Enjoy this article by my friend Stephanie LeGrand from Curious Dandelion (read more about both Steph and Curious Dandelion at the end of the post!) Now - go plan a Mother-Daughter trip of your own!
We all grow up thinking we know our moms…. But do we really? Like REALLY?
A few years ago, I took my first trip with my mom and it exceeded all my expectations. I was a few years short of my fortieth birthday and, while she’ll tell you she was 29, my mom was rounding the corner to seventy when we took an eight-day Viking river cruise on the Danube.
It was on this trip that I TRULY got to know and connect with my mom in ways that I couldn’t imagine before.
She told stories about her childhood and her life before kids that I’d never heard. She shared details about her struggles and joys in marriage, parenting, and her career that gave me a new perspective on my own life.
And for the first time, I got to see how truly intelligent, courageous and fundamentally interesting my mom was in her own right.
(Am I the only one who, even as a grown up, sometimes still thinks my parents’ lives and identity revolve around me?… just a bit?)
Why should mother-daughter trips be on your bucket list?
- You’ll learn things you NEVER KNEW about your mom.
Traveling with your mom gets you out of whatever relational rut you’ve been operating in since literally the day you were born.
Your teen years are long past - you know, when you wouldn’t be caught dead with your mom. Most of your conversations with her were spent arguing about a body piercing or the appropriateness of a midriff-baring shirt.
But now, you’re more like peers, albeit with varying decades of life experiences.
And because you’re sharing a totally new experience together, with people you probably won’t see again, it gives you a license to be more authentic and spontaneous in what you share.
For example, while my mom and I were traveling in Budapest, she told me she was engaged to someone else before she met my dad. What? I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.
And I was filled with pride hearing her stories about traveling through Europe in the 1960s BY HERSELF as an eighteen-year-old. (Hello, fearless female!)
One of my favorite parts of our trip happened every evening at dinner onboard the ship. I listened to my mom share her life story with our tablemates. It gave me the chance to see her for the first time through a stranger’s eyes. I had a newfound appreciation of where she’d come from, who she is now, and the things that bring her joy.
- Your mom isn’t getting any younger. (And, frankly, neither are you.)
Lucille Ball once said, “I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done.”
As much as we all want to believe that our parents - and we - will always be around, that just isn’t how life works. And I knew I would regret not taking a trip with my mother (and I just LOVE the wisdom of Lucille Ball!).
Better to travel together as peers and NOT as a caregiver or under the cloud of some terminal diagnosis. Bump a mother-daughter trip to the top of your bucket list and prioritize planning as your next big travel adventure.
- It is way more affordable than you think and the memories are priceless.
Now you might be worried that this kind of trip-of-a-lifetime is going to break the bank.
For sure, mother-daughter adventures aren’t “budget travel.” But they don’t need to break the bank either. You can take a comfortable trip and include a bit of luxury with careful planning.
Our trip, which was the Danube Waltz with Viking, took us to four countries and included six tours. It cost us about $5300 which was $2650 per person plus we each spent about $300 on souvenirs and other incidentals.
So, let’s look at what you get for $330 per day (besides floating down a river with your one-of-a-kind mama)... Beautiful accommodations, exceptional service onboard the boat, gourmet meals, guided tours, and all transportation (on and off the river) are included in the cost.
If you tried to plan a trip on your own with all of these details (with food, lodging, sightseeing, and transportation) it would be tough to get below a daily budget of $330 (not to mention the anxiety and stress planning it might induce).
So now that we have ‘affordable’ down, let me clarify what I mean by “luxury” (which I think is a non-negotiable ESSENTIAL for your best mother-daughter trip).
I’m not talking about a fancy room with a balcony or little chocolates on your pillows (although we did get chocolates). Instead, focus on the luxury of having the itinerary, tours, and meals planned out for you. (And bonus points if free-flowing wine is included with your meals like ours was!)
Choosing a trip that has a pre-planned itinerary, tours, and meals might be THE KEY to your relational harmony. It leaves VERY LITTLE for you and your mom to disagree about while traveling together.
And I can guarantee that bickering about what you should do or where you’re going to eat with your mom will suck all the joy out of the adventure.
Tips for planning a mother-daughter trip to remember:
- Pay IN FULL for the trip as soon as you can. Research shows that this significantly increases your enjoyment and maximizes happiness while traveling with your mom. Once it’s paid for, you can focus 100% on dreaming about and anticipating your special mother-daughter adventure.
- Book well in advance to take advantage of deals. We booked our river cruise a year out and used one of Viking’s many 2-for-1 deals where you pay for one traveler and the other is free. (I recommend you Google “Viking 2-for-1” to see current travel deals).
- Use reward miles to book your airfare. My mom and I decided to apply miles we earned through travel hacking with rewards credit cards to pay for the airfare. This definitely made the trip more affordable for us. (For some ideas on how to do this, check out this article on How to Fly (Almost) Free to Berlin.)
- No matter how well-planned, travel can be stressful for any relationship and particularly for a mother-daughter duo. (Remember how you fought when you were a teen?) Here are some essential tips for getting along so you can truly enjoy your time together.
To this day, four years after our trip together, our mother-daughter trip ranks as one of my top five happiest memories (competing only with my wedding day and when I brought each of my three kids home).
So, if you have a travel bucket list, then without a doubt a mother-daughter trip should be at the top.
Have you taken a trip with your mom? I’d love to hear why you did it and any tips you have for planning a mother-daughter getaway adventure in the comments below.
About Stephanie LeGrand:
When she’s not traveling with her mom, Stephanie LeGrand collaborates with bloggers and online businesses to spread their ideas. She works with clients to develop and clarify their brand strategy, design their websites, and increase their influence through Pinterest marketing. You can learn more about her and the services she offers at Curious Dandelion.