Travelling with teenagers is NOT easy!
When we went to Milan in May, we had a lovely time but I can’t help but look back and remember some of the family arguments we had! For our recent trip to Monaco and Nice, I was determined to do things differently to make sure we had a more harmonious break!
Milan was great and we did have an amazing time but there’s not getting away from the fact that phrases like ‘She’s using my Wifi’, ‘He just looked at me’ and ‘Just do as you’re told’ don’t bring back the greatest memories as you can imagine.
I shared my tips on how to travel with teens and tweens after we got back from Milan and I’ll be honest, I re-read this post a couple of weeks before we left for this trip because I really wanted this trip to be a relaxing break for us all – a big ask when travelling with teenagers, I know.
I knew that for the peaceful, harmonious holiday I wanted, my biggest focus had to be the fact that when we talked about how we could make this trip easier than Milan both kids both admitted one thing they really missed was the times that they could just retreat into their own space and chill out.
As a family, we get on well and spend time together at home regularly with days out, walks on the beach and even weekly family board game nights but spending 24 hours a day together is just too much for all of us. We’re OK for a day or so but by day two you can expect a small amount of bickering escalating to all-out family war by the end of the break. 😉
So, after our trip to Milan, we changed it up a bit and tried to find a hotel that was more suitable for what we need now that the kids are older. We ended up choosing a lovely hotel with a roof-top terrace and a swimming pool area so the kids could go and relax in either of those spaces and we also paid a little extra to upgrade from a basic room to one with a large balcony and more space inside.
Also, and I hate to say this, but free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel was also a top priority when we were looking for a hotel because as much as I wouldn’t want us all on wifi all day, being able to put their headphones on and watch YouTube, or sit on the balcony and Facetime their friends for a few minutes here and there definitely made the kids happier which in turn made us all happier. If you’re travelling with teenagers or tweens then I would highly recommend factoring this into your hotel criteria!
I’d say that for our four-night stay we probably paid about an extra 150 Euros for the larger room in a better hotel with the facilities we wanted and it was definitely a wise investment because it meant that we enjoyed our holiday so much more because of it.
The odd thing is that we spent a lot more time together as a family despite the fact that we had the wifi and more space to spread ourselves out over. The fact that there was an option to escape everyone for just a few minutes here and there meant that there was less arguing which had the effect if everyone wanting to spend more time together. Weird hey?
The kids got on better than I’ve seen in a long time and spent literally hours playing in the sea together as well as actually talking and sharing funny stories together. This was what was missing from our Milan holiday and what made this trip so much more enjoyable.
The other thing that changed for the better is that I realised that no matter how much there is in the area that I think we should explore, the kids can only take so much before they’ve had enough. And when they’ve had enough – we all know about it!
We had one day in Monaco where we saw everything there was to see and that was enough for them, even I felt like we overdid the walking that day as I’d wanted to get all of the main sights in. They asked if we could do nothing the next day other than the pool and the beach so I shelved the plans I’d had for us to get the bus to Grasse and Cannes for the day and we did that instead. It was such a lovely day that they asked if we could do the same again the next day so my plans to go back to Monaco for the day were shelved in favour of another beach day.
I wasn’t even disappointed that a change in plans meant that I didn’t see some of the places I’d planned. I know deep down that they wouldn’t have appreciated the bus journey or the places we would have visited so by going with what they asked for we had a much nicer and more relaxing break.
I’d be lying if I said that we didn’t argue at all but it was much less than when we went to Milan and the disagreements were much easier to deal with when they did happen which is a travelling with teenagers win in my eyes!
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