Teen Friendly Vacation ~ Oxymoron?
Teen Friendly Vacation at Sea Ranch- is that an oxymoron or can teens and Sea Ranch really be spoken in the same sentence?
With summer vacation nearing, all your family is sure to be excited about making plans that include a little something for all of them, especially your teens! But booking a teen friendly vacation at Sea Ranch that is sure to please might seem like a stretch.
Well, hang to your hat!
We’ve put together some helpful tips for planning a teen friendly vacation at Sea Ranch that will not only be fun, but also memorable for all ~ even for your teens!
Is a Teen Friendly Vacation Actually Possible?
Planning for your teens on vacation can present you with a predicament filled with contradictions. You’ll find they can run hot and cold; engaged yet disinterested, enthusiastic about planning yet silent and non-communicative or even uncommitted.
Further, they can be the most enthusiastic of travelers upon arrival, yet not at all eager to leap out of their cozy bed at the crack of dawn to explore Sea Ranch and its trails. Your teens may prefer just to roll over and return to sleep until nearly noon. Later they’ll stumble into the kitchen concoct a huge breakfast as they mosey about waiting for the last cobweb wrapping their drowsy minds to dissolve
So how in the heck do you plan for a teen friendly vacation at Sea Ranch?
10 Tips for Planning a Teen Friendly Vacation at Sea Ranch
Rest assured we’ve got some great tips for having a teen friendly vacation that even works for your ‘tweens too. Not only will it be fun for the kids, you’ll also create a memorable and enjoyable Sea Ranch vacation for you too!
1. Get Them Involved
From the very outset bring your teens into the planning process. When you let them help make decisions and pitch in with the planning you build a shared responsibility with your teens. Actually, this works well with all your children no matter their ages.
The challenge for you will be to help them move beyond their auto-response of “Whatever.” It may take some finesse and frequent tries, but eventually, you’ll be glad you did. In the end, it should help in lessening the amount of complaining during the trip.
2. Create a Family Vacation Wish List
One of the best ways to get your teens and family members connected with the planning process is to have them create a wish list. Once the list is made, have them prioritize their items and select their favorite three. Then include as many experiences from each of their suggestions as your budget and time allow making it a truly teen-friendly vacation. This allows your teens an opportunity to practice the skills of compromise and understanding the challenges that go into making a vacation budget in terms of both time and money.
3. Let them research
Given teens’ internet skills these days you’ll be amazed at how talented they can be in discovering specific information about destinations. Their tech-savvy skills will amaze you with the detail of travel-related information they can quickly locate.
Where to stay.
Rather than relying on you to select where you’ll be staying, why not let your teen check out lodging options in Sea Ranch. Suggest they visit vacation rental websites and listing sites within your budgetary guidelines to help select options for where to stay.
You may need to help guide them in their research. Suggest they do a comparative analysis of their Googled information. For instance, discuss the reviews for each of the locations. What was reported in the reviews, and how did the owner respond? Could your teens imagine themselves staying in that location?
How to get there
What to do
Then have them research activities and experiences that may interest them in the Sea Ranch, Mendonoma region (Sonoma/Mendocino coastal community). While researching their Sea Ranch vacation, your teens may even become junior naturalists. They’ll enjoy getting out to hike and explore the trails. There is such great variety to be found in the area. What would they like to see up close? What precautions would they need to take? How do they plan to record their discoveries?
Lots of answers -little worry
Their answers to these and many more questions will help them to anticipate great adventures of discovery. Further, by the time vacation day arrives they’ll have a sense of familiarity with the area, already know what to expect, and what they’ll be doing.
Word of Caution
All the aforementioned suggestions might sound more like a school homework assignment than a vacation. Make sure the tasks your teens take on are ones that truly interest them. That way they’ll be more inclined to dive into them with gusto, rather than with resentment.
4. Job Assignments
Give your teens the opportunity to help you with your trip. Have them pack their own suitcases with clothes and personal items based on their research and agreed upon itinerary. This will help them learn self-reliance. Consider giving them the keys to drive at least part of the way. If they are too young to drive, allow your teens to navigate, especially if they pre-planned the route earlier. Have them decide which of the many Sea Ranch Trails to explore. Have your teens provide directions and points of interest along the way. Perhaps they have a penchant for photography. Have your teens be the designated historian of the vacation. There’ll be plenty of scenery, nature, sunsets, sunrises, and activities to capture by camera. And no doubt they are selfie experts.
