The 10 Rules of Family Vacation No Teen Should Ever Break

Ah, family vacations. The joy and the misery, amiright? Trips can be sooo much fun, but they can also be the source of some serious strife. Things really get interesting when your kids turn into tweens and teens: It seems like you just start getting used to them being able to sit through a meal in a nice-ish restaurant without eating all the crayons or throwing a tantrum, when all of a sudden, they reach the age where eye-rolling and earbuds are on the menu. Permanently.

To make sure your much-needed (and deserved!) vacay time is smooth sailing, have your tween/teen signs off on these 10 little rules before you hit the road ...


1. If we're on a road trip, you can ask, "Are we there yet?!" only twice. Once, ironically, when we are a block away from home; the second time ONLY when you are sure the reply will be "YES" (i.e., when you can literally see the hotel and we are about to stop the car).

2. If we got junk food at the last rest stop, we're not getting it at this one. (Unless I'm craving a milkshake. Then the "mommy needs a milkshake" loophole may be invoked.)

3. When you see that we are pulling up to our destination -- be it a restaurant on the way or the final stop -- you will start the process of unburying yourself from your nest of pillows, stuffed animals, iPad, books, unapproved snack-food items (WAIT, WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE OREOS?!), and crumbs ... and put your shoes back on. You must not wait to start this 10-minute-long process until Daddy and I are standing outside of the car, looking at you like crazed people who really have to pee, which we do ... HURRY UP!

4. You must tirelessly pose for cute mommy-kid selfies until we find one that I look good in. You look good in every shot; mommy is pushing 40.

5. If we give in to your demands that you pack entirely for yourself, you may not complain when you realize you only have one pair of socks. Stealing MY socks is not permitted! I mean it! Put those back!

6. Just like at home, meal time is family time. Meal time is not iPod/iPhone/Kindle Fire, etc., time. (Note: Just because I take out MY iPhone to take a photo of my food so I can Instagram doesn't mean you can take out YOUR phone and start texting. These things are very different! Why? Um ... they just are and because I'm the mom, that's why!)

7. Commercials on the hotel room TV must be muted. Always. At all times.

8. You may not get mad at me when we buy postcards and you take the time to fill them out and then I forget to mail them until after we get back home. Stamps are hard to find sometimes!

9. If you complain about being bored, I am allowed to mention I brought your math book. MWAHAHAHA.

10. Years from now, when you are all grown up, you MUST look back on these trips with much fondness and tell your therapist how great they were!

What rules am I missing?!


Image via JulieJordanScott/Flickr

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