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Caribbean vacation with teens: travel tips, destinations & more


9 August, 2023


23 August, 2023

Heading abroad for that dream holiday is always exciting, especially if it involves spending some quality family time together. A Caribbean vacation with teens is ideal, as they are old enough to experience and appreciate the more subtle pleasures of this part of the world. From fascinating conservation efforts to key historical attractions, ziplining and Insta-worthy beaches, teenagers and the Caribbean go together perfectly.

At onefinestay, we ensure that everyone, regardless of age, has the most amazing time when they stay at one of our villas in the Caribbean. In this guide, we'll take you through some of the best Caribbean islands for teenage families and look at some handy tips and hints to guarantee you never hear those dreaded words, "I'm bored!". Our guide to travel with teenagers in the Caribbean will also give you some ideas on how to keep everyone happy and entertained during your trip.

How to plan your Caribbean trip with teens

Before you catch the plane to start your idyllic Caribbean vacation, you'll need to do some pre-planning first. It's important to include your teenagers in the process to make sure that everyone has a good time.

Ask them what they would like to do while they’re on holiday. You may discover that they have developed a keen interest in conservation, and an activity such as helping to release young turtles back into the wild or spending time exploring one of the Caribbean’s wonderful natural habitats would be at the top of their agenda.

It will depend on the age of your teens. Younger teenagers may still enjoy a day at a water park or spending time on a beach where they can make new friends. Older teens may want to indulge in a spa day or water sports activities.

The most important thing when planning a Caribbean vacation with teenagers is to make them feel involved in the decision-making process from the outset, so they fully engage with the trip.

Teen-friendly activities in the Caribbean

A Caribbean vacation with teens can be as active or laid-back as you want. It's best to have at least a few pre-planned activities so your young adults can enjoy themselves. Here are our top three activities, but there are plenty of alternatives, depending on what your teenagers enjoy and which island you stay on.


The Caribbean is made for watersports. From surfing and wakeboarding to kayaking and diving, if you love the water, you’ll love the Caribbean.

The Turks and Caicos Islands are the places to go for kitesurfing and windsurfing. The position of the islands and the prevailing onshore breezes means that there are both safe and sheltered areas for total novices and more open water for more advanced practitioners.

St Martin may be one of the smaller islands in the Caribbean, but it offers some incredible diving and snorkelling opportunities, as well as some pumping surf for board masters too. Big waves are common, so surfing in St Martin is more suited to experienced, older surfers.

The Dominican Republic is one of the best islands for watersports, with world-class surfing, kiteboarding and windsurfing all on offer. If you’re planning to travel with teenagers in the Caribbean and they’re a little older with a love for high-octane activities, the Dominican Republic is a great choice.

Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach is the perfect spot to go if your teens have always wanted to try stand-up paddleboarding but are still a little wobbly. Mirror-calm waters, where you can see to the bottom, are just the spot for active teens to get some SUP experience.


If you’re travelling with younger teens, a trip to a waterpark is a great way to burn off some energy. Fortunately, the Caribbean islands are full of great theme parks that will suit all ages, including teenagers. Our top picks are:

Kool Runnings Water Park, Jamaica With nine water slides, including the signature Bobsled Run, and adventure zones for water and land-based excitement, Kool Runnings is a fantastic destination for families.

Splash Punta Canta, Dominican Republic This truly family-friendly park boasts a big park with a wave pool, seven huge slides, and splash areas for younger children.

Pirate’s Island, Turks and Caicos Gigantic waterslides will get everyone giggling, while the SurfStream Surf Simulator is ideal for older teens who want to try surfing for the first time.

Ocean World, Dominican Republic This huge park lets you get closer to nature. It's an interactive marine park where young adults interested in conservation can spend the day learning how to work with dolphins and other marine creatures.

Extreme activities

If you’re travelling in the Caribbean with teenagers, especially if they are a little older, a few extreme activities should be on your itinerary. Fortunately, the Caribbean has so much to do and see that it's easy to plan an adventure or two.