By assigning responsibility to your teen it not only engages them, but it also empowers them.
Words of Advice
Some teens can be forgetful and may not remember essential items. Should they actually forget to pack an item in their suitcase, then it will be they who must bear the consequences.
A checklist of items to pack will lessen the odds of having to buy a new toothbrush on the road. Here are three lists that may be helpful for all in preparing for their Sea Ranch vacation::
- 10 SEA RANCH PACKING LIST MUST HAVES,
- THE ESSENTIAL SEA RANCH PACKING LIST FOR VACATION RENTALS
- 5 THINGS TO CROSSOFF YOUR SEA RANCH ABALONE BAY PACKING LIST
Leave the Last Leg of Driving to the Experienced Driver
If your teen is a licensed driver and you have the fortitude, consider offering her the opportunity to drive. However, a word of caution about driving on River Road (Highway 116) and the Shoreline Highway 1. Be aware that once you leave familiar roads, even the Highway 101, River Road and Shoreline Highway 1 north, is best driven by an experienced driver. There may be unexpected animals running across the road.
Early spring and summer are also when you’ll frequently find construction teams repairing winter’s washouts and ruts. Its cliff-hugging twists and turns and a high volume of slow-moving holiday traffic can be challenging even for the best of us.
The roadway becomes even more challenging to navigate when the fog makes visibility difficult or the afternoon sun shines directly into the driver’s eyes.
Plan Frequent Stops
Plan for frequent stops while driving to Sea Ranch for breather breaks. We suggest you incorporate those breaks as photo opportunities. Just be sure to pull well off the road at the many turnouts along the way and be wary of oncoming cars if trying to capture that once in a lifetime money shot.
5. Book Accommodations with Kid Friendly Vacation Perks
The right accommodations will help you endure your teens’ inevitable eye rolls and the sudden surge in your blood pressure when your daily schedules won’t match. To help keep the family peace, plan days that allow your teens to sleep in while the rest of you enjoy a quiet breakfast together. Or let your big kid explore solo the Sea Ranch trails while you go into Gualala to peruse the many shops and art galleries
The best way to accomplish breathing space between you and your teens is to select hotel lodging or a vacation rental that allows your teens their own space.
With space and teens in mind, of course we recommend vacation rentals for their many benefits. Extra space allows all your family plenty of space where you won’t be tripping over each other and your suitcases. Kitchens save you money on restaurants while aundry facilities help keep the grunge in control.
We have one last suggestion if there’s enough space in your car home and the vacation rental. Consider letting your teens invite a friend to join you on short vacations. This way they’ll have a peer with whom to share their experiences and hang out.
(Click here for infogram showing the benefits of booking vacation rentals)
6. Unplug for a Moment
Of course the whole point of a family vacation is to spend time face to face reconnecting as a family. Yet your teens will point out you can’t conceivably expect them to cut off from friends the whole time!
One great challenge to unplugging is the fact vacation rentals frequently offer free wi-fi. How can your teen not be inclined to stay connected with their peeps back home.
If family time is a priority you’ll simply need to consider limiting texting, snapchatting, and Facebook time.
Or, you may actually want to join in with your teen as he hunts down Pokemon in Sea Ranch! Why not consider video chatting with family members sharing your experiences as they happen with those unable to attend?
For more unplugging ideas click here.
7. Consider a Sea Ranch Volunteer Vacation
Many high schools across the nation now require students to participate in volunteer activities. One way to do this is by incorporating it in your teen friendly vacation. Further, it can become a shared family activity. The neighboring communities of Sea Ranch are seeking volunteers to assist them this summer. Whether it is to read to children, help in the maintenance of the The Sea Ranch Chapel, care for animals in the local shelter, or provide meals to the elderly, there’s plenty of volunteer help needed. When both teens and parents roll up their sleeves to help in tandem it helps not only the community, but also offers an opportunity to strengthen their bond.
Visit our About US Page to learn of nonprofit organizations we support and that look forward to your help too.
8. Include Active Experiences for Your Family Vacation
Choose at least one amazing experience that gives your teen the opportunity to burn off calories and abundant energy, while giving their hormonal-energy centers a jolt.
Sea Ranch’s Recreation Centers
Our first recommended location for expending calories are the Sea Ranch recreation centers. Located along the western side of the Highway 1, they truly help make Sea Ranch a teen friendly vacation location. They are: Moonraker, Ohlson, and Del Mar Recreation Centers. Each center has a swimming pool, sauna, dressing room and showers. Basketball and tennis are also available.
