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Six Reasons Why Teens Like to Bring a Friend on Vacation

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A post by
Here We Are Contributor, Emilie LoGiudice

Summer is finally here! There is plenty of time for socializing with friends and going on a family vacation. Many teenagers, myself included, tend to try to roll both concepts into one. A lot of parents might assume that since their kid wants to bring a friend along on the family vacation, they don't want to spend time with the family. This is definitely not the case.

Here are six reasons why I like to have a friend along on our family vacation; they may be similar to why your teen wants to bring a friend on vacation this summer:

1. Because my family and I aren't always on the same page, it's nice to have someone who understands my point of view and sense of humor. A friend can appreciate my outlook on life.

2. The things that I think are cute or funny are very different from those that my family thinks are cute or funny. I might see a shirt I think is cute, or a sign that strikes me as funny, and it's more fun to have another person there who laughs with me.

3. I love spending time with my family, but when everyone is settling down at night, it's good to have someone to hang out with. My parents talk with each other, my younger brothers play games, but I'm left with the TV, my phone, and a book. While these are not terrible choices, recapping the day with my friend and talking about tomorrow is more interesting.

4. Every summer, I try to get my school reading list done, if a friend is there we can work together on the study guides and talk about the books. It's easier to be motivated if someone else is working too; and it gives us the opportunity to work as a team.

5. My next reason is a bit superficial, but in the teenage world it is vital to our social lives. We miss a lot when we go away on vacation, like break-ups, hook-ups, parties, fights, good times, social outings, etc. If a friend is traveling with me, I'm not the only one missing all the drama, and both of us feel less excluded from what is happening at home.

6. When on vacation, my family usually tries to do one new adventurous thing. This year we will be para-sailing. In years past, I've been to timid to participate; however, having a friend helps me feel secure enough to give it a try. I am more likely to attempt a new activity with my friend alongside to share in the experience.    

Each reason is a little different, and individually they don't account for much, but together they mean a lot to the overall teen vacation experience. Remember, it's not that your teenager doesn't love you, or doesn't want to spend time with you, it's just that at this point in life they feel a little insecure and need a wing girl to share in lots of situations.


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Emilie LoGiudice

I'm so happy you all liked the article, and I'm also glad it helped! I know it's sometimes hard to communicate well between young adults and parents and I hope this helped bridge that gap on the subject:)

Luci Weston

@Janine N: I agree, tweens and teens alike will be more cooperative. Having the friend adds a whole new dimension to the trip, plus, it helps the parents relax. I often see kids walking the beach in pairs. It's better that they are with a friend when they go exploring than on their own. We know teens do not want to hang with the family for the whole vacation whether a friend is there is not.

I'm so pleased that Emilie's article offered this type of insight to the HWA readers. Thanks Emilie!

Janine N

Very informative! It is helpful to understand why our kids want companions other than family on a trip. Now maybe there will be less resistance to family trips if our "tweens" know that their BFF can come along.

Luci Weston

@lynn: Emilie's article helps us remember what it was like and look at how to deal with it from the adult perspective.


Wow! This article raises some great points. Being the mother of a "tween", you have opened my eyes to a possible issue in the not-so-distant future.

Luci Weston

@Bose63: I agree, Emilie offered an interesting slant on this friend/family issue. I related to #5, and #6, no teen wants to be left out and trying new things is the best part of those tough years.

Well done, Emilie. Nicely stated. Very good to hear your point of view.

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