Those turbulent teenage years are hard enough as it is without throwing the thorny issue of ‘who wants to holiday where’ – and with who – into the mix.
One solution is to dust off that sense of adventure and choose a trip that encourages their independent spirit while giving everyone a break. Small group holidays combine the best of both worlds, allowing kids to get active with their peers while also building in some time together with the parents.
Look out for ‘teenage trips’ or family holidays with dedicated teen departures whose itineraries will be designed exclusively for older children, thereby avoiding any potential age-related awkwardness.
And whatever holiday style or destination you opt for, keeps things flexible – after all, school’s out and no one will want to bound by routine.
The Adventure Company reveals five holiday ideas to help you swap teenage tantrums for family fun!
Egypt: active in the Sinai
If guaranteed sunshine and a relatively short flight come high up your holiday criteria list then, just five hours from the UK, Egypt is hard to beat.
With desert, mountains, canyons and the Red Sea all to be found in the Sinai and the laid-back resort of Dahab the perfect base to enjoy them from, families really can be as adventurous or relaxed as they want.
For the more actively inclined there are plenty of options to enjoy both on land (sand-boarding, camel-riding and climbing up Mount Sinai for an unforgettable sunrise) and in the sea (wind-surfing, snorkelling, kayaking and diving) before making the most of the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters.
Don’t miss: Camping out under the stars in a Bedouin tent in the heart of the desert.
Peru: teens on the trail
With celebrities such as Alexandra Burke, Pixie Lott and Fearne Cotton set to trek to the ‘lost city’ for Breast Cancer this autumn and 2011 the 100th anniversary of the (re)discovery of Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail is destined to be very much in the headlines over the coming months.
In addition to the famous four-day trek through the Andes, Peru’s varied terrain lends itself perfectly to other active pursuits from mountain biking and horse riding to river rafting. This combines with cultures past (exploring the heart of the Inca Empire) and present (the chance to stay in a local village house) to make Peru ideal for exploring with older children.
Don’t miss: For wildlife and a touch of the exotic, a visit to the Amazon rainforest is the ideal way to round off any trip.
South Africa: Kruger & beyond
The Football World Cup may have put South Africa’s cities in the spotlight but the lesser known region of KwaZulu-Natal is ideal for an adventurous holiday off-the-beaten-track.
Here you’ll find the country’s finest game reserves and national parks, with plenty of animal magic to be enjoyed as you go in search of ‘the big five’ in Kruger National Park, snorkel over coral reefs in the Indian Ocean, explore the world’s largest green canyon (Blyde River Canyon) and kayak through dense mangrove in remote Kosi Bay Nature Reserve on the Mozambique border.
Don’t miss: Visiting a Zulu community to learn about the proud nation’s fascinating heritage.
Sri Lanka: Sublime Sri Lanka
After 25 years of war, Sri Lanka is fast emerging as a great value holiday destination thanks to its magical mix of cultural treasures, inspiring landscapes and teeming wildlife. In fact, with so much on offer, you’ll really need at least two weeks to do this country justice.
Highlights include the chance to search for leopards in Yala National Park, canoe down the Kelani River, try an elephant-back safari, head off on a jungle trek, visit the tea plantations and temples, go white-water rafting and enjoy incredible views having climbed Sigirya Rock.
So it’s just as well there’s an abundant supply of palm-fringed tropical beaches to ensure you return home suitably relaxed.
Don’t miss: The chance to spot migrating whales from November to April
Turkey: active Cappadocia
Cappadocia’s surreal scenery is ideal for surprising any potential family know-it-alls who assume a holiday in Turkey must equate to traditional beach-side antics.
The region’s unusual rock formations, colourful valleys, idyllic waterfalls and incredible underground cities cry out to be fully explored, whether by bike, on horseback, on foot – or a combination of all three! And no matter how remote you may feel, you’re never far from relaxing hot springs, a traditional Hamam (Turkish bath) or a massage to sooth any aching muscles.
Don’t miss: Sunrise over the fairy chimneys by hot-air balloon – an unforgettable treat.
The Adventure Company offers a range of dedicated teenage adventures and teen only departures around the world to help families find their perfect break.