I come from a family of travelers. My octogenarian grandparents clock in laps around the globe like it’s nobody’s business, and some of my favorite memories are of spending weekends away on the windy beaches of Northern California with my parents and siblings. No one has fostered this love of exploring new places quite like my mother. To celebrate my tenth birthday the two of us spent a weekend in Santa Fe (one of her favorite places in the world), kicking off a tradition of mother-daughter trips that both of us have come to cherish—especially after I moved from the small Northern California town I grew up in to Los Angeles nearly seven years ago.
Since then, we’ve scheduled in a trip every couple of years as a time to reconnect with each other over our shared interests: namely art, history, shopping, and wine (obviously). Finding common ground like this is my one biggest tip when it comes to planning a mother-daughter getaway.
If you head to a place where there is ample opportunity for both of you to do the things you love—whether that be hiking, painting, or even just lounging by the pool—it’s all but guaranteed to be a good time.
Sure, you may get on each other’s nerves after a long day of traveling and not nearly enough coffee, but the it’s nothing that can’t be remedied by a snack and a bit of down time. (Stopping for food as frequently as possible is also at the top of my tip list. No hanger allowed here!)
So, next time you have the opportunity for a few days away with mom, take it. If you put in the work and plan out an itinerary that will cover the things that both of you would like to do, and that builds in enough downtime for each of you, you’ll be surprised about just how good of a time the two of you can have together. And if you’re ready to take the plunge, read on to discover some of the favorite places my mom and I have visited together, along with a few that we are adding to our bucket list.
Though I didn’t fully appreciate the magic of Santa Fe when my mom took me there all of those years ago, the New Mexico city still makes the top of my list for mother-daughter getaways. Spend a weekend immersing yourself in the history of the wild west, soaking in art at one of the city’s many galleries (an afternoon at the Georgia O’Keeffe museum is an absolute must), and window shopping all of the handcrafted silver and turquoise Native American jewelry.
Stay at the historic La Fonda on the Plaza hotel to be right in the heart of old town, and don’t miss spending a day out in Taos—the hour-and-a-half drive is more than worth it to catch a glimpse of the stunning adobe buildings built nearly 1,000 years ago by the Pueblo people. Mom, when can we go back?
It’s hard to go wrong with a trip to New York, which my mom and I ticked off of our joint bucket list earlier this year. You likely don’t need me to tell you that there will be something for you to do in the city no matter what you are into, but hitting up a museum or two—we’d suggest the Neue Galerie and the New York Historical Society for a few that are a little bit off the beaten path—and having an Italian food feast (we particularly liked Norma, a locals-filled spot just outside of Midtown) should definitely be on the itinerary.
In addition to inspiring my love of travel, I have only my mother to blame for growing up to be a complete and utter anglophile. A trip to London was always going to be on the books for us, and we used my summer study abroad session at Cambridge as an excuse for a bit of British fun. Like New York, there is something for everyone in the city, though a trip through Liberty and tea at Sketch are non-negotiables to add to your list (at the very least, your Instagram feed will thank me).
Whether you love art, adventure, or simply tacos, Mexico City should be high on your travel hit list. It also happens to be one of the places I am itching to get to with my mom—I’d imagine we’d spend a day touring the Frieda Kahlo Museum and the Museo Soumaya, another soaking in all of the city’s colonial architecture and stunning modern design (my mom is an interior designer, so we’d definitely take full advantage of the city’s status as one of the design capitals of the world), and another at the Teotihuacan ruins outside of the city.
Though we took a family trip to Charleston when I was little, it is one of those destinations I would love to revisit now that I am an adult. I’d build in enough time to take full advantage of everything the city has to offer—think art walks through the French Quarter, culinary tours, Jazz Bars and long strolls along the historic Battery—and, if we could swing it, we’d tack on a few extra days for some serious R&R in gorgeous Hilton Head.