Children of all ages can be picky, but adolescents especially are one tough crowd. Tour operators, hotels and cruises have responded by offering customized programs and activities.
Children are a tough crowd to please, especially when it comes to keeping tweens and teens entertained on vacation. Tour operators, hotels and cruises have responded by creating customized programs and activities specifically catering to these age groups.
According to a recent study conducted by MMGY Global researching Americans’ travel habits, nearly 70 percent of parents reported their children were influential in choosing a vacation destination and almost half factored in their children’s opinion when selecting a hotel. Additionally, 77 percent of travelers stated their children were influential in planning daily holiday activities.
Hotels and Resorts
Hotels are also introducing experiences expressly designed for tweens and teens. Peninsula Papagayo, a 1,400-acre private resort community on Costa Rica’s northwest coast, recently launched “Camp Jaguar” for the guests aged 12 to 16 staying at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo, and private homes on the peninsula.
“We wanted to create adventurous experiences for our younger guests that were educational, empowering and a fun way to make friends,” said Francesca Poddie, director of member services. The camp encompasses three full-day programs focusing on survival skills, water safety skills and mountain biking adventures centered on conservation ($100 per day for resident members; $120 per day for resort guests).
Travelers aged 6 to 14 staying at three of Resplendent Ceylon’s Sri Lankan hotels can take advantage of newly launched “Junior Explorers” program. Activities range from baking classes to tea-blending sessions and mask-painting workshops. The program also includes botany classes, nature walks and other ranger activities, including learning how to track and identify local animal species. (Rates from $1954 for two-night stays based on a family of four at Cape Weligama on a full board basis; Junior Explorer activities start at $50 per person.)
It’s not only adults who like to be pampered. Painted Sky, a tween spa at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Oahu, Hawaii, features a yogurt bar, computer stations and Moana-inspired styling services for both girls and boys. (Services start at $110, excluding fees, and hotel rooms from $589.)
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
92-1185 Aliinui Dr., Kapolei, Oahu
Call: (808) 674-6300