Teens just wanna have fun

Kids' clubs used to be about building sandcastles on the beach while Mom and Dad rekindled their romance over Bahama Mama cocktails by the pool. Oh, how times have changed. Family getaways are one of the year's biggest travel trends, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the latest ideas for traveling with teens. We're talking, like, the best trip ever.

What would Lindsay Lohan do?

Four Seasons

Teen titans looking to get the skinny on the city rely on Four Seasons Hotel Toronto's teen concierge Lennon Sweeting (18 years old and fresh from his high school grad) for advice on what's hot and what's not. Lennon doles out indispensable shopping tips (the address of So Hip It Hurts), inside scoop on what to eat (Hero Certified Burgers) and where to be seen ("the rock") in Yorkville between Cumberland and Bloor. Individual swag bags filled with Teen People magazine, caramel popcorn, disposable camera and Coca-Cola included.

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, 21 Avenue Rd., 416-964-0411

So Hip It Hurts, 323 Queen St. W., 416-971-6901

Hero Certified Burgers, 55 Avenue Rd., 416-963-5526

The fountain of youth

The spahhht

The SPAhhhT (pronounced "spot") at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Tex., is a youth-only spa where teens can get henna tattoos, Caribbean-style hair braids and airbrushed nail art surrounded by lava lamps, black lighting, beaded curtains and the sounds of the Duffster (Hilary Duff, that is). The Hyatt is also home to the Underground, a teen club (think Dance, Dance Revolution, billiards, poker tables and PS2 gaming stations) that's so on the DL (or "down low"), its venue is changed on a nightly basis.


Smells like teen spirit

Holland america's oasis

Most teens are happier in packs, and what better place to be surrounded by your peers than in a cruise disco? Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Destiny recently launched a teen-only club, complete with dance floor, high-tech sound/light system, DJ, three large-screen plasma TVs, music listening stations, video game pods and a "mocktail" lounge serving fancy non-alcoholic drinks. Holland America's the Loft, a sophisticated Bohemian space modeled after a New York artist's studio, turns into a disco/karaoke party at night and is exclusively for teens. The Gilligan's Island twist? A special passageway leads outdoors to the Oasis, located on the ship's stern, decked out with hammocks, a cave, waterfall, wading pool and sound system. Sweet.

Carnival Cruise Lines, 1-888-CARNIVAL

Holland America, 1-877-SAIL-HAL

(Laura Osborne is the associate editor of Pure Canada magazine. She channels her inner teenager, like, all the time. Check out her piece on spas for men in the January issue of onAir.)

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July 2006