October 3rd, 2017

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You’ve embarked on family road trips before, so you have the basics of planning down, but now you have a new X factor: a teenager. The very mention of a road trip with the family is enough to make most teenagers plug in their headphones and drown you out with angsty music. You know if you could just get their buy-in, your teen could not just tolerate, but really get into a family adventure.

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One of the easiest ways to get a teenager excited about a trip is to have some really unique and exciting activities planned beforehand. Here are three activities to include in your next road trip that will have your teen racing to get into the car, rather than pulling the covers over their head.

1. Visit an Escape Room

There is a reason escape rooms are popping up all around the country; everyone¬†from grandmas to grumpy teens¬†loves them. On a road trip, an escape room is a great chance to be active, and interact with each other away from the stress of the road. Of course, not all escape rooms are created equal. If you’re passing through Kansas City on your trip, check out Tick Tock Escape Games. The completely immersive rooms use sound, video and other technology to make you feel like you’ve stepped into a movie. You can spend an hour in Uncle Beasley’s den, solving elaborate puzzles for a chance to win a portion of his estate in the Beasley’s Billions’ game, or get locked in an Egyptian tomb where you’ll need to decode clues and puzzles before the tomb door is sealed forever in Pyramid Paradox. Either way, this will be an experience both you and your teen won’t soon forget.

2. Go Wherever the App Takes You

One of the best parts of a road trip are those spontaneous stops, where you pull over just because something struck your fancy. Of course, technology has made finding those hidden gems much easier. Set aside a day where any and all stops are on the table.

Download the free Roadtrippers app and let it guide you to places like the Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley, Arizona, which is the only place where you can get close to a Titan II ICBM, a missile that could launch a nuclear warhead. Or Gene Cockrell’s yard art in Canadian, Texas, where you can see the impressively weird collection of concrete statues (from dinosaurs and aliens to Jesus) made by Gene himself. Make a rule that you’ll stop for anything that sounds interesting, no debate. Your teen will love the spontaneity and freedom (and, of course, the Instagram-worthy shots).

3. Go Wild

You can’t truly get to see the country unless you get out into it. Have your teen help you find a few natural wonders along the way and stop as often as possible to smell the roses (and take in the view). Even a kid who isn’t outdoorsy can’t help but be impressed by the overlook on the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine, or Salt Creek Falls in the Cascades in Oregon, both of which can be reached by car.

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