The destination for a family holidays with teenagers needs to be selected in such a way that your children, as well as you, have fun, with adventure, sightseeing, good food, and relaxation all coming in a single package.
Decide whether you want to visit a perfect urban location, a countryside place or a combination of both. MomJunction gives you a set of international destinations you can choose from, to suit your tastes and preferences.
21 Best World Holiday Destinations With Teens
1. Dubai, UAE:
Have you ever skied in the desert? Visit Dubai, and cross that off your bucket list. Dubai is a one-stop destination for all adventure enthusiasts. Meet penguins at ‘Ski Dubai’, get an adrenaline rush during the desert safaris, go to the Dolphin Bay at Palm Jumeirah or get on a camel, this holiday season.
Bring your sunglasses and bikinis, and bask in the warm sun on the beautiful white-sand beaches. Experience a desert safari on a four-wheeler as there is nothing like sand boarding down the dunes. Eat grilled meat in the Bedouin-style camps and watch belly dancing under the starlit sky after dinner.
If the beaches are too boring for your kids, hit Dubai’s Arabian-themed water park, the Wild Wadi that has rides for all ages, and artificial waves. This water park is bang in front of the Burj Al Arab, the third tallest hotel in the entire world.
[ Read: Outdoor Activities For Teens ]
2. Yorkshire, England:
God’s Own Country!
Yorkshire is a foodie’s paradise in the UK, with more Michelin-starred restaurants than you can count on your fingers and toes. Yorkshire has a magical aura about it with its emerald-green meadows, Victorian architecture and national parks: the Dales, the Peaks and the Moors.
The weather can turn on a sixpence, so you better get those waterproof walking boots out of your cupboard. Engage in countryside activities like horse-riding, mountain biking and trekking. With breathtaking landscapes and craggy, stone-built villages alongside the coastline, Yorkshire is sure to bring out the romantic in you.
If you’re a shopaholic then Yorkshire’s Trinity Leeds is your go-to place for almost anything you want – it has all the big names too! Enter the Forbidden Corner, a four-acre garden in Dales that is a cave-cum-maze. Visit Sheffield for ‘real’ pubs or go to the Flamingo Land theme park zoo.
3. Interlaken, Switzerland:
Heart of the Alps!
Is this where little Heidi lived? Interlaken has them all – the lakes, the meadows and the peaks. Turn right, left or center to see the white chocolate-like snow-capped mountains, they’re everywhere. If you’ve been living in a crowded, polluted city, then come here for your holidays, breathe in the mountain air and flush all the toxins out of your body.
Enjoy the spectacular views of the three Swiss mountains – the Eiger, the Jungfrau and the Monch, travel in cable cars and ski your way to glory. Go skydiving, paragliding or if you’re a water-lover, there’s scope for river rafting, canoeing, kayaking and more. Your teens will be thanking you forever!
Go to the revolving restaurant Piz Gloria atop Schilthorn, via cable cars or take the cogwheel train to Harder Kulm for a breathtaking view of the city. Go to the Chocolate Club, sign up for a class at the woodcarving school, or try the classic Swiss cheese to get the real taste of Switzerland.
4. Hawaii, USA:
Aloha, E Komo Mai!
Visit Hawaii if you’re looking for an island-style vacation. When you think of Hawaii, you dream of sitting on a beach chair, wearing a sweet-smelling floral garland, and sipping Blue Hawaii from your glass. Hawaii is a beautiful island with waterfalls, rivers and flora and fauna.
Oh, and are you ready for stand-up paddle lessons? Hit the Waikiki beach or surf in the high-rising waves. Encounter amazing creatures underwater and dive alongside the famous Manta Ray, one of the largest fish in the ocean. Explore the seas, as you go boating or cruising on the vast Hawaii seas.
Visit the historical Park of Pu’uhonua o Honaunau and listen to the tales of the park that was once a refuge. Go to the Honolulu Zoo and capture pictures of the endangered Sumatran tigers, Hawaiian Nene, Komodo dragons and black rhinos. Saddle up to go horseback-riding.
5. New York City, USA:
The Big Apple!
