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We're finally going to India. How do I get my teens excited?


The Question

It's been a lifelong goal to visit India and I'm finally going with my two teens.

How do I get them excited about my dream trip?

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The Answer

As a teenager, having spent an afternoon of a family vacation refusing to get out of the campervan to see yet another English castle - I would tell you the name of said castle, but I was studying Tiger Beat - I can understand their reluctance.

May I suggest a three-pronged plan of attack?

First, get them on board through their interests. "You're always looking for something to make it relevant and give them a personal connection," says Mary Turner, who writes the Travel With Teens and Tweens blog (

The Boston-based mother of two researches activities prior to trips - from natural swimming holes in New Hampshire's White Mountains to the Egyptian collection at the Met in New York - and then presents them to her kids, 13 and 17. Discussion, compromise and a family itinerary follow.

Second, get them on board through their weakness: Facebook. It's important for teens to stay connected, Turner says, so when she books hotels or condos, she looks for Web access to allow her kids to post status updates: "Yawn. Another boring day hanging out with mom at the Taj Mahal." (You can also lure them with cool travel apps, such as Postino, which turns photos into real-word postcards, as well as all the silly games that will keep them busy during the long train trips.)

And finally, this is India: the colours on the street, the literature, the food, the yoga, the temples, the camel treks, the sheer, crazy amazingness of it all. And if all that fails, rent a Bollywood movie. The music and dance moves are sure to intrigue.

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