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Tip of the Week
6 Ways to 'Travel Bond' with Older Children
6 Ways to 'Travel Bond' with Older Children

By Anne Leedom

As a mom, finding ways to stay connected to our daughters as they reach a legal age can be a challenge. They have so much going on in their lives, and it gets harder everyday to maintain ongoing family activities.  When budget is a challenge it can be even more difficult to find ways to motivate young adult kids to hang out and truly enjoy each other's company.

Here are six ways to help create a magical getaway and strengthen your bond, as your kids become adults. We found our solution at the Dolphin Bay Resort in Shell Beach. If you can arrange a visit, they truly provide the ingredients for a perfect getaway.

1. Pick an outdoor destination. Motivate everyone to get out and enjoy time together. Enjoying the warm weather in Central California gave me a great opportunity to steal a few precious days with my young adult daughters.

2. Bring movies. You can control the entertainment and avoid the dreaded problem of spending hours choosing something to watch. Many resorts offer a far better selection of movies and are more affordable than pay-per-view.

3. Include activities you personally enjoy. Help your children see you are still a kid at heart. Hitting the beach and climbing the rocks, looking for shells, watching the clouds from the sand, all can help your young adult kids see the kid inside their parents. And it won't embarrass them. That's a bonus!

4. Give them alone time so they look forward to the "we" time. Don't over schedule the days. They are older now and may well want some time alone. A manicure or a trip to the gym might give them a sense that's it's their time as well as "our time". The break will be appreciated by all and make coming back together that much more fun.

5. Budget for activities, not food. Most family trips require budget consideration. We enjoyed room service, but focused on the kid menu or dessert. We chose a magnificent destination that included a full kitchen. Being able to cook easy meals and snacks gave us the chance to enjoy local activities without stretching our budget.

6. Use smartphones for pictures. If they're going to text, at least it will be about the trip. We stopped to enjoy the resort photo opportunities, ocean vistas or just a silly moment and captured the moments on our cameras often. Rather than institute a "no texting" rule that would've been unrealistic with older kids, I gave my girls enough pictures and activities that any texting still focused on their trip.

Anne Leedom is the Founder of Parentingbookmark.com, a website offering resources for raising caring kids. For more information visit parentingbookmark.com.  Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com

Tags: Budget, Parenting, Stay-at-Home Mom, Teens, Tips
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