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What to Do While Lodging: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | April 30th, 2012 | Teen Perspective, Teens

Last week, my family and I went on a vacation to Maryland. It was a successful trip; we visited Philadelphia, Baltimore’s inner harbor, Loyola (Md), and family during our time there. The trip was five days long, so we spent four nights together (two nights in a house and two nights in a hotel). Anyone who has traveled with their family knows that this can be harrowing, but there are some ways to make it less painful and even (gasp) fun.

  • Play simple games. Every time we travel as a family, at least one person brings a pack of cards. During this trip, we played cards almost every night. We picked games that weren’t overly complicated and didn’t require extra equipment, such as chips. In our case we played spoons, rummy, and Uno. Uno cards are very useful because you can play games such as spoons with them and almost anyone knows how to play Uno. I wouldn’t suggest complicated games, such as board games, because they are large and people may not like the specific game you choose to take.
  • If it is an option, maximize the amount of personal space each person gets. This is common sense, but it needs to be stressed. At the house we stayed in, everyone got their own room. This is perfect for long trips, because people start to wear on each other and there really is no solution other than this one. At the first hotel, we all were in one room. Rooms like that are stressful after a couple days, no matter what. At the second hotel, we had the 4 kids in one room and the parents in another. This can last longer, because parents are a bigger stressor than they may think. A bunch of kids together will get along better, because they often feel that the parents are breathing down their necks. This is still not a valid long term solution.
  • Allow outside contact. I know that many families want the vacation to be solely family focused, but that will NOT work. Today’s kids are simply too connected to be able to completely disconnect for a week at a time. At the same time, it should be limited. A vacation is wasted if the kids spend the whole time texting. There is an appropriate ratio, which is individual to each family, on how much time should be spent in contact. Why shouldn’t a kid be able to text with their friends while sitting around in a hotel room or in a car? Preventing it there achieves nothing. At the same time, letting the kids text while you are in a museum or at a theme park is a waste. That is a waste of the location you are visiting and means they aren’t paying attention/don’t care.

Traveling with the whole family can be less painful or even (yes, I’m gonna say it) fun. Hopefully, you can keep these tips in mind this summer and make your trip a success.

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