travel advice

Meet Our Teen Advisory Panel

Teen Walking on dock

Our Luxury Custom Travel department can design journeys to appeal to every generation in the family. The well-traveled teens on our Teen Advisory Panel work with our consultants giving tips and insights to make your next family travel experience a great one.

The eight travel-savvy teenagers on our panel have all traveled to at least three continents outside of North America and a minimum of 15 countries. They range in age from 14 to 17, live all over the world and bring a variety of interests to the table, from fashion to history. When they travel, they embrace adventure—whether it’s spending a night on an iceberg in Antarctica or sledding down a volcano in Nicaragua—but they relish the opportunity to immerse themselves in a destination by shopping at a local market or trying new foods. They all enjoy wildlife experiences, whether it’s a safari in East Africa or a trip to the Galápagos Islands, and, of course, they love getting the inside scoop from friends, Instagram and blogs.

Devan Teen Advisor

Devan

Age 14, Netherlands, 20 – 24 countries

Additional languages: Dutch (proficient), Spanish (conversational)

Devan is from the U.S., but has lived in Amsterdam since he was 11. He loves being less than two hours away from over 10 countries because he can experience so many different cultures, try new food and meet people from all around the world. His favorite trips include a safari in South Africa, a journey through Egypt, and trips to India, Nicaragua and Turkey.

Teen tip: If you travel to Munich, try to go in the end of September, during Oktoberfest. In the evening, when the masses head into the beer tents, the fairgrounds are still crowded with tons of other teenagers. The rides are not expensive, and the best way to meet new people is to start conversations in line.

Favorite places to travel during spring break: In spring I like to travel to cities, because the weather is usually warm enough but not too hot. Paris and Munich are two of my favorite cities. Both have amazing people and atmosphere. Also, each city has great art, both old and new. Strolling through the 1st Arrondissement and eating a warm pain au chocolat is one of my favorite things to do. Likewise, the feeling of being in a Münchner Brauhaus during a Bayern Munich match is unbeatable.

Josie Teen Advisor

Josie

Age 17, Washington, 15 – 19 countries

Additional languages: Spanish (highly proficient)

Josie’s mom is in the travel industry, so she has had opportunities that have ranged from spending the night on an iceberg in Antarctica to swimming with sharks in Bora Bora. She just returned from a year on her own as a high school exchange student in Spain.

Teen Tip: Instagram. You all have it, so don’t only use it to post your #ootd or #springbreak pic. Before going on your trip, search influencers and locations to find the best restaurants, beaches and even yoga classes so that your trip can be all things cool instead of the corner store your brother would choose for dessert.

Favorite places to travel during summer break: Summer is always a great time for Europe. As cliché as it sounds, a two- to three-week trip discovering this plentiful continent will never be regretted. All you have to do is get there and the possibilities are endless. By train or plane, you can find tickets at 90 euros from Spain to Italy or France to Germany. All of which are beautifully different. Gelato always tastes better after a day under the sun of visiting some of the oldest churches, plazas and streets in the world. Not to mention putting that sun dress you’ve always wanted to wear to good use.

Lanterns in Hoi An, Vietnam

Sierra

Age: 15, Washington, more than 25 countries

Additional languages: Spanish (near native fluency), Dutch (conversational)

Sierra has lived in the U.S., South America and Europe and has visited 42 countries. She enjoys places like Vietnam, Brazil, Italy and Dubai with unique cultures, food, geography and people. Sierra loves immersive activities like the baths in Budapest, mask-making in Venice, safari in South Africa or biking in Asia.

Teen Tip: Shop at amazing boutiques in Hanoi. They have Vietnamese brands that are right on trend at a fraction of the cost. Also, you should play beach volleyball if you go to Rio because there are tons of nets and it is so warm and enjoyable.

Favorite places to travel during spring break: Vietnam and Japan. In Japan the cherry blossoms are blooming and it makes the cities gorgeous. Go to Harajuku in Tokyo. It is known for its iconic fashion style and is full of the coolest shops for teens. In Japan it is also fun to get out of the city and take a bullet train to places with ancient culture like Kanazawa. Kanazawa is known for its gold leaf production and they even sell soft serve ice cream with gold leaf on the street (yes, you eat it). I love Vietnam because it is crazy in the cities but lush and relaxing in the countryside. Hoi An is right by the beach, but it also is filled with ancient Chinese architecture and is lined with lanterns on every street.

