I’m very lucky to have a great relationship with both of my parents. Because of this I’ve had the pleasure to travel with my mother and my father not only as a child, but also as an adult, which is a totally different feeling. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel with my parents together, and individually. It’s such an amazing experience and to celebrate American Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, I wanted to give you my list of reasons that traveling with your mom rocks!
You Get to Know Your Mom as a Friend Too
Mother/Daughter Love in the Aegean
Just like traveling can build relationships with other people, and quickly, it’s the same with your mother. When you get away from husbands, parents and everything else, you can focus on just having conversation between just the two of you. You might be surprised what all comes up when you’re in transit from one destination to the next!
Your Mom Knows How to Keep You Calm
Taking in the Moving Lion of Lucerne
I don’t know about you, but I can be a nervous flyer and no one knows better how to reign those nerves in than your mom! In fact, just a few months ago on our flight back from Iceland, we had a really rough flight. I was freaking out and my mom knew just what to do to calm me down, and when she realized that it was beyond that as well, she ordered me a gin + tonic… Like I said, she knows me.
Watching Your Mom Experience Something New is Just Amazing
Taking a step back to watch my mom take in the NYC skyline for the first time
My mom is pretty well-traveled, especially in the US, but taking her to see new things, instead of the other way around, is just absolutely pretty damn cool. I have had a couple of moments, especially on this last trip to Iceland, that I got either choked up or just felt immensely proud of my mom. We hiked to a glacier and seeing how amazed she was touching the glacier, and me being proud of her for hiking there after spontaneously making this stop is just a moment I will never forget. My heart was just so full on this trip.
It’s Something that Just the Two of You Get to Share
One of the many selfie attempts on chapel bridge, and cracking up in the process
Being able to reminisce and share stories and photos when you return (and many years to follow) is really special. It’s something that only the two of you were there to experience. Only two of you know all of what happened. You share all the big events with your friends and family when you get home, but only the two of you will look back and remember the silly stuff that made you laugh. Like when your mom took an entire video completely upside down or you were so turned around it took you three times to find the road to Reykjavik from the parking lot of your car rental place. Or that time that you shamelessly took 50 selfies trying to get the right shot until a local takes pity on you. It’s just something special, just for you two.
It Can Mend Those Trying Times
We did triple duty on this trip. That’s my grandma, mom and me in the Colosseum
My mom and I have always, always, always been insanely close. BFFs. Confidants. (Think Gilmore Girls Close.) However, we had a year there in my teenage days, that we hardly spoke. One of the things (other than just growing up on my end) that really helped mend that time in our lives was a trip to Italy. We had had this summer trip planned and having all that aforementioned transit time to fill with good, open, real conversations and having awesome days of exploration was a big part of what mended our relationship so quickly. It’s been back to BFFs ever since.
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Tips for Traveling with Your Mother
Now that you’re convinced to take off on an ultimate road trip, girls weekend or international holiday with your mom, the next step is planning and taking off. While traveling with anyone has some similarities, I think there are some tips that I can think of that apply specifically to your mom.
Find Common Interests
Checking out loads of archaeological sites in Greece
My mom and I have many similar interests, but like every good relationship, we do also have different interests. My mom could relax on the beach all day, and I could go outside and hike 12 miles in a morning, but neither of us wants to do the other one’s. So, instead we find different common interests. Both of us love history and archaeology. We both love the outdoors, but my mom is more interested in a shorter hike. We love trying new food, but neither of us are up for trying anything crazy. Making sure to plan a trip that’s full of activities like these is where it’s at.
Make Sure Your Mom is Comfortable
In front of the beautiful Nymphenburg Palace in Munich
For a while, my mom was more comfortable with taking a tour. She didn’t have to plan much at all, you’re delivered directly to doorsteps and you just have to show up at the right time. I was just excited to get anywhere I could. We have taken four different European tours and had a great time. This was what she was most comfortable with, but I did see her getting more and more adventurous and active in planning our free time each time we traveled to Europe.
But Accommodate Expanding Her Boundaries When She’s Ready
Stepping out of her past-tour-bubble by taking on Iceland
Eventually my mom started listing more things about tours that she didn’t like more than the things she did like, so we came up with a plan to go to Iceland just the two of us. I did basically all of the planning and booking, so it felt more like the tour for her in that aspect, but also had so much more flexibility to change our minds on what to do once we were there and to switch plans based upon weather and how tired we were.
Don’t Let Her Pay For Everything
I treated my mom to a complete spa day in the Blue Lagoon of Iceland
Mom’s often have that mom factor where they want to pay for your meals or your coffee or all the gas. However, it’s important to let your mom be pampered too! Plus, being an adult now, although I greatly appreciate her generosity, her raising days are done and I’m able to take care of my own part. On this recent trip to Iceland, my mom and I split a lot of meals and took turns paying, and I paid for a lot of our entrance fees places.
Don’t Forget to Make it Happen More Than Once
Heidelberg 2014 // Greece 2011
Life is busy. It catches up with us and before you know it, it has been two years since your last mother/daughter trip! We let almost three years pass between Iceland and our Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Liechtenstein trip. Be sure to make time for these moments with your mother. I can guarantee that you won’t ever regret it.
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Tips for Traveling with Your Daughter from My Mother
This is the final shot thanks to the Lucerne-local for helping us out… Much better than the selfie
That’s right, I brought my mom in on this post so you could see both sides of it!
Bring Lots of Money
Even though she doesn’t ask for it, moms just tend to want to pay. [Paige here: what did I tell you?! It’s just her innate nature to be extremely generous.]
Be Open Minded
Paige planned our last trip, so I needed to be prepared to do the things she planned. Also let your adventurous side out. Be spontaneous.
Just Have Fun
Prepare for the area you’re going to, but just let things happen. Being spontaneous is great. I mean, we followed a blue glow to find a glacier! You don’t have to stick to an itinerary. That’s why we didn’t take a tour.
Be Prepared to Hand Over the Reigns
I’ve been used to taking control in a lot of aspects of parenting, but letting Paige plan, drive in a foreign country, etc. was a big step in handing over the reigns.
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Do you travel with your mother? What is your favorite travel memory with your mom? What tips would you add?
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