Embarking on a family trip to Europe can be a transformative experience, creating lasting memories for every member, regardless of age. The key to a successful journey lies in ensuring there’s something appealing for everyone in the family, from the eldest to the youngest. Here are some considerations for families traveling with teenagers.
To kickstart the journey, involving teenagers in the planning process is crucial. Solicit their input, encouraging them to share their interests and preferences. If they haven’t been to Europe before, use guidebooks, videos, and movies to inspire their imagination. Collaboratively draft a proposed itinerary, fostering a sense of involvement from the get-go.
While Europe boasts awe-inspiring and expansive museums, it’s essential to curate the experience for teenage engagement. Seek out treasures within these cultural hubs that resonate with their interests, such as the British Museum’s Egyptian mummies and Japanese samurai armor or the Louvre’s captivating Greek and Roman sculptures. Opt for guided tours or enlist a travel advisor to connect you with a private guide catering to your teenager’s specific interests. Don’t overlook smaller venues like Dublin’s Little Museum, offering insights into daily life in the Irish capital.
Inject an element of uniqueness into the itinerary by exploring unconventional activities. Delve into the Paris Catacombs, an underground burial site intricately woven through the city’s tunnels, try brass-rubbing at London’s Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, or experience the Colosseum in Rome illuminated at night, unveiling its underground passages where gladiators once waited.
Strive for a balance between historical sites and interactive experiences. Intersperse museum visits with activities like shopping expeditions, cooking classes, or dynamic walking tours focused on history and culture. Cater to outdoor enthusiasts with adventures such as hiking, biking, or novel experiences like zip-lining.
Consider incorporating a day of relaxation into the itinerary, providing opportunities to unwind at the beach, explore neighborhoods, linger in public squares, or visit family-friendly pubs in quaint towns. For instance, in Rome’s Villa Borghese Gardens, families can rent rollerblades, Segways, or bicycles for a leisurely day. While some of these activities may be replicated at home, it’s often the everyday experiences that resonate most with teenagers in the long run.