When considering a family vacation, most of us envision a fantastic fairy tale full of bonding and awe, where we become best friends with our kids, especially teenagers. While no vacation can be flawless, going with moody, bored, and stuck to their phone teens can be downright treacherous if you’re unprepared. Not to worry, we have some great tips for parenting teenagers while on vacation. We can’t promise perfection, but these pointers can ensure everyone has a great time, even if the kids are sure they won’t.

1. Make Them Part of the Planning

As difficult as it is, we must remember that our teens are no longer those adorable little bundles we can cart anywhere without a protest. They’ve been out and about, perused social media, and heard tales from their friends. No longer are they easily impressed.

So, when planning the trip, sit with them and ask them for ideas. Ask them for input on where, when, and what accommodations and activities they’d like to do. This will not only make it more enjoyable for them, but they’re less likely to complain if something is not to their liking.

2. Take Part in a Variety of Activities

When planning activities for your trip, mix them up and have a variety on hand. Try incorporating some culture, like museums, historical sites, and other landmarks, into your travels. But also etch out time for physical activities like hiking, zip lining, and swimming.

If there’s a course nearby, consider taking them golfing. Let them learn how to drive a golf cart. According to Sports Ruby, golf carts are pretty sturdy, with the frame often lasting up to 30 years. They’ll probably be perfectly safe and won’t hurt the cart, either! Be spontaneous. If there’s a festival happening, stop by and enjoy it. If you’re driving past an exciting place, stop and look. Don’t forget to relax by the pool or on the beach.

3. Set Expectations

Even the most well-behaved, well-mannered kids may lose control of their senses while on vacation. Explain ahead of time what you expect from them. It can save a lot of arguing and headaches later on.

According to Zippia, over 1,471,932 people work as janitors in the U.S. alone. Let the kids know that you’re not one of them, and they need to clean up after themselves. Just because there may be people who clean your hotel room doesn’t mean they should have to clean up unnecessary mess. Inform them of any unique cultural or religious customs that they must respect and generally appreciate the local people. You may also want to consider discussing limiting screen time, especially when you are out doing activities.

4. Give Them Some Freedom and Space

Don’t feel you must spend every waking (and sleeping) moment together. Let your teens have some time to themselves. Give them their room if you can. Just make sure they know the rules and how everything functions.

For example, ensure they understand that the fire alarms and detectors can be set off if they decide to sneak a smoke vape or even light a candle. Hotels and other guest accommodations are required to follow the NFPA 25 code, where systems must regularly be inspected to make sure they’re working. So if they do something they’re not supposed to, everyone will know, and it can put you at risk of being thrown out.

5. Enjoy Yourself

The most important thing to do while on vacation is to enjoy yourself. Enjoy your family and the time you have together. If the teens start complaining, don’t let it bother you. Accommodate them when you can and calmly explain why when you can’t. Chances are they’ll understand and appreciate the time together as much as you do.

A family vacation is a time when everyone should have a blast. No trip is without its hiccups, but following these tips can help everyone have a great time together.