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Insta Q&A: Spring Sailing With Teens

Christina Talcott

To those who say traveling with a toddler is hard, I say: Ever taken a trip with a teenager? The rewards can be great, sure, but keeping these semi-independent creatures amused, engaged and happy on a vacation can be just as challenging as dealing with little kids. With that in mind, let's see if we can help Taylor Milbradt, a reader in Dunkirk, Md., who's planning a spring trip with her teen. Taylor is looking for warm-weather ideas with age-appropriate activities, especially sailing. Specifically:

We are looking for a warm destination with our 16-year-old who enjoys sailing solo, but also is interested in meeting other teens and, of course, a feeling of independence. Any suggestions for spring break in April? We have passports and are interested in the Caribbean, south Florida or Mexico, etc. We are not into the "Spring Break" college crowd -- in fact we're not much into crowds of any sort, but would prefer not to change planes too many times either.

My favorite family-friendly spring-break destination is Sanibel Island, Fla., but I'm not sure about organized activities for teens down there. In the Caribbean, you might try checking out one of the family-friendly Club Meds, many of which have good programs for kids.

Anyone ever done this with their teen? Or know of any Caribbean or Mexican resorts that cater to teens? Or have any brilliant ideas about traveling with said creatures?

By Christina Talcott |  January 28, 2009; 8:30 AM ET  | Category:  Caribbean , Family Travel , Insta-Q&A , K.C. Summers
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Send your kids to Sanibel Sea School for a great learning and ocean adventure. They will love it.

Posted by: bruce24 | January 28, 2009 9:20 PM

Instead of catering to "teens" as a demographic with the same mundane agenda, why not look to inspire them to find out who they are? Traveling is more than just getting away from routines, it's a chance to find out about the world. In March, I'll be taking 6 teens from the school where I work, to Peru. While there, we'll do a homestay in a place without electricity, plumbing or modern transportation. Our local guide has arranged for us to visit a rural school where we'll camp while we help build school walls from mud-bricks. Prior to our leaving, these teens have been collecting gently used backpacks to bring along to donate to the students. There's only one rule on our trips. No technology. No Ipods, gameboys or other tech toys. We take a deck of cards, books and magazines. We talk to each other while waiting for flights.
If we want to inspire teens to reach out, let's invite them out of their worlds. Let's put them face to face with people who live off the earth. Let's give our teens a chance to understand the common values we might share with people who live off the earth. Is it possible to be happy without all our "stuff"?
Let's give our teens credit for being able to understand the importance or value of giving their time and energy to something outside themselves. The outcome of such a journey is more long-lasting than a mere vacation, it has the ability to change lives.

Posted by: keenanone | February 1, 2009 4:38 PM

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