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Hidden Gems Around the World | Viator.com
Hidden Gems Around the World

How to Ace Mother-Daughter Travel


Hi, I'm Margot!

Margot Bigg is a journalist who has lived in the UK, the US, France, and India. She’s the author of Moon Living Abroad in India and Moon Taj Mahal, Delhi & Jaipur and a co-author of Fodor's Essential India and Fodor's Pacific Northwest. Her stories have appeared in Rolling Stone India, National Geographic Traveler, Sunset, and VICE.

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Hi, I'm Margot!

Margot Bigg is a journalist who has lived in the UK, the US, France, and India. She’s the author of Moon Living Abroad in India and Moon Taj Mahal, Delhi & Jaipur and a co-author of Fodor's Essential India and Fodor's Pacific Northwest. Her stories have appeared in Rolling Stone India, National Geographic Traveler, Sunset, and VICE.

see more

My mother and I have been traveling together for most of my life, and although we're very close, it’s not always easy. After all, we’re individuals—with a 31-year age gap. We recently took a trip to Japan, where we shared (oftentimes cramped) hotel rooms, visited old friends, saw incredible art and architecture, and learned a lot about not only Japan, but also each other. If you're planning a trip with your mom or daughter, here are some tips to help you make the most of your time together.

Last updated: April 19, 2022

Communicate

Tell one another your needs and expectations *before* the trip.

We all know that communication is key in every sort of relationship, and no matter who you’re traveling with, it’s crucial to say what you need and what you expect ahead of time. Before you start planning your trip, sit down and discuss what you want to see, what kind of transportation options you want to use, and how much you want to spend. Discuss little things, too, like how you’ll work your way around bathroom time and what size rooms you’ll need to comfortably co-exist.

Compromise

Know when to give in and when to push back.

You and your mother are different people, and there are things you’ll want to do that she won’t, and vice versa. Maybe you aren’t fond of theater but love hiking, while your mom’s more indoorsy and would love to see a play every night. You’re going to have to compromise (or be prepared to do your own thing a lot). My mom and I share similar interests, but we’re still different, and the same surely applies to your mother-daughter relationship.

Both communication and compromise are key when traveling with your mom. | Photo Credit: AnnaStills / Shutterstock

Stick to a budget

Tracking your expenses is key.

Every family is different when it comes to who pays for trips, but if you’re at an age and stage where your mom’s not paying your rent, you shouldn’t expect her to pay your way while traveling either. My mom and I split our trip down the middle, and I kept track of who paid for what in a spreadsheet as we went along. We're both avid frequent flyer mile collectors, too, so we tried to take turns using our credit cards to keep the points as fair as possible.

Consider splurging on some things

Comfort and keeping the peace are key, so build extra expense into your budget.

If you’re a budget traveler, you might cringe at the thought of taking taxis, upgrading flights, or springing for a hotel with room service and shoe horns. But if you’re traveling with your mom, she might have a higher standard of comfort requirements than you. So, be prepared to spend a bit more than you might if traveling solo or with friends.

Be prepared to spend a bit more than you would if traveling alone. | Photo Credit: XiXinXing / Shutterstock

Slow it down

There's no need to rush around all the hotspots.

If you’re traveling with someone who's quite a bit older than you, you should be ready to slow down a bit. You might like to wake up early and cram as much as you can into each of your hard-earned vacation days, but it’s unrealistic to expect your mom to want to do the same—even if she’s just as enthusiastic as you are. Similarly, leave some of your travel plans open-ended, so you can be flexible on days when things all get a bit much.

Be ready to take the lead (or be led)

There's give and take required when it comes to mother-daughter travel.

If you’re the “kid” in the situation, you may be more comfortable with technology than your mom, which means you may be the one figuring out train schedules, calling Ubers, and pointing your translation app at every sign you see. However, your mom likely came of age before the digital era, which might give her an advantage when your cell service suddenly drops. So, play to each others' strengths and weaknesses when it comes to navigating your way around a new city.

Enjoy your time together

And make memories that you'll be able to look back on for a lifetime.

Mother-daughter trips are an amazing way to get closer and learn more about each other. You’ll be in close proximity for long periods of time, so take advantage of the opportunity to ask your mom about her past, her thoughts, her childhood. Learn about your family, where you came from, and take time to really appreciate how lucky you are to get to take a vacation with your mom.

Whatever the trip, make the most of your time with mom. | Photo Credit: Desizned / Shutterstock

Best destinations for mother-daughter trips

  • When you want to be pampered, head to Bali and enjoy spa treatments every day without breaking the bank.

  • When you need some straight up R&R, the Caribbean is a must with destinations such as the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Belize topping the list.

  • When you're all about art, nowhere beats out Italy, home to some of the world’s most celebrated artists. Florence’s Uffizi Gallery alone packs quite the artistic punch.

  • When you want a good glass of bubbly, look no farther than France. Italy has prosecco and Spain has its Cava, but nowhere does fizz quite like the Champagne region of France.

  • When you want to go wild, beeline for Tanzania and take your mom on an adventure she’ll treasure forever with a wildlife safari through the Serengeti.

  • Finally, when you need a new wardrobe, London's the place to be. You’ll be hard pressed to find better shopping anywhere else on earth and when you’re done you can treat your mother to an afternoon tea.

Things to do on your next mother-daughter trip

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Hidden Gems Around the World | Viator.com
Hidden Gems Around the World