The mother-daughter relationship is one of the strongest and most precious on Earth (especially after the tumultuous teenage years). If you’re looking to nurture that bond, there’s no better way than to book a mother-daughter getaway! Whether you have a great relationship with your daughter, or it could use a little TLC, getting away, just the two of you, allows you the chance to truly focus on one another and enjoy uninterrupted fellowship. If you have never considered taking a mother-daughter trip, we’re going to try hard to convince you today!
Mother-Daughter Getaways With Adventures From Scratch
If you are lucky enough to be in the friendship stage of your mother-daughter relationship, snag a copy of Adventures From Scratch: Friend Edition and hit the road together. We’ve collected 50+ activities for friends that include everything from in-home get-togethers to full-on weekend getaways. Grab your adventure book today and spend the next year exploring together!
A Personal Note
As a full-time traveler and a lifelong daddy’s girl, taking a trip with my mother wasn’t something that I knew I needed. However, I got a brilliant idea to take my mom to Italy on her 50th birthday, and from there, we were hooked! Every year since, barring the COVID pandemic, we have taken a trip together. We have explored a couple of Hawaiian Islands, Italy, Costa Rica, Nepal, India, Haiti, and Spain side by side, and I can honestly say it’s a time of year that we both intensely look forward to. We almost crave it. It’s a time for us to get away from everything and everyone else and just focus on each other and a shared love of experiencing new cultures and immersing ourselves in Earth’s incredible landscapes.
Benefits of a Mother-Daughter Getaway
1. Mother-daughter getaways are good for your health.
There’s a common research article from Harvard Medical that is quoted in several articles on mother-daughter trips touting that a yearly trip with your mom offers health benefits. The linked article doesn’t mention that fact at all, in any way, but it does discuss the general health benefits of strong social connections. Also, the health benefits of laughter and a supportive social network are well-established in the medical community. According to researchers at Mayo Clinic, laughter has intense short and long-term effects on overall health including stimulation of organs, decrease in stress response, and improvement of your immune system.
From personal experience, I can attest that a trip with your mom is often full of laughter. You develop inside jokes, laugh at each other’s lack of cultural awareness or travel faux pas, and giggle over shared memories from your childhood. Many mother-daughter duos report feeling intense stress relief and a feeling of relaxation after a trip.
2. Mother-daughter getaways provide time to reminisce.
When you have time with your mom alone, sitting on a beach, Mai Tai in hand, you naturally begin to recall the important memories you share. You think about people you haven’t thought of in years. Conversation drifts to the difficult times in your past when your relationship was strained. You divulge times when you were hurt, times when you were proud, and times when you felt loved.
Though some of these conversations can be hard, when you discuss them in stunning surroundings, it feels somehow rejuvenating. By the time you return home, you have a renewed vision of your life together and a stronger unity. Even if you’re lucky enough to see your mom regularly, it’s rare to have truly meaningful conversations for most of us. But, when you escape to a wine country or a spa getaway, those conversations just come naturally. You don’t even have to try.
3. Mother-daughter getaways reveal a new side.
I say it often, “travel is an education like no other.” This statement certainly applies to traveling as a mother-daughter duo. Whether you tackle the streets of New York City or take on a foreign country together, you’ll learn something new about your loved one on a mother-daughter vacation. Even if you have spent every day of your life with your mom up to this point, you don’t know her like you’ll after seeing her navigate the stress of the airport, struggle through communication in a different language, or completely let go and relax on a Caribbean beach.
Exploring museums together will enlighten you on the workings of your child’s mind in a way you never noticed before. Hiking in a national park allows you to explore nuances of personality that you have never had the opportunity to see in regular everyday life. If you’re both adults, taking a trip to a Napa Valley winery can show you a more relaxed side of your mom that you didn’t know existed. Even the most intimate of relationships can be enhanced by the right trip.
4. Mother-daughter getaways can improve your marriage.
This one is a secondary effect for sure, but there’s something about being absent from your spouse, and having experiences without them, that creates a longing to get back to them. My mother and I have both noticed this on our trips together. We are both pretty independent women, and we generally don’t notice the effects until about day 8 or 9 of our trip, but there’s always a wall that one (or both) of us hits, where we begin to miss our husbands and get excited about returning home.
