10 Tips On How To Have The Best Vacation With Tweens

Vacations with tweens can be an incredible time for family bonding and adventure. Choosing the perfect destination is key, and among many options, the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee stand out. These mountains cover parts of Tennessee and North Carolina, hosting towns like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. They offer family-friendly attractions such as Dollywood and Ripley’s Aquarium. For kids in their formative years, the Smoky Mountains provide various outdoor adventures like easy trails, wildlife encounters, and educational experiences like guided nature walks and junior ranger programs. This blog will detail how to plan an amazing vacation with your children and create lasting memories.

10 Tips On How To Have The Best Vacation With Tweens

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Keep Your Children Involved in the Planning Process

Engaging tweens in vacation planning is not just beneficial; it’s essential. Tweens, hovering on the brink of adolescence, seek both involvement and responsibility. Allowing them to have a say in the vacation plans not only boosts their enthusiasm but also teaches valuable decision-making skills. This could involve simple decisions like picking a day’s activity or choosing a restaurant. Such involvement ensures that the vacation caters to everyone’s interests, making the experience more enjoyable for the whole family.

Choose a Kid-friendly Destination

A kid-friendly destination is one that strikes a balance between fun and fascination. The Smoky Mountains, with their breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife, are an excellent choice. Mountain towns like Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville have plenty of places where children can have fun. Plus, children can immerse themselves in the wonders of nature, all while staying in comfortable accommodations. 

Prioritize Comfortable Accommodations

After a day full of activities, a comfortable place to rest is crucial. Accommodations play a pivotal role in the overall vacation experience, especially with tweens. Opting for spacious and comfortable lodging options, such as family-friendly vacation rentals, can make a significant difference. You can choose from a wide variety of Smoky Mountains villa rentals in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville. They often offer additional amenities like kitchens and living areas, providing a homey feel that is particularly comforting in a new environment. This sense of home away from home can be particularly soothing for children in their formative years, who often crave familiarity amidst new experiences. 

Smoky Vistas stands as a reputable vacation rental company nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, known for providing top-notch accommodations for travelers seeking a memorable mountain retreat.

Plan for Adventure and Exploration

Activities such as hiking, wildlife spotting, or exploring local attractions provide the perfect backdrop for adventure. The goal is to choose activities that are both stimulating and age-appropriate. For instance, a hike through the trails of the Smoky Mountains can be an exhilarating experience, offering both physical activity and the opportunity to connect with nature. Such adventures not only keep your children engaged but also foster a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world.

Incorporate Educational Experiences

Integrating educational elements into a vacation can enrich the experience for children. This doesn’t mean turning the holiday into a classroom session, but rather finding enjoyable and interactive ways to learn. Visiting historical sites, participating in cultural workshops, or exploring nature reserves can be both fun and informative. These activities provide an excellent opportunity for children to learn new things and see the world from different perspectives, all while enjoying their holiday. The key is to make these experiences as engaging and interactive as possible, catering to the curious minds of tweens.

Schedule Downtime

In the whirlwind of vacation activities, scheduling downtime is vital, especially for tweens. This age group, caught between childhood and the teenage years, often needs moments of rest amidst their adventures. Downtime could mean a quiet evening at the villa, a leisurely stroll through a local market, or simply time spent playing games or reading. These quieter moments offer a break from the constant stimulation of travel and allow children to process their experiences. It’s also a great opportunity for families to bond in a more relaxed setting, sharing stories or planning the next day’s adventures.

Capture Memories with Photography

Encouraging children to engage in photography during the vacation can be a fantastic way to enhance their experience. Hand them a camera and let them document the journey from their perspective. This not only fosters creativity but also gives them a sense of ownership over their vacation memories. Organizing a photo challenge or creating a vacation scrapbook can add an element of fun to this activity. Years later, these photographs will serve as cherished reminders of the family’s time together.

Encourage Social Interaction

Social interaction plays a key role in the development of tweens. When on vacation, look for opportunities where they can interact with peers in a safe environment. This could be at a local youth club, during group tours, or even in family-friendly resorts with specific activities for young travelers. Socializing with others from different backgrounds can be an enlightening experience for tweens, helping them develop better communication skills and a broader understanding of the world.

Stay Flexible and Patient

Flexibility and patience are key ingredients for a successful vacation with tweens. Plans might need to change based on mood swings, weather, or unexpected occurrences. Being flexible with the itinerary ensures that the vacation remains enjoyable for everyone. It’s also important to remain patient with tweens as they navigate their fluctuating emotions and desires. Understanding their need for both independence and guidance can help create a harmonious vacation experience.

Create a Balance Between Family Time and Independence

Creating a balance between family time and allowing tweens some independence is essential. While family activities are important for bonding, tweens also appreciate having some time to themselves or to explore in a supervised but more independent manner. This could be as simple as letting them choose an activity for the day or giving them some time to explore a safe area on their own. This balance helps tweens feel respected and understood, fostering a greater sense of enjoyment and involvement in the vacation.


A vacation with tweens is an opportunity to create lasting memories and strengthen family bonds. By following the tips mentioned above, you can craft an experience that resonates with every family member. These vacations are not just about the places visited but about the shared experiences and the growth that occurs along the way. 

As families navigate the unique phase of tween years, these vacations become more than just a getaway; they become a journey of discovery, bonding, and joyous experiences that leave a lasting imprint on everyone’s heart.

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