Are you organising a family holiday with teenagers in tow? Finding a break to suit every member of a large family group can be difficult, but with careful planning and early negotiation, you can compromise on a destination and activities that everyone will be happy with. The key to a happy teenager on holiday is to keep them busy so they don’t get bored, but also give them their space to chill out.
Among our collection of family-friendly houses, we have places to stay with a wealth of fun additions that teenagers will love, including tennis courts, football pitches, games rooms, hot tubs, and swimming pools!
Here are our ideas on things to do and places to stay for the best holidays with teenagers, from outdoor adventures and thrilling activities to relaxing on the beach and taking a city break.
Activity holidays with teens
Prevent boredom by booking an activity holiday with your teens. A family holiday presents an opportunity to bond over a new activity or for parents to try their hands at something their teen loves doing! Why not try a Go Ape tree top adventure, hire bikes, go horse riding, head north and give skiing a go, hire canoes, take on a white-water rafting challenge, book a clay pigeon shooting experience, go fishing, or take surfing lessons! If you’re not such a thrill-seeker, why not consider inviting one of their friends along on holiday too?
Best destinations for activity holidays with teens
Choose from two coastlines and two national parks in Devon, head to the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland, explore the New Forest or take on an adventure in the Brecon Beacons in Wales.
Family holidays with teenagers who love sports
Many young people have an array of hobbies, often sports, that they are enthusiastic about, so having time and space to enjoy them will help keep teenagers happy during the family holiday. You could choose a destination known for its spectator sports, whether that’s football, rugby or cricket, or head somewhere with a choice of golf courses. Our large holiday houses with tennis courts and sometimes football pitches provide space and entertainment for holidays for teenage families.
Excellent destinations for sport-mad teenagers
If you think your teen might be up for something a bit different every summer, the fascinating Highland Games take place all over Scotland. But for the more traditional, watch rugby at the Millennium Stadium in Wales, stay within easy reach of cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle for premiere football matches, and head to London for an overwhelming mix of all the big sports games. Failing that, anywhere near a sports bar or a large holiday home with a cinema room is sure to be a hit with sports-mad teenagers!
Book a beach holiday with teenagers
Whether you have an active teen who loves water sports or one who prefers to plug in their earphones and kick back on their towel, a beach holiday with teenagers is sure to raise their interest. While they do what they love, you can relax and take time for yourself too! Nostalgic beach breaks are likely to bring out the inner child in your young adult, and once they settle into the swing of the family holiday, it’ll be nothing but ball games, sandcastles, ice creams, arcades, and special memories.
Best destinations for a beach holiday with teenagers
Here in the UK, we have an outstanding coastline and a plethora of beautiful beaches. You’ll be spoilt for choice when choosing a destination for your beach holiday. For an all-round perfect seaside destination, head to Cornwall, but we also love Northumberland, Pembrokeshire, or the South Coast! We’ve highlighted some of our favourite family holiday destinations!
Go on a city break
Cities are exciting places for young adults. There’s so much opportunity and possibility, and that’s very appealing as you become more curious about the world. Choose from trendy restaurants and cool brunch spots to Instagrammable buildings and just the right amount of culture for curious teens. They will be in their element, snapping photos to make their friends jealous. The chances are they’ll also be very keen to hit the shops and stock up their wardrobes too! So if you’ve only got a few days to spare, city breaks are perfect for weekends away with teenagers.
The best city breaks with teenagers
London is the ultimate city break in the UK, but don’t disregard the likes of Bath, York, Edinburgh or Liverpool for city breaks with teenagers. They each offer a mix of world-class attractions, history and culture, shopping, and beautiful Insta-worthy photo spots!
Take on a challenge and support your teen’s Duke of Edinburgh Award
Is your teenager working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award? If so, they’ll feel passionate about developing their skills and experiences, and a family holiday with teens could be a fantastic opportunity to nurture this. There are four main sections of a DofE programme, and each young person is responsible for choosing their own activity, so why not incorporate the ‘physical’ or ‘expedition’ element into your holiday and support their challenge, whether that’s kayaking, hiking, surfing, mountain biking, or swimming. There is a never-ending list of activities and expeditions that teenagers can do as part of their DofE.