When you arrive home, you have all new adventures to share with your partner. They have tons of things to tell you that has happened while you were away. Plus, you just have a renewed value of their impact and presence in your life when you have been away for a while.
5. Mother-daughter getaways provide adventure for moms.
For busy moms, so much of life is wrapped up in caring for their families. A tough work schedule, a full itinerary of extracurriculars, and taking care of a house all weigh on moms. How many times have you heard a mother say something to the tune of “I feel like I have lost myself,” or something similar? A mom’s identity often gets wrapped up in her partner and children, and due to time restraints and a shift of priorities, she loses her own hobbies and interests.
Taking a mother-daughter trip, especially if the daughter is older, allows mom to explore and find adventure again. She gets to try snorkeling for the first time in years, stand in awe at the base of a waterfall, take a cultural cooking class, or kayak white water rapids. She gets to focus on herself and plan those attractions that she has always wanted to do. It’s liberating.
6. Mother-daughter getaways provide knowledge for daughters.
When you get away from the everyday stressors, you have more time to talk about the intricacies of life. While the flow of information is a two-way street for sure, I find that I glean much wisdom from my mother when we have our mother-daughter getaways. When we find that laid-back environment where we can just chill, it’s like the floodgates open, and we just dwell in each other’s company.
Whether it’s advice on marriage, spiritual guidance, or just general life hacks, a trip with your mom allows you time to pick her brain for all those little nuggets of wisdom that only come with life experience. You may just find out that your mom is a far more interesting, intelligent, and complex being than you ever took the time to realize. Plus, she raised an awesome daughter, so she’s a pretty good person to take advice from.
7. Mother-daughter getaways improve your connection.
I have found from trips with my own mother, that traveling together has caused me to see her as a real human, not just my mom. During your childhood, the relationship with your mom, even if it’s a strong and loving one, tends to be pretty one-dimensional. Traveling with your mother allows you to see her strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and her joy in a whole new way. Watching your mom operate outside of the daily norm, without her partner, and as an adventurer brings a whole new appreciation for who she really is.
On the flip side, traveling with an adult or teenage daughter does something similar for a mother. You find that your child is much more able than you probably give them credit for on a daily basis. You’ll find areas of pride where you realize you have done an excellent job preparing them for the world, and you may find areas that you need to work on as well. Either way, you return feeling like you know each other on a much more intimate level than when you left home.
8. Mother-daughter getaways provide a shared adventure!
After several years of traveling together, my mother and I have so many shared memories! We have inside jokes. We have collected multiple photo albums of our experiences, and we have collective adventures that no one can take away from us. When we get together, we rehash some of our fondest excursions, and we laugh all over again at the funny mishaps. It’s a special thing to have a collection of adventures with your mom, and I know that I treasure mine.
9. Mother-daughter getaways allow a swap of roles.
This one only applies to older daughters, but hang with me here. When my mom and I travel together, I become the expert. I plan the trip. I write the itinerary. The rental car and all hotels are in my name. My mom gets to sit back and relax. She defers to my expertise on pretty much all matters of travel, and that is certainly different than our normal interactions back home. Even if you don’t have a daughter that is a world traveler, you may find that in certain circumstances, your daughter’s sense of adventure, street smarts, and youthful exuberance take the lead on your travels.
10. Mother-daughter getaways challenge your comfort zone.
Traveling with a much younger person will force you to take on adventures that you normally would not have dreamed of tackling on a typical family vacation or a romantic getaway with your partner. Traveling with a teenager or young adult is a different experience. You may end up climbing an active volcano, getting your scuba diving certification, or barrelling off a bungee jumping platform if your daughter plans the itinerary.
On the flip side, daughters may find a new love of antiquing, get addicted to a spa treatment, or learn the art of being a foodie from mom’s choices. While every mother-daughter duo is certainly different and has varying interests (yours might be flip-flopped from those mentioned), planning a trip that encompasses both of your choices forces one or the other to step outside the norm.
Planning the Best Mother-Daughter Trip
Now that you have rosy aspirations for your mother-daughter trip, let’s make sure that your good intentions don’t fall flat on their face! While a trip with your mother/daughter can be the experience of a lifetime, it can also be a disaster if not planned appropriately. Here are a few recommendations for ensuring that your duo vacation is a success.