Talk how much ever you want about this city but it could never be too much. This city is home to the characters of the famous TV show, ‘How I Met Your Mother’. This is the place that everyone wish they lived in. It is the most happening in the world.
The Manhattan skyline, the Broadway theatre, the Empire State building, the Madison Square Garden, Times Square – the list is endless. A New Yorker would tell you that one visit won’t take you through the highlights of the city. Start from Brooklyn, get your skateboard or cycle and pedal along the Brooklyn Bridge for the best view of the city. Hit the bars, boutiques and cafes of the West Village.
Visit the Coney Island and try the 87-year-old Cyclone roller coaster and the original Nathan’s hot dogs. Join the hobos and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Arts that houses medieval masterpieces as well as the Egyptian temple. Meet sea lions and penguins at the Central Park Zoo and finally, learn to behave the New Yorker way!
6. Paris, France:
The City Of Love!
There’s so much in Paris that you can’t help falling over the place. Its beauty strikes you like a whiplash, with impressive architecture that gels well with the legends and lore of the city. The place is a subtle combo of art, history and nature.
Go on a cruise on the Seine and the night lights will make you feel as if you are dreaming. If you are a fan of Disney characters, then visit Disneyland that is just 32km from the town. Wear fancy outfits and hit the Moulin Rouge, the epitome of glamour and sensation.
You haven’t seen Paris if you haven’t been to the Eiffel Tower, the monument of the French revolution, and celebrate the Parisian way. Take a walk in the Champs Elysees, the most beautiful avenue in the world or visit the famous Louvre museum. Vive la France!
[ Read: Best Water Parks In The World ]
7. Rome, Italy:
Ask the Italians how to enjoy life and they’d say, “Dolce Far Niente” which means, the sweetness of doing nothing. Do not hit the streets without a map. You don’t want to lose your way in this city as there are lanes and more lanes and roads that seem like they are part of one big maze.
Do learn a word or two in Italian, simply because it is a beautiful language. Do you remember Julia Roberts in ‘Eat Pray Love’, trying to learn the word ‘Attraversiamo’?
Indulge in some delectable Roman food during the day and take a ride in a Gondola and enjoy the moonlit sights of Venice by the night. Explore the souk-like markets in Sicily, and collect some souvenirs and artistic treasures.
Get over your fear of heights, this holiday! Climb to the top of the Florence’s Duomo or the Giotto’s bell tower. Your visit is not complete without trying a pizza in Naples, the place where pizza was invented. If you have time, visit the Greek ruins in Sicily.
8. Heidelberg, Germany:
Behind the Iron Curtain!
In Germany, make sure you don’t cross the wide roads. Use the subways and underground passages instead. There’s a bit of old Germany in every area of Heidelberg – the lush woodlands, the old-style architecture and the castle ruins of Rhineland. This is the country’s oldest university town with an array of pubs and restaurants.
Go on the wooden train on the slopes of the Konigstuhl mountain and enjoy breathtaking views of the Neckar River valley and the black forest. You will find a restaurant and a kids’ play area at the summit. Go for a walk in the picturesque path, Philosophenweg – the Philosopher’s Way, that leads to a beautiful garden.
Visit the famous Heidelberg zoo or go shopping on the streets of one of the city’s oldest parts, the Altstadt that sits just below the stunning Heidelberg castle. Try not to take the alternative route to the castle, get good shoes and climb the stairs instead. Nothing beats the feeling of triumph when you reach the 300th step of the castle.
9. Bali, Indonesia:
Nature at its best!
What do you think Bali is like? Imagine a magnificent rugged cliff made of limestone and picture a beautiful temple perched on it. This is the land of rice paddies, temples and sculptures. Pamper yourself at spas and massage centres, meditate or go to the theatres.
Go cycling on paths delineated by coconut trees, get a spa treatment at a local nature-cure or hit the beaches. Take up cooking, do whitewater rafting, or watch a school of happy dolphins on a boat trip at Lovina. Watch rare bird species at the West Bali National Park.
Visit the Uluwatu temple at Pura Luhur and the famous Besakih Temple to capture beautiful pictures of the landscape. Take a nature walk on the Tegallalang rice terraces in Ubud and interact with the natives to learn a thing or two about farming.
