Traveling with teenagers can be tricky. Moody, stubborn, and detached; it’s hard enough to get teenagers off their mobile phones, let alone get them to go along on a family holiday.
When you’ve got thirteen years olds with direct access to an escape from reality and endless information and entertainment online, it becomes increasingly difficult for parents to connect with their kids. That’s why we say that one of the best ways to get your teenagers ‘unplugged’ is a family safari. There is something about being in the African bush that makes you want to engage with life and even the most obstinate of teenagers won’t be able to resist the thrill of the wild.
A few tips for taking teens on safari:
- Keep them busy:
Teenagers get bored easily so choose a multi-faceted destination with plenty of things to do and see and leave the deserted beach holidays for a more romantic occasion. Many places have spas and pools and offer tailored activities for teens, as well as some ‘eye-opening’ activities such as village tours and opportunities for cultural interaction. It is also worth considering including more than one destination in your holiday. The ‘bush and beach’ combo is quite popular for families as it allows for some time to enjoy nature and see wildlife while also offering the chance to relax, unwind and socialize on the beach.
- Don’t smother them:
Allow your teens to choose their own activities and pace. Dragging them off on a super early morning game drive is probably not going to win you any brownie points. Rather choose a few activities which you know the whole family will enjoy doing together and let your teens plan the rest of their time how they like.
- Make sure they’re ‘connected’:
Choose a place with an internet connection. Most safari lodges have wifi so let your kids spend a little time connecting with friends back home and boasting about their African adventures. This will keep the peace and ensure that everyone can have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday without any sulking.
- Choose appropriate accommodation:
Teenagers will need their own rooms so choose a lodge that offers family suites with separate rooms. The added bonus of this is that you’ll feel as though you’re on holiday in your own private bush home!