Bike ride the trails
Consider packing your trail bike or renting a bike to ride the Sea Ranch Trails. It is important to note there are specific trails designed for bikes and frequently used by others enjoying their teen friendly vacation too.
Bikes are not, however, allowed on the bluff trails. If you do not see a bike symbol on a trail marker then you must not bring your bike.
As a guest in Sea Ranch, you can rent bikes through Sea Ranch Supply. Rental rate is $40 per bike per day (24 hour period). They deliver your bikes free to any vacation rental on the Sea Ranch or to the Sea Ranch Lodge or to any Sea Ranch homeowner, at which time you fill out a little paperwork and you’re done. They also come back and pick up our bikes whenever you like. Currently they rent only adult size bikes. Renters are,of course,responsible for the condition of bikes rented.
Remember, their “fleet” of bikes isn’t huge, so reserve yours as soon as you can. They deliver and pick up directly to your vacation rental!
Go Kayaking, Paddle Boarding, Canoeing
If space allows, pack your kayak or paddle boards for adventures along the Gualala River that borders Sea Ranch.
Or better yet, consider renting your equipment from Adventure Rents, located in Gualala. They can provide you with self-guided rentals in top of the line watercraft: canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards. Rent single and tandem kayaks and canoes, for up to a 2-hour paddle, a 2-4 hr. ‘half day’ tour for time to picnic, swim and explore or a full day river adventure. They welcome individuals to large groups of all ages and skill levels, including young children and pets. Further, their staff can also provide guided excursions with or without catered meals. Adventure Rents provides all the equipment needed and instruction for beginning boaters.
Moreover, it would be wise that only very experienced boaters attempt kayaking or canoeing out into the many of the coves along Sea Ranch. Boaters need to be aware at all times of the current and expected water conditions, and that sneaker waves and high swells can occur.
Pack your wetsuit to explore our chilly but wonderous waters below the ocean bluff. Bring your underwater camera and /or speargun. But remember to leave your ab iron at home! Beginning 2018 the harvesting of abalone is illegal. Instead, test your lung power as you explore this underwater playground.
Just be sure your teen and you dive with experienced divers if this is your first experience.
Hike the trails
Be sure you have your trekking shoes packed for hiking the more than fifty miles of trails that weave along the coast through the meadows and up into the redwood. The trails are generally easy to walk. But for those who are more adventurous consider booking a tour with Unbeaten Path Tours. Tour guide and owner, Marg Lindgren, offers a wide range of local hiking tours. Oh and don’t forget your camera too!
Read about my personal experience with Unbeaten Path Tours here.
9. Don’t Forget Your Manners
Offer up a gentle reminder when traveling and vacationing with your teens that they are ambassadors, guests within their vacation location. A teen friendly vacation includes keeping attitudes and actions of being respectful, helpful and polite to everyone they encounter are especially important when staying at Sea Ranch whether you are a teen or adult.
Sea Ranch Rules and Guidelines
Sea Ranch is a private community, with many year-round residents. This community famous for living lightly on the land is also famous for its zen-like tranquillity, which is its main draw for vacationers from the big cities. It’s important to remember that Sea Ranch’s Security Service ensures it remains peaceful and tranquil.
Also remember that the vacation home you are staying in is just that, someone’s home.
Below are guidelines that will help everyone have an enjoyable vacation.
- Please, don’t trespass. There are specific pathways for visitors to Sea Ranch. Please remain on those pathways and don’t forget to carry your visitor’s pass when you are on them.
- Be respectful of the neighbors: Noise and disruption of neighbors while staying at Sea Ranch is not taken lightly. Parties need to be mellow, or better yet out to the parks (e.g. One Eyed Jacks). And if they continue after 7 PM, parties along with their revelers must be taken inside. Enjoy your music, but please use headphones when doing so.
- Follow the directions of the local authorities. Security has the authorization to warn and ultimately evict guests who fail to comply with the Sea Ranch Rules.
10. Remember You Too Were a Teen!
Whatever else, remember you too were once young. Draw on those memories. Share those memories. And best of all…
Make more memories with YOUR teens.
For Your Next Teen Friendly Vacation:
Are you looking for a great place for your next family memory maker, teen-friendly vacation spot? Abalone Bay may be just what you need!