Marcos Teen Advisor

Marcos

Age 14, New Jersey, more than 25 countries

Additional languages: Spanish (highly proficient)

Marcos has traveled to all seven continents. He enjoys trips that combine activity with a little history and culture. Marcos also loves wildlife: safari in Kenya, orangutans in Borneo, Komodo dragons in Flores, unique animals in the Galápagos, and penguins and whales in Antarctica.

Teen Tip: Indonesiago mountain biking up and down the hills of Mt. Bromo (it is very bumpy and you fall a lot but it is very fun, laughable and enjoyable).

Favorite places to travel during winter break: Antarctica is one of my favorite winter break vacations. It is the best time to visit since there is less ice and long days with lots of sunlight. It's also a sight to see when you visit the colonies of penguins. It is hard to believe how close you get to the animals. We were in a Zodiac when a humpback whale swam right underneath us. I also enjoy sliding down snow glaciers.

Maya Teen Advisor

Maya

Age 15, Indonesia, 20 – 24 countries

Additional languages: Spanish (proficient)

Maya was born in Jordan and has lived in Turkey, Chile, India and Indonesia. Her travels vary from taking a catamaran trip to secluded beaches in Thailand to biking in France and Holland. She enjoys seeing classic attractions like Buckingham Palace and also shopping in street markets.

Teen Tip: Learn to bargain because it’ll make your trip to the markets worthwhile.

Favorite places to travel during spring break: Weligama Bay in Sri Lanka is a great place to learn to surf. You can stay at a cool beachside hotel with yummy food where you are able to relax, but also enjoy the beautiful beach. London is also a great place to enjoy spring break. Although it can be rainy and cold, it is interesting to see attractions such as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, and an aerial view of London from inside the car of the London Eye, one of the world’s largest Ferris wheels.

Trent Teen Advisor

Trent

Age 16, Washington, more than 25 countries

Additional languages: Spanish (proficient), Dutch (proficient)

Trent’s family takes a couple of large trips a year to a different part of the world to see new countries. He has also lived in Europe, where he appreciated having the rest of the continent so close by. He prefers active vacations in places like Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland and Virgin Gorda.

Teen Tip: Queenstown has unlimited activities from bungee jumping to canyoning to taking a submarine tour of the lake. The town also offers many activities more geared towards adults, such as wine tasting, which allows kids and adults to split up and each have a great time.

Favorite places to travel for winter break: For a warm beach vacation, Fiji or Australia—both have idyllic white-sand beaches, bright beautifully colored coral in azure water and tall palm trees, making them stellar destinations to relax. For a more classic winter vacation with snow and mountain peaks, Switzerland is my personal favorite, especially Zermatt, a town at the base of the Matterhorn. I love the great skiing, the picturesque town and the beautiful snow stacked upon roofs. What might be my favorite part, however, is the food; from the family-owned cabins on the slopes serving raclette and fondue to the Italian restaurants serving hearty pasta, everything there is wonderful.

Anna Teen Advisor

Anna

Age 14, Texas, more than 25 countries

Additional languages: Spanish (native fluency)

Anna has lived all over the world—Peru, Indonesia, Chile, Washington DC and Mexico—and her family loves to travel. So far, she has visited all continents except Antarctica. She enjoys shopping in remote fairs or markets, because you never know what you can find.

Teen Tip: Make sure some of your time is spent in relaxing environments, such as by the beach, because if you travel for too long and only look at landmarks and museums, you are going to get tired pretty quickly.

Favorite places to travel during summer break: I usually do the majority of my traveling during summer so I like to go to more exotic destinations, usually in the farther continents, like Africa, Europe or Asia, which have a lot of explorable culture. Summer is when I would recommend going to places such as Greece, Italy, Japan, China, etc. Also, I would consider this a good time to take more trips with your family.

Charlotte Teen Advisor

Charlotte

Age 15, United Kingdom, 15 – 19 countries

Additional languages: Spanish (highly proficient)

Charlotte has lived in the UK, Netherlands, United States and Chile and travels extensively with her parents. Many of these trips involved road trips off the beaten track. Her family enjoys windsurfing so they travel to countries for that as well. She loves remote places like the Galápagos Islands and Lanzarote.

Teen Tip: Don't compare the new country to your own in terms of what it doesn't have. Instead, see what it does have.

Favorite places to travel during winter break: I like sun and snow breaks during the winter. I highly recommend spending Christmas in Cuba—that was really good.

Teen Train

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