On any trip, keep in mind that a tired teenager is a kid who won't get in trouble and who won't have you fretting about their whereabouts as much. Better to have them pooped out in the tent, cabin or hotel room at night than out looking for excitement. Teens are also more civil after exercise.
"We took our 11-year-old nephews backpacking in Yosemite for seven days, and we packed food for a week," said Keith Walklet. "It was gone in THREE days! Every other word out of their mouths was 'When do we eat?' Don't underestimate the appetite of a teenage boy."
Negotiate with the Kids
Negotiate with your teens by trading activities and interests. "Mom really wants to view the Matisse exhibit, so how about in exchange we'll take you to the Pearl Jam concert tonight?" Or: "We'll sight-see in the morning and shop for you in the afternoon." Give them slack. At times let them stay up really late to watch a movie or read, then sleep until noon. Don't be the trip dictator. Let them make restaurant choices too.
Three Highly Recommended Teen-Friendly Vacations
Family camps with specially designed teen programs are good choices for vacations with teens, because they don't need to drive (or be driven) to meet other kids and their activities are supervised and contained within safe boundaries. Numerous family camps offer classes from whitewater kayaking, rock climbing or the basics of sailing to sailboarding, horseback riding and mountain biking. Here are a few places to check out if you're traveling with teens.