Choosing the Perfect Location
When planning a mother-daughter trip, make sure to choose a location that interests you both. Each of you makes a list of ten destinations in the world that you would like to visit. Then, come together and compare lists. If you have a match, and it’s in a safe destination that you can afford, then you have your answer. If not, narrow it down to five, show each other why you want to visit that particular place, and find something that works for you both.
The perfect mother-daughter vacation destination should offer an element of rest, plenty of good eateries because we are not cooking on vacation, and some adventure opportunities or historic sites. You’ll also be traveling as two women, so you need to consider safety and what you’re comfortable with, as well as your budget.
Creating a Balanced Itinerary
After choosing your destination, each of you should look into activities in the area and choose a few that you would like to add to the itinerary. This keeps the trip balanced and makes sure that you both have plenty of opportunities to see the things you want to see.
For some of you, this will be more difficult than others. For instance, my mother doesn’t care what we do. It’s less stressful for her if I just plan the whole thing, but because I know her, I always plan to end the trip with a couple of days on a secluded beach, as that is what she really loves.
Focusing on Rest
While adventuring is amazing, remember that you should take some time on your trip to relax and rejuvenate. This becomes more important as you age, but even a mom-and-teenager duo can benefit from at least one day of chilling. This gives you time to discuss life, bond, and reflect on the vacation. If nothing else, finish off the last day of your trip in a laid-back and beautiful spot where you can just relax.
Remember that you’re not stuck at the hip. Yes, you’re traveling together, and the point is to bond, but that doesn’t mean you need to do every single activity together and smother each other with attention. My mom and I often separate, especially during the morning hours. She might go take a swim in the ocean while I read a book or ride my bike to the grocery store.
Take some time to do the things you love and that keep you sane. We all have different rhythms and quirks. There’s no reason to get yourself all out of whack on your vacation. When you come back together after some alone time, your conversation will be even sweeter.
Focusing on Regularity
Hopefully, you have seen the benefits of a mother-daughter getaway by now, so make it a regular thing. It doesn’t have to be a major international trip. You could explore wine-tasting options in your own state, book a weekend getaway in a spa resort, or take a day trip to a historic small town in your region. The point of a getaway with your bestie isn’t the extravagance of the trip, it’s spending time together doing something you love. Make a habit out of it.
Knowing Your Limits
While my mother and I have explored Nepal, India, and the jungles of Costa Rica together, not every mother-daughter duo is going to thrive in those conditions. You need to take stock of your travel knowledge, your budget, and your abilities. If you aren’t comfortable heading off together to a country where you don’t speak the language and aren’t sure of the customs, then don’t! Start smaller.
Limits don’t just apply to destinations either. If you know you’ll struggle to be away from your spouse or other children for an entire week, then plan a weekend getaway or one-day road trip instead. If you and your daughter will struggle in an environment where you don’t have your normal amenities, then book a vacation in a destination that is on par with what you’re used to. While challenging yourself is sometimes a great idea, you don’t want to be miserable with the circumstances (and each other) for the entire trip.
Mother-Daughter Trip Ideas
If you’re struggling for inspiration, here are a few fantastic mother-daughter getaway ideas for different kinds of travelers. Choose one that fits your vibe!
- Sightseeing in San Francisco, California
- Enjoying an Outdoor Adventure in the Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona
- Hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountain of Georgia
- Getting Lost in the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica
- Shopping the Boutique of Paris, France
- Exploring the small towns of Cinque Terre, Italy
- A Broadway Weekend in NYC
- Hammock Days in Key West, Florida
- Horseback Riding in Texas or Montana
- Riding the waves in Hawaii
- Discovering American History in Washington, DC
- Marveling at the Emerald Isle on an Ireland Road Trip
If you have never thought of taking a mother-daughter getaway, I hope I have shone a light on the possible benefits a trip like this may hold for your relationship. The mother-daughter bond is a dynamic and complicated one, but when nurtured, it is one of the strongest on the planet. Take some time to get away with your mom (or daughter) and get to know her in a whole new light. I promise you won’t regret it!
For more ideas on fabulous mother-daughter trip destinations, check out “The Most Marvelous Mother-Daughter Trips in the World.”
If you are struggling to connect with your kiddo at this phase of life, a trip might be the perfect answer, but also take a look at some tips from “A Parent’s Guide to Connecting With Kids of Any Age.”