Are you looking forward to going on a road trip with tweens? By balancing their needs to feel included and autonomous, you may enjoy a family road trip with tweens. Include your tween in the planning process to help them feel more included. Allow them to choose stops, music for the ride, and images on social media. Allowing personal screen time in the vehicle and not depending on them to look after younger siblings shows you appreciate their independence.
This article provides several suggestions for organizing the ideal tween road trip that will provide lasting experiences. It’s crucial to keep in mind that your teen’s feeling of independence is still developing. They want to be a part of family gatherings, but they also want privacy and autonomy. You and your family will have a fun tween road trip if you can strike this balance.
1. Get your tween involved in the planning process
Include your children in the planning and research stages. Tell them when the road trip will take place, where you’ll be going, and where you’ll be stopping. Ask them if there is someplace along the road they would want to stop and see now that you have that knowledge. Suggestions include large shopping malls, wildlife reserves, and specific museums depending on their interests. I know how difficult it is to get replies from teenagers, so try making some recommendations yourself: “There’s a large mall in this city with a *insert teen favorite shop here*, I thought we might stop there for a rest break.”
2. Watch an exciting video
Check out our Family Road Trip Packing List to help you and your tween prepare for your trip. Before you depart, get to know your tween. Are they early birds or night owls? Do they like to participate, or do they work best when they have some alone time? If your tween like to sleep late and your driving schedule requires you to leave the house at 7:00 a.m., you will have a difficult time. It’s normal to think of your tween as a kid, but they’re developing into young people, and a basic grasp of who they are can help a lot.
Do you need some assistance in locating family-friendly attractions? How to Find Tourist Attractions on Your Route is something we can help you with. Take a look for ideas on where to stop on your tween road trip.
3. Schedule a road trip that does not take up the whole school vacation.
A road trip with the family may be a lot of fun! Your tween, on the other hand, will not like spending an entire school vacation with his or her family frolicking in cramped quarters. This is particularly true for teenagers who participate in many sports due to their restricted spare time. Summer is often the greatest season to travel since your children may spend weeks with their pals on each side of the journey.
4. Make sure you have the appropriate vehicle for the journey.
A family of five may fit in a car, but they won’t want to live in it for a week. Tweens (like the rest of us) might be sensitive to personal space and alone time. Consider hiring a vehicle with a bit extra legroom and lots of baggage capacity in the rear if necessary.
On the road, the appropriate hotel may make all the difference. Traveling with a family may be exhausting, particularly if you have a mixture of younger and older children. Kids eat a lot and it adds up, so having breakfast taken care of and a place to keep and prepare food saves a lot of money and time.
Another significant benefit is a hotel with a pool, particularly an indoor pool. After a long day of travel, it offers free entertainment, and everyone enjoys a little night swimming.
5. Maintain a fluid seating configuration.
Even though I don’t have any tween children yet, I take turns in the rear seat with my 4-year-old. Nobody enjoys being the odd man out! Allow older children to take turns sitting at the front. Even in a crowded vehicle, it’s a terrific chance to spend some one-on-one time with them.
6. Allow your teens to have a turn behind the wheel.
Tweens who are old enough and whom you trust may drive with you. Check your route for a calm section of road and give your new driver a chance to drive it. It’s a terrific approach to keep children engaged while also improving their driving skills. Check the legislation governing learner permits in the states you’ll be travelling through.
7. Keep in mind that your tween is not a free kid.
It’s easy to think about how weary you are after a long day of travelling and decide to leave the rest to your oldest so you can spend one-on-one time with your spouse. DON’T! This is the quickest way to exhaust your tween and make them dislike car trips. Instead, bargain with them; after all, it’s their vacation as well! Ask if they’d be prepared to sit at the hotel one evening in exchange for a special stop with them on another day when the kids aren’t there.
8. Take a light touch when it comes to technological regulation.
Every family has its own set of rules and procedures for coping with the ever-present world of personal technology. However, you may want to consider the novelty of spending hours with your children in a confined environment. Teenagers, in particular, who are just beginning to experience freedom, may feel confined and overwhelmed by their surroundings.
Allowing the kids to use their own gadgets enables everyone to enjoy some time alone without having to worry about finding entertainment that appeals to both your 7 and 16-year-old.
9. Allow everyone to participate in the creation of playlists.
Allow each of your children to create a playlist for the trip and then take turns listening to each other’s music without judging. To avoid being trapped with an hour of Disney show songs or whatever trendy sounds your kid ends up with, urge them to create multiple shorter playlists to toggle between.
10. Consider listening to some audiobooks.
If you have children of various ages, audiobooks may be challenging, although tweens may be more interested in reminiscing about old favorites than they would admit. Harry Potter is always a good pick since the storylines develop with the youngsters and are typically engrossing for a broad audience.
If your audience consists mostly of teenagers and tweens, let them propose some titles and conduct a lottery to choose which ones you will listen to.
11. Listen to some family podcasts.
If your children are all older, you may feel safe allowing them to propose certain podcasts. It’s an excellent approach to engage with them via something they like. If you have a larger group of mixed-age children, you may want to consider screening any recommendations first.
12. Don’t pass judgement on your teen’s ideas.
You may be hearing your teen’s favorite podcasts, music, or listening to them communicate freely for the first time on a road trip. Tweens are still forming their identities and may be quite sensitive; even a little remark might lead them to shut down. “What do you appreciate most about this band?” or “what is your favorite part of this podcast?” are good questions to ask.
Save everything that actually concerns you until when you get home. A quarrel over music choice in front of the whole family in a vehicle isn’t going to end well for anybody.
13. Surprise everyone with coloring books that you hand-picked.
It doesn’t have to be all about the television or the stereo. Adult coloring books are a fun hobby that does not need the use of headphones. Give each child a coloring book and a set of new colored pencils that relate to one of their passions (they make them for almost any movie, programmed, and celebrity you can think of these days). I’m sure they’ll get caught up in the back-to-school purchasing frenzy.
14. Word games are a terrific source of non-tech enjoyment.
Mad libs, taboo, the license plate game, and even trip bingo, in small doses, may be entertaining automobile pastimes. Know what kinds of games your family enjoys and plan your activities accordingly.
15. Have a sincere discussion.
You must time this perfectly, maybe while your tween is taking a turn sitting in the front seat with you, or when everyone in the vehicle is in good spirits. Tell a tale from your upbringing or pose a thought-provoking enquiry.
16. Make a joke to break the quiet.
Use one of our Road Trip Jokes to add some positive vibes to the journey if everyone is becoming a bit fatigued or desperate for the next rest break!
17. Keep an eye out for photo opportunities.
Your teenagers and tweens may or may not be on social media, but they’re probably getting into snapping photos for Instagram or making weird videos for Tik Tok. Encourage their inventiveness if they have their own accounts! Point out good picture opportunities and offer to take or allow them to snap shots. Give them control of your account if they aren’t quite old enough. It’s a fantastic chance to observe the family’s journey through their eyes.
Now you know what to do when you go ahead on a road trip with tweens. Make sure that you keep these in mind and get the most out of road trips. They provide some great opportunities for you to enjoy and have a quality family time.