventures through miles of national forest lands, ponds, lakes and streams. Teens can also take full advantage of an indoor facility that is home to a volleyball court, regulation-size gymnasium for basketball, shuffleboard, table tennis, billiards and arcade games.

Photo Credit: Half Moon Resort


How can you go wrong with the birthplace of Bob Marley? The island is a mix of sand, sun and music, and has everything from ghost tours to zip lining and live reggae performances to keep travelers going back year after year. Packed with amenities for families, Half Moon hotel is a smart choice for your vacation accommodations. Their services and facilities include the Dolphin Lagoon, Equestrian Centre, Tennis & Squash courts, and Anancy Children’s Village for tweens. At the dolphin exhibit, teenagers can swim with the friendly mammals or learn to become a trainer for the day.

There’s a lively culture on the island that teenagers will vibe with, and a bustling community of artists and creatives inviting you into their One Love society. Montego Bay is a popular destination for those traveling with teens. Located within the town is Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville which serves renowned virgin cocktails to the under 21 crowd. It also boasts a 120-foot water slide from its roof into the ocean, water trampolines and reggae music playing over the loud speakers. Throughout the year, Montego Bay plays hosts to a number of music festivals including the Soul in the Sun Music Festival. This new event is held each October in Rose Hall.

Nicolle Monico

Nicolle is an award-winning writer and Travel Editor using her expertise in the industry to write about luxury travel around the world. You can find her daily searching the web for the latest trends, best new hotels and most beautiful destinations to visit and share with her readers. She's been featured on The Huffington Post, Hard Assets, AMD Entertainment and Remy Martin. In 2014, she was vo...(Read More)

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