10. Tokyo, Japan:
Our Old Edo!
In Tokyo, tradition mixes with pop culture. What is beautiful about Tokyo is that the modern and antique parts of the city are interspersed in the most tasteful fashion. If you are going to Tokyo in March or April, go on a Cherry blossom viewing tour, as it is the festival season in Japan marking the end of winter and the onset of spring.
It is fine to walk in Tokyo, but if you want to take a tour of the city, get on a sightseeing bus to catch a glimpse of the tallest skyscrapers and more. Visit the Meiji shrine that is situated amidst the lush green forests and you will see how well the Japanese architecture gels with nature.
Go hiking in the Yoyogi Park or visit the Tokyo Tower to get a 360-degree view of the entire city. If you are a cat person, do not miss the Cat Cafe at Nekorobi. This is an unconventional cafe that is filled with cats.
11. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
Welcome to Chinatown!
At Kuala Lumpur, you have monuments, skyscrapers, parks, mega shopping malls and great nightspots. This city’s cuisine includes a mouth-watering combination of various Asian delicacies. Don’t forget to go to the Madras Lane in Chinatown and have a bowl of Assam Laksa!
Do not miss the 88-storey Petronas twin towers that are joined by a sky bridge. Go hiking to the Batu caves, a 400 million-year-old hill made of limestone with a temple perched on top of it.
Kuala Lumpur houses the Sunway Lagoon theme park that has a man-made river ride, surf beach, wave pool and a 360-degree revolving pirate ship. Go on an aqua venture at the Aquaria KLCC that is home to several underwater species. This is one of the best holiday destinations for families with teenagers.
12. Los Angeles, USA:
One of the most glamorous cities is the entertainment capital of the world. If you are a film buff, there is no better place to go.
Whether you are in a quiet museum or attending a loud ball game, LA always has excitement to offer throughout the day. Go on a studio tour at the Universal Studios Hollywood or visit the Walt Disney Concert Hall and see Hollywood in a whole new way. Visit the hands-on California Science Center and experience the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Spend the day at the Griffith Park and enjoy the sights, take a train to Amir’s Garden and go to the observatory for a stunning view of the city. Go to Santa Monica Bay, the best beach in LA.
13. Buenos Aires, Argentina:
Do the Tango! Ole, Ole!
Get a fluffy, colorful hat and be prepared to shake a leg. Legend has it that Tango, the glamorous dance form of Argentina originated in Buenos Aires. Take a walk along this city’s busy avenues that look a bit like those in Europe, but with a Latin-American twist.
Go bird watching or have a picnic at the Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur, a multi-purpose green space with lakes, wildlife and lush, green trees. Sport the classic Argentinean braid and hit the streets, galleries and beaches.
Visit the Casa Rosada, and head to the Museo Evita to see the greatest collection of paintings, posters and jewelry. Look for hidden gems, or go relic-hunting at San Telmo. Visit the retro Pasaje de la Defensa and the bric-a-brac stores dispersed all over the place.
14. Istanbul, Turkey:
The City on the Seven Hills!
The land of mosques, bazaars and Turkish baths, Istanbul embraces Asia on one hand and Europe on the other. The city is famous for various sports including Formula 1 races, football and golf.
Indulge in the rich aroma of the Turkish coffee that is prepared on the traditional coast. Travel by van, ferry or a cruise boat and take a tour around Istanbul.
Hit the streets or visit the dome-shaped structures. Go bird watching at the Gulhane park or go to the markets and tour the city that was built by the Vikings. Go souvenir shopping at the markets and try out the exquisite Turkish cuisine.
15. San Francisco, USA:
The Golden City!
Want to watch the fog tumbling over the Golden Gate Bridge? Visit San Francisco to experience a state of magical realism. This city is home to the Fisherman’s Wharf, Cable Car Museum, and the Union Square. It is famous for its Victorian houses, hilly landscape and year-round fog.
Climb the Russian and Nob Hills via cable cars or go up the Coit tower to get a clear, 360-degree view of the city. Don’t miss the salted caramel ice cream in the Dolores Park and do take a cruise at the Fisherman’s Wharf.
