Mother-daughter vacations are a fantastic way to spend quality time together. We take quite a few during the school holidays, and I treasure the memories we make every time.

With Mother’s Day on the horizon and fantastic giveaways from Lands’ End that definitely could help make a dream holiday a reality, I thought I’d share a few tips for a successful mother-daughter vacation at any age. It’s always nice to get away with someone you love, but family is family, and a little extra planning and patience ensure a perfect trip.

1. The Destination Matters

Take some time to brainstorm destinations together. If only one person is keen on Tokyo, it’s not going to be fun for the other. I would say the exception might be in the case of fulfilling a life-long bucket list dream, which would obviously be an amazing and selfless thing to do and something I hope to do for my own mom eventually.

My daughter and I work together to determine where we’re headed and what we’ll do when there.

2. Incorporate Family and Friends

I find detours to see family or friends who might live in or be traveling to a destination simultaneously tremendously helpful. It’s refreshing to add other people into the mix after spending tons of time together, especially if you don’t see them often in normal life.

We just returned from Hong Kong, where our holiday was split 50/50 between fun things to do in Hong Kong with kids and socializing. I credit this strategy because neither of us argued or even raised our voices for two weeks together.

3. Give Each Other Some Space

Even though my daughter is 9 at the time of this original writing, we separate at least once during long holidays. I arrange a babysitter through the hotel concierge and head out to do things that she isn’t interested in. And, she loves the opportunity to play with someone new.

Another excellent way to do this is by booking spa treatments. Enjoy the lounging facilities together first and then separate so that each of you can enjoy a fabulous massage, facial, or whatever you choose.

Even if you’re not feeling keen to go separate ways for a bit, do it anyway as a preventative measure.

4. Plan a Realistic Itinerary

I suggest moving at a slower pace than you might otherwise in order to avoid burning each other out. It’s terribly important when traveling with family to stay relaxed and energized so that emotions don’t flare up.

Create an itinerary that allows for downtime and extra time so that if someone wants to linger in a market, the entire day isn’t derailed.

5. Be (Extremely) Flexible

Give in every once in a while. It’s not worth fighting to wedge in another museum or for reservations at the restaurant of your choice. You have to leave stubbornness at home.

I always know that I will not be able to do everything I’d like to when on a mother-daughter vacation. It’s okay as the time together is always worth it.

Top photo credit: Flytographer


Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

Explore More Kid-Friendly Fun

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.