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Tips for Planning a Vacation with Young Adult Children

Your family vacations probably looked one way when your kids were toddlers and another way when they were tweens and young teens. Now that they’re headed into their late teens or perhaps even their early 20s, you might wonder whether those family vacations are a thing of the past forever, or at least until there are grandchildren. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are still ways to take vacation as a family although you may need some modifications.

Budgeting

One of the first things to look at is how you will pay for things and how much you must spend. There are different factors to consider, and families will be in very different financial situations. Some young people may be easily able to pay their own way while others might not be able to at all go if their parents can’t cover the costs. You’ll also need to look at your own financial obligations. 

One potential issue if you have kids this age is the cost of college. You might be covering some or all this bill, although there are ways to do it that don’t involve giving up all your disposable income. If you are a homeowner, you may be able to take out a HELOC. If you’re confident about being able to continue paying your mortgage, borrowing against your house can be a much better option than taking money out of your retirement fund and setting you back at a time when you’ll need that hard-earned income the most.

Autonomy

This is another one that’s going to vary a great deal based on your family’s situation. There’s a big difference in the amount of autonomy that’s appropriate for a 17-year-old versus a 20-year-old, and even among 20-year-olds, this will vary. While a kid this age is technically an adult, some will already be fully independent and living on their own, and some will only be partly dependence, perhaps going to school or working full time but living at home. There’s no hard and fast rule to follow, but everyone does need to be on the same page regarding expectations.

Making a Choice

Can you choose a vacation experience that will please everyone? Maybe you all get along wonderfully and love doing the same things together, but if you’re like most families, this can be tricky. One option is an all-inclusive resort or a cruise that offers many different activities, but some will balk at the thought of either of these. The key is to make sure that everyone gets at least some of what they want. 

Be creative in that if one person loves big cities and another thinks a perfect vacation is backpacking to the middle of nowhere, can you all stay somewhere that offers easy access to both experiences? It’s also worth remembering that the entire point of taking a vacation together is to spend time together, so people who have very specific needs and preferences might want to consider indulging those on a future vacation without their entire family.

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