Traveling with Your Teen: Even if They ARE a Little Moody, You’ll Never Regret It 

by Nancy Reynolds

This Post: Traveling with Your Teen: Even if They Are a Little Moody, You’ll Never Regret It 

Written By: Marybeth Bock

Okay parents of teens, do you dread the mere thought of traveling with your teen this summer? Or are you excited about hanging out with them and enjoying cool adventures together? The truth is, a lot of parents feel both. 

I’m sure if we were sitting around a table chatting casually, every single one of us would have a story (or two or three or four) about how traveling with our kids went sideways. At one point or another, we’ve all struggled with lugging heavy infant carriers and strollers, squirming or screaming babies on airplanes, teething toddlers who couldn’t be consoled, bouts of motion sickness, or temper tantrums in hotel rooms late at night. 

The funny part is, I’ll bet most of us thought our traveling troubles would be over when our kids got older, right? Well, guess again…

We now have a hormone-swinging, moody, rather unpredictable teenager on our hands. 

Traveling with Your Teen: Even if They ARE a Little Moody, You’ll Never Regret It 


Enter the moody teen who refuses to take out their earbuds or talk with anyone except the waiter who’s taking their food order. Or the teen who won’t stop tormenting their younger sister or brother. Or the one who stubbornly rejects getting into any family photos, who won’t look up from their phone, or who keeps rolling their eyes and muttering, “This is soooo boring” every other minute. 

I think we can all agree that a grumpy teenager can ruin (or, at the very least, put a serious damper on) a day of fun when you’re on vacation to the point where you’re shaking your head wondering why in the heck you’re spending so much freaking money when no one seems to be having any fun. 

(Lucky YOU if you have an even-keeled teen who never gets moody on vacation!)

But I’m here to tell you, parents, despite having to contend with your teen’s moodiness or “seemingly” lack of interest in the whole vacation, it IS worth it, and, looking back, you’ll never regret traveling with your teenager. Oh…  and guess what? Years down the road, your teen won’t even remember how moody they were. They’ll just remember the fun adventures you took them on. 

So, before you scrap the whole idea of a summer vacation because you’re worried about dealing with your teen’s ever-changing moods, keep reading. There are SO many reasons why traveling with your teen (no matter how moody they are) is something you’ll never regret. 

Traveling with Your Teen: 8 Reasons Why It’s Worth It

#1 Family Time Making Memories

You might feel as though you have all the time in the world with your kids, but your kids are growing up. Soon enough, they’ll be off to college, moving out and venturing into the working world. These precious days of having your family ALL together on vacations are fleeting. It gets so much harder to round up the family when everyone has their own busy life. 

These special times as a family spending quality time together minus all the distractions (ahem… except for your teen being on their phone), are ones you and your kids won’t soon forget. 

#2 Gives Siblings a Chance to Bond

As a mom, one of my greatest wishes in life is that my kids stay close. Knowing they’ll always have each other makes me SO happy. That’s one of the reasons I love traveling with them. So often, they’ll venture off by themselves to shop, explore, or check out the hotel amenities and I LOVE IT.

Without all the day-to-day stresses or distractions of life, they have time to bond and just hang out together and I can see it in their eyes… they love it, too!

#3 The Adventure of It All

Teens love exploring and doing cool new things and traveling offers them the opportunity to embark on new adventures, try new activities, and explore unfamiliar landscapes.

Whether it’s zip lining over the treetops, trying their hand at surfing, snorkeling in crystal clear blue waters, hiking a mountain, or trying local exotic food, there’s nothing like a cool vacation to spark a teen’s curiosity and a deep sense of wonder. 

#4 Personal Growth

Traveling helps teens step out of their comfort zone and forces them to learn new things. By learning how to navigate unfamiliar places, problem-solve, and make decisions on their own, they become more independent, adaptable, AND confident – (97% of teens report gaining more self-confidence and maturity while traveling). 

When we traveled by plane with our teens, we would enter an airport and tell them that we were following them and it was up to them to find their way through security and to our boarding gate. In the beginning, it was hysterical to watch, but after a few times, they learned how to navigate pretty much ANY airport with ease. 

#5 Exposure to Different Cultures

Traveling even a state away exposes your teen to a whole new world. Traveling internationally can immerse them in a different culture, and expose them to a different language, foods, and traditions.

It broadens their perspective on life and helps them to develop a greater appreciation for diversity, various cultures, and inclusivity. And, the added perk is that it will help prepare your teen for the vast array of people they will meet and interact with in college, in the working world, and in the various places they may end up living. 

#6 It’s an Education They Can’t Get in a Classroom

It’s one thing to learn about the United States branches of government in the classroom; it’s a whole new thing when your teen is standing in the White House taking a tour. Or, for them to see the Eiffel Tower in a book versus experiencing the beautiful glory of it while walking the streets of Paris.

Whether it’s visiting historical landmarks, museums, or natural wonders, your teen will gain a deeper understanding of history, geography, and other subjects by experiencing them firsthand.

#7 Improved Social Skills

Even quiet, shy teens tend to come out of their shells when they’re away from home enjoying new experiences. Let them be in charge of talking to tour operators and planning the daily schedule. Let them be in charge of chatting with the locals to find the best local eats in town. 

With my own kids, I’ve seen firsthand that the more they engage and interact with people from all walks of life when we’re traveling, the more they’ve become comfortable with it. 

#8 It Makes Them Happy (AND it’s Great for Their Mental Health!)

Probably the best advantage of traveling with your teen is that it’s fantastic for their mental health. A relaxing or perhaps action-packed vacation (or maybe a bit of both) is JUST what they need to break away from the stress of school, homework, sports, extracurriculars, and friend drama. 

And, despite their occasional moodiness or snarkiness (we can thank their hormones and growing brain for that!), they really ARE having fun and they really WILL look back with fond memories. 

So, sure, when traveling with your teen, your trip might include some bickering, complaining, eye rolls, and at least a few declarations of boredom or exhaustion. (And, you just might have to pack a HUGE chill pill along with your flip-flops.)

But those little inconveniences (okay… maybe BIG inconveniences) will fade with time and you’ll be left with immense gratitude for the quality family time spent together and seeing how your teen grew and matured as a result of the experience.


Marybeth Bock, MPH, is a Mom to two young adults and one delightful hound dog. She has logged time as a military spouse, childbirth educator, college instructor, and freelance writer. She lives in Arizona and thoroughly enjoys research and writing – as long as iced coffee is involved. Her work can be found on numerous websites and in two books. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


If you enjoyed reading, “Traveling with Your Teen: Even if They ARE a Little Moody, You’ll Never Regret It” you might also enjoy reading these posts!

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10 Gentle Tips for Dealing with a Moody Teenager

Sass, Sighs and Slamming Doors: Proven Ways to Defuse Your Teen’s Moody Outbursts

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