Our last entry touched upon prepping for a trip with children. In this case, children can refer to anyone ages 0-21. This entry is about traveling with 18-21 year olds.
1. Who Pays? Traveling with the 18-21 year old group is tricky. Parents may be reluctant to leave them at home. Kids may not want to go...or, since you're paying, they might. If a child is working, it should be clear who is paying for what. If the parents invited the child, then it is probably expected they will pay for transportation, lodging, food and entry fees. Kids should kick in for their clothes, souvenirs and snacks. If a child is not working and the parent invited the child, then the parent pays for it all.
2. Ground Rules. Before the car rolls away from the house on the way to the airport or the turnpike, get the ground rules down: there have to be curfews at resorts or hotels; your child should not drive rental cars, period; kids have to respect the rules of the cruise ship night clubs (some are for 18 and over and some are for 21 and over); drinking is prohibited on cruises for those 20 and younger; in other countries, if it's legal, you should decide if your child will drink. Also, establish if the older sibling may have to watch over younger ones at least one night so that mom and dad can go out.
3. What to do?: the destination. Since traveling with children is usually a family vacation, this goes back to what I mentioned in Part 1 of this series. It is tricky, but a family vacation should incorporate something that all will enjoy at some point.
4. Bonding. traveling with the 18-21 age group can be rewarding if you respect them for the young adults they are. This is a fragile time in your family as you set the stage for the adult relationship you will have as you both grow older. Who knows? This may be the beginning of a beautiful adult traveling friendship with none other than your own kids!