15 Best Teenage Road Trip Ideas 2021
Family trips are a fun way for families to have a change of routine and get to connect. Kids and parents, both remain busy all year round either studying in school or working at the office. Making a family travel together gives everyone a well-needed break and the chance to bond with the people that matter the most. The need to spend quality time as a family becomes even more important as kids move into their teenage years to help them bond with parents and siblings differently and more maturely. Thus, family road trips became an ideal way for teenagers to make new memories with family while doing activities they were not allowed as kids. A road trip with the parents will let teens and tweens know that their parents are just as fun-loving and cool as their friends. When brainstorming for road trip ideas check out our list of the best 15 road trip destinations for the ultimate road trip with teenagers.
Teenage Road Trip Essentials
Before you hit the road, it is important to make sure that you have the essentials packed for a fun family trip. Follow our travel tips to make packing easy and to have peace of mind of not letting anything slip your mind. Some stuff that you will take along will depend on your road trip itinerary. However, there are a few essentials that are a must for any trip, such as an adequate first aid kit for emergencies, aspirin, and any medication that is prescribed for a family member. Other than that, make a quick trip to the convenience store to pick up sunscreen, moisturizing lip balm, comfy traveling pillows, and everyone’s favorite snacks. Of course, for entertainment during the car ride, bring along fun games and cheesy audiobooks for the family to have a good laugh. Trip activities can be planned for the hotel stay such as playing video games, watching movies, or enjoying a word game so plan for them accordingly. These activities will give your family more time to bond while steering clear of social media and cell phones. Generally, observe the golden traveling rule of only bringing along the necessities and keeping extra money for buying things on the way.
If your teen is going on a road trip or outdoor adventure solo consider investing in a GPS car tracker so you can monitor how fast they are driving, as well as know where they are located 24/7!
Where Is A Good Place To Take A Roadtrip To?
You can’t set out for a life-changing family trip without the essentials, but now that you have a good idea of what you will need let’s talk about the fun part: top vacation ideas for families with teens! Our list of amazing spots for a family vacation includes everything from theme parks to outdoor adventure so you will certainly have more than a few ideas to choose from when planning your adventurous vacation. Now, let us explore the top 15 road trip destinations for families with teenagers in 2021!
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is the most iconic and popular national park in the United States. Situated in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, it is an evergreen wilderness amongst scores of breathtakingly beautiful granite cliffs, streams, lakes, mountains, meadows, giant sequoia groves, and glaciers. Teenagers can take time to explore the serene nature of this 4000 feet high location or engage in an adrenaline rush by going on hikes, riding bikes, and doing ice skating. Yosemite is a famous camping location, so, teenagers can expect to find people of their age to play, roam around and socialize with. Visiting the national park is the most pleasing in April making it an ideal destination for spring break.
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This warm Californian city will attract any teenager with its infinite entertainment opportunities. The city proudly boasts the best zoo in the world that is spread over a hundred acres and is home to thousands of animal species. Teenagers can spend time learning and gaining the first-hand experience with exotic animal species. The San Diego Aquatica and the San Diego Zoo Safari park are other popular destinations for capturing close encounters with the world’s most magnificent creatures. Besides spectating wildlife, teenagers can explore the city, its many amusement parks, and glorious beaches. Surfing at the city’s golden beaches is a famous attraction for young people.
Asheville, North Carolina
This city is an ideal destination for families with teenagers and offers a wide variety of fun-packed family activities. Teenagers will be particularly attracted to the spectacular food and arts scene, fabulous old mansions with lush grounds, and famous family-friendly breweries. There are plenty of opportunities to be in nature as well. Young people can indulge themselves by hiking in the proximity of waterfalls and jumping in swimming holes. This city is home to diverse and mouthwatering cuisines and charming art museums are spread throughout the city.
Pacific Coast Highway
The Pacific Coast Highway is no doubt one of the most popular and gorgeous drives in the entire world. The long drive from southern California to Big Sur and up past San Francisco is picturesque, with cliffs, sunny beaches, lovely city spaces, and the storming sea. Teenagers will love the independence of driving on the Pacific Coast Highway while gazing at natural wonders and stopping at cities to explore.
No matter how old a child, teenager, or adult is, everyone loves going to Disney World. It is the king of all amusement parks and thus, known for this reputation all around the world. A teenager will find interest in meeting the dozens of Disney characters, going on thrilling rides, and devouring unique and delicious Disney treats. The everchanging routine of theatrical performances is also eye-catching and a must for every teen and tween.
Zion National Park
Deep in the canyons of Utah, this national park is of utmost beauty. The never-ending park features tons of fun-packed activities such as hiking, swimming in the river, becoming a ranger for a day, wildlife sighting, and stargazing in the clear blue sky at night. A teenager can choose to take part in the action or relax at resorts by enjoying the calamity of nature.
