How to Teach Your Teen to Travel Independently

posted in: Parenting

*My daughter received complimentary Invisalign® treatment, due to my collaboration with the brand, but all opinions are my own.

From class trips to sleepaway camp, it’s important to teach your teen to travel independently of you (*sigh*). These periodic trips are excellent preparation for when they leave the nest for good, so if things go smoothly it will be a big confidence boost for them. From grooming essentials to must-have gear, here’s what your teen needs to ensure easy and efficient travel.

It's important to teach your teen to travel independently. From grooming essentials to gear, here’s what your teen needs to ensure easy and safe travel. #traveltips #teentips #teachingteens #independence #teenswhotravel #howto

The Gear

If it’s in the budget, get your teen a suitcase of their own. This will give them a sense of ownership and help them feel more independent and grown up. Involve them in the process so they’ll feel comfortable wheeling it around. Hard-sided suitcases are more protective and they come in all sorts of colors and patterns – or black, for the more conservative teen. One that I particularly like is the iFly Fibertech 20”. It’s sturdy, moves very smoothly, looks great and it’s easy to hoist into overhead bins or racks. I would also recommend Travelwise packing cubes to help keep the interior organized, especially if your teen is not very orderly.

Teeth Care

It’s quite common for teens to need teeth correction and traveling can add its own set of complications when it comes to teeth care. If you’re in the process of evaluating the options for your teen, my recommendation would be Invisalign® clear aligners, which are proven to fix simple and complex teen cases. My daughter is using them, and I am so excited by how amazing her teeth look and how easy they are to travel with and care for on the go! She doesn’t mind taking them with her, especially because of how chic and cool the new aligner case looks. She loves when people compliment her on her beautiful smile! 

If you’re interested in exploring the option of Invisalign clear aligners for your teen, learn more at

Get Comfortable

No matter where your teen is going and in what season, emphasize the importance of layering their clothing. They should check the weather ahead of time in the event that they need extra outerwear or an umbrella, but make sure they have something warm to wear if the train, bus or plane is over air-conditioned. A packable blanket and/or pillow, like the Cabeau Fold n’ Go, also comes in handy so they can get rest or cozy up en route.

Stay Charged

Your teen’s smart device is a crucial point of contact, so double- and triple-check that their wall charger, a juiced-up mobile charger, and at least one spare cord are in their carry-on bag. Because you never know when there’s going to be a travel delay, encourage them to plug in wherever they can on their journey, whether it’s at an outlet in the train station or in between the seats on the plane.

Get Smart

Before they go, encourage them to download the app of the travel site where their trip was booked, as well as the app of the bus, train or airline. That way, they can access all the relevant info about their trip and also be in the loop on any travel delays. Also, make sure they know to print out their itinerary so they have a paper copy to refer to (in case their phone dies).

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Smart Shopping Expert

Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who has specialized in smart shopping, personal finance, and retail for more than a decade. She has appeared on TV over 1,000 times; including Today Show, GMA3, NBC Nightly News, Inside Edition, and network affiliates nationwide. She has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn, and her expert commentary has appeared in Forbes,, Kiplinger, Yahoo Finance, and numerous others.