I have an idea that may or may not be a good one, so I am looking for a little advice. I have a daughter and son, 5 and 1 respectively. I have this pipe dream to save some money to take them on a special travel trip just before they become teenagers.

I suppose what I want is some time with them away from home, where they can experience some of world with a little more freedom than normal, but not too much. I hope (again, this is my pipe dream) that these experiences give us the opportunity to talk about what is out there in the world, both good and bad. I dream that this would be both a bonding time between they and I, and also a time for them to take a small step into the adult world.

Travel always leaves me feeling a sense of wonder about the world. Sometimes, I've felt maybe a bit threatened too - after all, it's not the home I know so much about. But when I think about the confidence I've gained from travel, and the enrichment it's provided towards my understanding of the world, I can hardly think of anything more worthwhile to do.

This would obviously cost a lot of money. So I am thinking like 7-11 years in advance here... What do you think? If this is a good idea, at what age would such an experience be best for a young woman? How about a young man?

Last, I'd even be open to letting them pick where we'd go and what we'd do. I have my heart on El Camino De Santiago because hey, a dad can dream! But I know if I force my choice on them, it'll backfire on me.

Thank you.

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    Doesn't have to be expensive - it could be a week-long tent trip in a national park, for instance. "Back to nature", plus marshmallows. Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 21:04
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    Do it, but don't wait! Local camping can be cheap. As soon as the little one is out of diapers, do it.
    – Marc
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:05
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    What a great idea! I'm not really sure how the question fits with Parenting SE though. As it is worded, it seems to currently be an opinion based, yes/no. Please check out What to ask about and Things to avoid. Then, please ask your question, but make it clear specifically how the community can help in making your idea more feasible, more conducive to teen receptivity. . . ? Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 8:26
  • Thank you everyone. I apologize if I misused the board. My question was mostly about what is the best age for this kind of trip which Jax answered below. Thanks again.
    – HappyDad
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


I think age ten is perfect. Before the middle school drama sets in. I travelled to Arizona (from New England) alone to meet my grandfather there when I was 11, and it was wonderful. I mean, I had a flight attendant chaperone, but I felt so grown up without my little brother and parents. And then, it was super to have the one on one time with my grandpa. Pretty soon after that trip, things started to get difficult, but it was just that usual teen hormone roller coaster stuff. This is a little different that your "dream trip" but it gets to my point about the age and also supports your opinion that traveling can inspire confidence and will provide that "grown up" feeling.

Do it. Don't go crazy with the spending though! As others commented, it doesn't have to be expensive, fancy, or far. My AZ trip was a bit far, but some of the best memories (playing Rummy tiles and eating a whole box of Fruit Loops with gramps) could have been formed one state over and still retained their impact.

  • Terrific reply, thank you. This is just what I was hoping someone would write... 11, right before the drama sets in - perfect!
    – HappyDad
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 16:59

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