New York City. A trip to the metropolis of New York will be an eye-opener for any teenager to explore various lifestyles and cultures all busy in the hustle and bustle of New York life. From shopping to dining, the city is laden with rich options to cater to all tastes and preferences. Other than that, the city is iconic and offers a sightseeing adventure of viewing the urban glory of Times Square and Manhattan. Teenagers will love navigating through the city and making unique finds at every corner of the city. New York truly has so much to offer in terms of history, art, culture, and dining.
Yellowstone National Park
Deep in the serene and green beauty of Montana, this park has adventure and scenery that only it can offer. A place catered for outdoors’ enthusiasts, Yellowstone has adventure prospects in the form of river rafting, ziplining, finding waterfalls, and hiking. However, the most exciting thing about Yellowstone is its rich wildlife. A vacation to this park can create memories of a lifetime by observing grizzlies, wolves, bison, and other animals up close and in action.
This energetic and vibrant city is a perfect getaway for any teenager. Despite, its reputation as an adult-oriented place, Las Vegas has a plethora of attractions for families. The city offers marvelous sightings such as the Bellagio Fountains, Fremont Street, and the Venetian Experience. The amusement parks of the city will give any teenager an adrenaline rush and the food scene of the city will delightfully satisfy the young one’s appetite. Moreover, the theatre and performances in Las Vegas are one of a kind and a must-watch for everyone.
Redwood State Park
This state park features the largest trees in the world, the majestic Old Grove Redwoods, and diverse flora and fauna under the foliage of the massive trees. The amazing thing about the park is that it is under the shade of the giant trees making the park cool and refreshing at all times. Teenagers will enjoy beating the heat by coming here and taking part in bike riding and horseback riding. A trip to the rugged shores can also be a fun adventure.
Colorado River Near Moab
Colorado River is famous for its whitewater rapids and the natural wonder of interestingly shaped canyons. The place is best suited for teenagers that love watersports especially rafting.
The 14-mile section of the river, near Moab, is extremely popular with families, locals, and guiding companies. It has become a popular destination for rafting enthusiasts whether they be beginners or experts.
New Orleans is a uniquely American experience of arts, music, and culture. The place is known worldwide for its dynamic and diverse scene of pure American musical genres of jazz, creole, and Cajun. Teenagers will be thrilled to get to listen to fabulous musicians at every corner of the city. Visiting New Orleans would be a great way to explore new genres of music while dining outdoors.
Glacier National Park
Located in northwestern Montana, this park has long been an admirable attraction for young action seekers. The park is of unparalleled beauty because of its pristine white glaciers, fields of colorful wildflowers, and plentiful wildlife. Teenagers can spend time learning new skills such as fishing and kayaking. Other than that, rafting, hiking, and chasing glorious sunsets are constant attractions of this place.
Newport, Rhode Island
This little vacation town is known for its mix of beautiful cobble streets, historical colonial mansions, and plenty of coastal life activities. With its striking European aesthetic, the town also has tons of shopping opportunities, fun at the beach, art galleries, and activities such as surfing. A teenager will enjoy pacing down the streets of this historic vacation town taking in the beauty of the place while stopping at shops, museums, and old mansions.
This iconic sunny beach city is a perfect vacation destination for teenagers. The sunny weather coupled with the white sandy beaches makes Miami a paradise for beach lovers. Teenagers will relish sunbathing on one of the city’s many gorgeous beaches, enjoy the delicious food and drinks, and be ecstatic to witness the aquatic and other wildlife shows of the city. A trip to the Everglades will leave teenagers exhilarated at the sight of massive and fierce alligators.
There are so many great locations from the east coast to the west coast when planning a family vacation with teenagers. Our travel advice is to plan for teen-friendly activities (ideally outdoors) such as white water rafting, surfing lessons, rock climbing, or simply enjoying some ice cream after a long hike wherever you choose to stay in North America. The locations above are the top picks/choices for road trip stops, but also consider these awesome spots when road tripping with teens!
- Grand Canyon
- Smoky Mountains
- Mount Rushmore (South Dakota)
- Six Flags Magic Mountain
- Myrtle Beach (South Carolina)
- Universal Studios
- Grand Teton National Park
- Wisconsin Dells (Indoor Water Parks)
For international family vacation ideas, consider San Juan, Puerto Rico (US Territory), as most of the country speaks English. Other spots with all-inclusive resorts that have a beach vacations vibe include Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. These spots also have a deep local culture to broaden your way of thinking, and most importantly, family hotels for your international adventures!
Vacation With Teens
A family road trip is important for disconnecting from everyday life and social media to connect with family members and cherish their company. It is also an exciting time to let go, have fun and open up to trying out new experiences. We have done the hard work of listing down the best possible vacation spots for families with teenagers so that you can make that perfect and unforgettable family trip. Our last advice to you is that do not be afraid to deviate from the original plan if the family wants to pivot into a new activity or see some new sites. Experience the bliss of truly relaxing and having fun.
Matthew is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.
- 15 Best Teenage Road Trip Ideas 2021
- Teenage Road Trip Essentials
- Where Is A Good Place To Take A Roadtrip To?