Looking forward to that vacation with…your mother? It may not sound exciting, but if you do it right, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. It’s a wonderful and rewarding experience, not to mention a great way to bond — and you can take my word for it.
Every summer I take my mom on a birthday trip and each turns out better than the last. As this year’s getaway to Tuscany and Cinque Terre approaches, I spent time with Phyllis Stoller who has been organizing group tours for women for over 20 years, to hear about all about making mother-daughter trips effortlessly enjoyable. Here’s what she said, and I’m in full agreement:
More Is Better
Being away from your belongings is easy when you can happily survive with the bare minimum, but mom will need more than just mascara and a pair of flats in her carry-on to explore new terrain. Let her bring the bigger suitcase—extra clothing, shoes and her set of must have’s from beauty products to extra painkillers (just in case!) will make mom feel better prepared for being away.
QT In Moderation
Mother-daughter bonding is a wonderful thing—in moderation! Don’t let your girls’ getaway turn into bickering filled days from too much time together. You’ll both want a break and room to breathe and do your own thing, so take a short walk to get some great shots of the neighborhood while she catches up on reading that book.
Be An Early Bird
Moms are morning people, so set the alarm early enough before your first excursion to give her plenty of time to prepare for the day. If you’re really not one to rise with the sun, sleep in while she gets ready.
Stash Some Extra Cash
That impromptu trek up the Spanish Steps after brunch is a breeze for you, but it might completely rid mom of any desire to walk to the next destination. Carry extra money for taxi rides and other small expenses that will make all day sightseeing easier on her.
Don’t Be Superwoman
She’s taken care of you your whole life and now you want to return the favor. Paying for her vacation or treating her to dinner are great ways to show your appreciation, but when it comes to things that mom can’t do quite as easily anymore, try not to make her feel inadequate. Let the porter take your luggage if mom has trouble carrying hers. Don’t strain yourself and make her feel badly about it —it won’t make her feel as pampered as you’d think.
Be A Team Player
This is a trip for the two of you to enjoy so don’t fill your itinerary without consulting mom first. Chances are she will have her own ideas about what you should see and do. Include her in the decision making process instead of dragging her to sights that only interest you. Book a tour of the palace she wants to visit or dedicate a day to wandering the museum she’s been dying to explore.
Don’t Let The TV Do The Talking
When you have down time together, talk! Use this as an opportunity to learn from one another. Share stories, insights, life lessons, experiences and the like. Maybe even teach mom how to use some helpful smartphone apps.
Now that you're ready to travel with mom, go ahead and book that trip for two!