Most family beach resorts can seem focused on younger families.
Kids’ clubs are targeted at the primary school age range; kids’ pools are designed for tots and toddlers; and no self-respecting teenager would be seen dead at most of the kids’ activities in a typical resort.
If you’re planning on visiting a beach resort with a teen – and you don’t want them to spend the entire time on their phone – here’s a few things to look out for.
Good Watersports Facilities
A plain old beach won’t necessarily cut it for most teens. Look for a beach that has a range of both powered and (particularly for the budget-conscious) non-powered watersports – and even tuition. A windsurfing course can be a great skill to take away from a holiday, while children as young as ten, let alone teens, can learn to scuba dive.
Younger children may be more than happy staying in the parents’ room. But the old extra bed approach won’t cut it with teens, who need their space – but if they have a room of their own, you’ll likely only see them at meals. Look for a resort with reasonably priced family suites, or interconnecting room options.
Spa treatments are a great option for some mother-daughter time when travelling with teen girls – and there are plenty of teen boys who won’t turn their noses up at a massage, either. Look for a resort with a spa that’s open to under-18s – not all of them are.
It’s a little clichéd, but meeting new people of their own age – and, hell, even the odd holiday romance – can be a major attraction of any holiday for older teens. A resort where dining finishes at 9 and the place is shuttered by 11 might be fun for parents of younger children, but it’s no good for the typical teen.
Close to Town
Some families may be happy spending all their time in a single resort, but that’s typically not the case for older teens. Look for a resort that’s in reasonable reach of a town with some nightlife, or other resorts with nightlife, to allow older teens a little bit of space to grow.