Best destinations for Duke of Edinburgh activities
It all depends on the activity, but we recommend wild and wonderful destinations like the Peak District, Snowdonia National Park, The Scottish Highlands, or the Lake District for an excellent array of thrilling outdoor activities.
Take your teen somewhere they’ll find other teens
Having friends and being sociable is very important when you’re a teenager, so choose a destination that is likely to have other people their age. Busy seaside resorts are often a good choice for teenagers on holiday. That doesn’t mean you have to stay right in the thick of it, we have plenty of large coastal cottages that are within walking distance of seaside towns so that you can enjoy a peaceful location, without being too far from the hustle and bustle of bars, restaurants, arcades, amusements, shops and beaches.
Best destinations where your teenager can meet others
Traditional seaside destinations are some of the best places for teenage holidays in the UK. Consider Weymouth in Dorset, Hastings in East Sussex, Blackpool in Lancashire, and Llandudno in North Wales.
Take your teen to a cool event
Does your teen love dressing like the Made in Chelsea cast? Are they a fan of motorsports? Or do they love music? Take your teenager on holiday to attend a well-known, world-class event that will have them feeling super-cool.
Events in the UK your teen will love
We’re talking international horse racing days like Ascot or Cheltenham, The British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall, or the Tour de Yorkshire for cycling fans. If literature is more their thing, try Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye, known as ‘The Town of Books’ or The Bath Festival in Somerset. See our list of major events in the UK and where to stay.
Top tips for holidays with teenagers
- Ask them to write down what they’d like to do on holiday
- Get their opinion of a choice of places to stay
- Plan afternoon activities to avoid early wake-up calls
- Stay connected so they can contact their friends
- Plan activities over sightseeing
- Research destinations before you go, so you know what to expect
- Plan ‘nights out’ if they are old enough
- Choose accommodation that they’ll enjoy
- Consider allowing them to bring a friend
- Give them some time and space to chill out on their own
Large family houses to stay in when you take your teenager on holiday
We’ve handpicked three large family houses that make the perfect place to stay for family holidays with teenagers.
Bodweni Hall | Bala, North Wales | Sleeps 27
A stunning country house set within 75 acres of grounds, gardens, and woodlands. Complete with a wealth of activities and facilities, Bodweni Hall has something to suit all ages. Teenagers will be thrilled that they can enjoy outdoor activities as well as be able to escape to the games room.
- 14-seat cinema room
- A games room with snooker, air hockey, table tennis and a pool table
- Private hot tub
- On-site water sports available to book with the owner
The White Manor House | Newquay, Cornwall | Sleeps 16
This luxurious property has everything you could possibly need to keep teenagers entertained. Immaculate in every way, a stay at The White Manor House is one you will never forget. And you’ll only be 6 miles from the popular seaside resort of Newquay!
- A cinema room with beanbags, projector and Xbox One
- A games room with Smart TV, record player with Bluetooth, baby grand piano and a pool table
- A private seven-seater hot tub
- 3 acres of stunning gardens with terraces, BBQ, rope swings, football goals, badminton net, table tennis, sun loungers and outdoor shower
Slade House | Redford, Angus | Sleeps 13
This lavish rural retreat in Scotland has a wealth of space indoors and out for families to spread out and relax, but beautiful rooms to come together too. Complete with a separate games garage, a swimming pool and a hot tub, teenagers will love it at Slade House.
- Heated outdoor swimming pool with slide
- A private hot tub
- A games garage with ping pong table, darts board
- Large garden and woodland perfect for energetic youngsters
Start planning your family holiday with teenagers
We hope this guide to family holidays with teens has given you some ideas and inspiration for your next break together. If you’re planning a holiday with a mix of adults and children of different ages, see our guide to organising a multi-generational family holiday.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.