Assuming you have raised your kids in a traveling lifestyle, just continue what you’re doing, with a few additions. If your teens would rather eat nails than get in the car with you, start with a short, fun day trip and build up from there.
Let them use their iPods, smart phones, whatever, as usual with the understanding that it goes away when important stuff happens. Be sure they use wifi whenever possible, keep an eye on your data usage and don’t let them break the bank.
Give them an iTunes gift card to pick out a few new songs before you leave. Trust me.
Some evenings, leave them in the hotel room with a pizza and movie while the grownups go out for dinner. A little peer time is a beautiful thing.
Do something scary. They love that. Parasail, spelunk, swim with sharks, have an adventure. Yes, parents, too. Don’t be a wuss.
If your teen is driving safely and confidently, let them do some of the driving for you.
Please, please, go someplace your kids are interested in. We learned early on that national parks are not our kids’ cuppa tea, but cities are. Beaches are good, too.
Find accommodations that are big enough for your family. Sharing a bed with your sibling that you’ve been fighting with all day is really uncomfortable. With Airbnb you can rent a whole stinking house, so do that. Or stay at a hostel with a big common room. Hostels usually have games and reading nooks.
You don’t have to stick together the whole time. If you have early risers and night owls, have one parent and the early riser (usually our youngest kid and me) go out in the morning, return for lunch and afternoon fun all together, then the early risers call it a day while the night owls (my husband and older kids) went out on the town. Or have mom and girls go for sushi while dad and the boys go see a movie. Mix it up.