Go fishing, wine-tasting or rent a bike and tour around the city. You will never run out of options in San Francisco. Make it a point to visit the Palace of Fine Arts and the Exploratorium.
[ Read: Best Theme Parks in USA ]
16. Cairo, Egypt:
The Land of Mummies!
Pack your summer clothes and head to Cairo, the city on the Nile River. You must have heard of the folklores and tales of the Pharaohs. Here is a chance to see and find out about this mysterious land.
A trip to Cairo would not be complete without a visit to the Giza pyramids, a shadow of the ancient Egyptian civilization. Close to these pyramids, you will find the Saqqara Pyramid Complex that is the oldest masonry structure with breathtaking views.
Cairo also has some seaside getaways like the Ain Sukhna, which is a refreshing escape from the city’s heat. Do visit the Eastern desert and bathe in the springs in the Gebel Ataqa mountains.
17. Wisconsin Dells, USA:
The City of Waterparks!
Wisconsin Dells is the perfect tourist destination for families. The city is full of water parks and offers outdoor activities. Seafood lovers can devour a variety of food from the lake and the sea.
Go hiking at the Devil’s Lake State Park, home to a 360-acre, clear-water lake. Walk the asphalt path of steep trails and enjoy the scenic spots as you make your way through the woods, valleys and meadows.
Take a winery tour alongside the Wollersheim Winery that is tucked into a charming valley overlooking the Wisconsin River. This city has good nightspots as well with supper clubs and old-fashioned pubs. This is the best destination for holidays with teens.
18. Phuket, Thailand:
The Land of Thousand Smiles!
Rain or shine, you always have something to do in Phuket. This place has crystal-clear seas, beaches and lush green forests. Phuket is home to a variety of flora and fauna and houses the Fantasea theme park.
Don’t miss the Karon view point. It is located on the top of a hill and gives you a panoramic view of the three beaches Kata Noi, Kata and Karon beach. Visit Buddhist monasteries that house countless golden Buddha statues.
Go river rafting in the Phang Nga Bay. The emerald green waters will instantly put your mind at ease. The limestone karsts that jut out of the water offer a spectacular view.
19. Queenstown, New Zealand:
Queenstown is New Zealand’s best tourist spot that is tucked amidst the mountains and set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. It is a perfect destination for adventure tourism.
Go jet boating, bungee jumping, black-water rafting, river surfing, or simply take a walk around the city. Grab your backpack and go hiking in this city’s forest trails.
Go all the way up the Ben Lomond Walkway, or trail the old Mcdonald’s way at the Walter Peak High Country Farm. If you have space in your itinerary, visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park as well.
[ Read: Places To Visit In India ]
20. Santa Fe, New Mexico:
The City of Faith!
You must have tasted the delicious Santa Fe burger. Well, the place turns out to be known for more than just burgers. Santa Fe is a city that sits in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos and is the perfect spot for a family retreat.
Make it a point to go mountain biking as it has a variety of terrain options for all types of riders. Set up a tent and camp at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden or visit the Santa Fe opera house to listen to the soaring melodies amid the glorious sunsets.
Sign up for a golf course, visit a museum or two, and take a road trip on the paths of the ancient Indian ruins, traditional pueblos, old mining towns, New Mexico wineries and Spanish Colonial Villages.
21. Galapagos Islands, Pacific Ocean:
The Perfect Wildlife Getaway!
As you close your eyes and relax on the beach, you will have a sea lion crawl up to you and sniff your toes. This place gives you an adventure experience that is a class apart from any other locale on Earth.
Galapagos is a province of the Ecuador with a rich variety of flora and fauna, so rich that it promises you up-close wildlife encounters that you don’t usually experience.
Spend all day in water or the beaches, playing with giant tortoises that roam around freely. Hike your way through the moss-draped highlands or go scuba-diving to see the most incredible underwater creatures.
Travelling with your teenage child can be fun. They are inquisitive, cooperative and can be part of adventures with you! While making plans for your vacation, be sure to involve your teen and ask him where he would like to go!
Where did you go for your latest vacation and how was the experience?
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