Explore New Zealand. Caitlan McNamara, 16, and several of her pals, hope to get to New Zealand soon. The film version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy may have initially piqued her interest. However, the Albuquerque N.M. native’s current fascination lies in the rugged outdoor terrain, the friendly people and the outdoor adventure opportunities. National Geographic Student Expeditions offers summer outings for teens interested in visiting this pair of islands in the Southern Pacific. The trips include glacier trekking, working with wildlife biologists and taking part in a traditional Maori feast. Contact: 1-877-877-8759; www.ngstudentexpeditions.com/destinations/newzealand/
Join a National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Expedition. Several of 15-year-old Daniel Horan’s friends and family members have spent 30 days or more in the back country of Wyoming’s Wind River Range or in the far reaches of Alaska. While the legendary program offers outings in other parts of the world, Moran thinks he will follow in familiar footsteps. Either way, learning the safety and survival skills, while steeping himself in nature for an extended period of time sounds appealing, explains the Princeton, NJ native. Contact: www.Nols.edu.
Prague, CZ. Jimmy Paddison wants to visit the capital city of the Czech Republic. He has heard it is very beautiful and has a rich cultural heritage. The 17-year-old from San Francisco will likely enjoy visiting the historic center of the city which straddles the Vltava River. Visitors wander cobblestone streets and choose from dozens of museums and theatres. Among the most popular stops for visitors is the hilltop Prague Castle, founded in the ninth century. Contact: www.praguewelcome.cz/en/
Las Vegas. Over the top attractions, great entertainment and just a little bit of mystery is what attracts Spokane resident Tahnee Sutherland, 15, to Las Vegas. Even though the destination has a grand reputation for adult-only entertainment, there is plenty do for teens and families. Plan to enjoy light shows, circus and Broadway style extravaganzas, as well as great food and plenty of music. Teens like Tahnee might want to spend a day at one of many top spas in Las Vegas or soaking up the sun poolside. Be sure to ask about the many special deals and packages available. Contact: 877-847-4858; www.visitlasvegas.com
Visit Italy. Billy Schiavonni, a 16-year- old resident of Miami, FL, would like to visit Italy. He’s heard plenty about the old country from family members and is eager to see for himself. He’d like to visit Rome for its rich history and religious importance. Venice would be on his list for the architecture and canals. And Florence would be important, he believes, because it is an art center. He looks forward to great food, music, and if he goes a little later in life, to good wine. Contact: 1-310-820-1898; www.italiantourism.com/