  • Zip lining has really taken off and is a fantastic way to see the jungle canopy as it whizzes below your feet. In Barbados, a network of zip lines at Harrison’s Cave Eco Adventure Park invites you to soar through the trees for a real Indiana Jones experience.
  • Off-road tours allow you to hop on a quad and buzz along a beach or a forest trail. A quad tour is a fabulous adventure for teenagers of any age and one of the top adrenaline activities in the Caribbean.
  • Water-based adventures are plentiful, from swimming alongside the gentle turtles that call this paradise home to jet skiing and big-wave surfing. Some islands, such as the USVI's St. John, have marine preserves along their shores. Be sure to check where you can go on any motorised marine vehicle to avoid inadvertently damaging the delicate ecosystems.

Festivals and events

From carnivals to Creole food and drink celebrations, the Caribbean is alive with year-round events and festivals. If you're looking for the best Caribbean vacations for families with young adults, try ensuring that your visit coincides with at least one or two events.

Crop Over festival in Barbados happens every August. Be sure to watch the Cohobblopot, a musical duel between the island's bands where they showcase their costumes and musical skills.

Reggae music is incredibly important to Jamaica, home of Bob Marley and so many other incredible musicians. To celebrate this culturally important music, Reggae Sumfest draws some of the biggest names in reggae music to Montego Bay in mid-July.

In Jamaica, carnival celebrations are kick-started in January and get into full swing after Easter. Like many carnivals across the Caribbean, it's a commemoration of emancipation, so it isn't just a lively and colourful extravaganza but has deep symbolic meaning.

If your Caribbean vacation with teens is destined for the USVI, you have not one but three amazing carnivals to choose from, including the St John Carnival in late June.

Best Caribbean islands for teenagers

Any Caribbean destination will be a thrill for young adults, but if you’re looking for a destination that offers plenty of excitement and a wealth of things to see and do, it’s probably best to look to the larger islands rather than the more remote and smaller locations. We think that the best Caribbean islands for young adults are:

Turks and Caicos

For a truly luxurious experience, Providenciales is a perfect Caribbean destination for families with teens. From the Grace Bay Beach waterpark to ziplining and watersports, there’s plenty to do for all ages.

St. Thomas USVI

Ideal for young adults who have a keen interest in the natural world, but who also want to immerse themselves in the culture and heritage of the Caribbean.

Dominican Republic

A truly family-friendly destination with something for every traveller. Punta Cana is filled with water parks and entertainment specifically designed for teenagers. But with some of the region's most incredible beaches and dense jungle to explore, you can escape the hustle and bustle and have your own island adventure.


With a big music scene and the chance to explore shipwrecks and coral reefs, waterfalls and caves, Barbados is one of the best Caribbean islands for young adults. A trip to Harrison’s Cave is a must, or learn more about the history and culture of the island at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society.


It doesn’t get much better than Jamaica. This is the perfect place for a Caribbean vacation with teens. Wade through the pools at Dunn River Falls, or speed down the Ocho Rios zipline for a real adrenaline rush.

Travel tips

What do I need to know before travelling to the Caribbean?

You'll need to check whether your teenager needs their own passport and visa or if they can be included on a parent's documentation. Also, check if any vaccinations are required, such as hepatitis A or B.

Pick the right time of the year. While the winter months from December to April are the driest and warmest, you may encounter more rain showers and even the occasional hurricane from July to September. Average temperatures during the dry season are around 25-28°C (77-82°F).

What do teenagers need when travelling abroad?

A mobile phone! No matter how good the view is, it's unlikely that you'll be able to persuade any teenager to leave their phone at home. Check that they have a good deal on data roaming, or buy a SIM card when you get to your destination to keep costs down.

How can we involve teenagers in vacation planning?

If you’re planning a Caribbean vacation with teens, making them feel part of the planning process is important. Ask them for suggestions about where they'd like to go and what they want to do. Offer a variety of options before you decide. The easiest way is to sit down as a family and look at our destination guides and Caribbean villas.

Take your time – this is a special family holiday where you'll make precious memories that will last a lifetime.

Are there any events in the Caribbean that teenagers would enjoy?

The big events throughout the Caribbean are carnivals. But there are also plenty of music festivals, especially in Barbados and Jamaica, the home of reggae music. Look out for concerts from top-name artists.

Are you ready to discover the Caribbean?

At onefinestay, we truly believe that the Caribbean is one of the best destinations in the world. If you want to discover the best Caribbean vacations for families with young adults, browse our destinations and find your ultimate paradise escape today. If you have any questions, our expert Travel Advisors, all passionate travellers themselves, are on hand to help.

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