Don't let a sulking adolescent ruin your family getaway. A little flexibility will go a long way toward wiping the frown off their face.
Step 1: Give them a say Include them in the planning stages. Let them have a say in the destination, itinerary, and activities.
Step 2: Find teen-friendly accomodations Try to stay in hotels and resorts with teen-friendly features like wireless internet access, pools, gyms, and game rooms.
TIP: Some resorts cater to children age 14 and older.
Step 3: Let them bring a friend Consider letting them bring along a friend. Two happy teenagers are easier to handle than a single unhappy one.
Step 4: Give them independence Give them some independence. Let them order room service some nights instead of accompanying you to a restaurant. If you don't want them wandering around alone, let them choose a few activities to enroll in. Provide them with a little vacation money to spend as they want.
Step 5: Limit their electronic use Restrict their cell phone and computer use to certain times of the day. Otherwise, you may as well leave them at home.
Step 6: Lower expectations Don't expect them to share your enthusiasm about walking tours, museum trips, and overall family togetherness. By lowering your expectations, you won't be as annoyed -- and you just might end up pleasantly surprised!
FACT: A 2009 American teen-travel writing contest showed a nearly 50 percent increase in visiting Africa and the Middle East over the year before.