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Mother-daughter trips on the rise

The best Mother’s Day gift may be time spent exploring the world.

Mother-daughter travel is among the biggest trends in the family travel niche, according to a 2017 report from Virtuoso, the world’s leading travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. “Mother-daughter trips tie into the trend of girlfriend getaways—women traveling together,” says Cece Drummond, managing director of designations and experiences at Virtuoso. “It’s likely on the rise because today, women have the money to travel and the social acceptance to do so that wasn’t present decades ago.”

The benefits of traveling with your mother (or daughter) include the obvious—planning and taking a trip together is bonding and enriching for you both—but there’s more: Traveling with your mom could be good for your wellbeing. “Having a strong female role model helps both men and women to have a healthier sense of self and a purpose,” says Suzanne Lachmann, Psy.D., a New York City-based clinical psychologist. “Your mother is the perfect person to take time away with so you can get to know who she is as a female who navigates in the world.”

Here, four diverse trip ideas to consider depending on how active the mother-daughter pair happens to be.

Additional reporting by Furthermore editors

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  • A Healing Repite

    A Healing Repite

    Sedona, Arizona has been long considered a place for healing (Native Americans pilgrimaged here for ceremonies and spiritual quests), and it’s an ideal getaway for mother-daughter pairs. Among holistic and hedonist adventures (including hikes among the Red Rocks, known to be sacred with strong energy points called vortexes), there are excellent restaurants, boutique shops, and luxury resorts. Stay at Mii Amo, a luxurious, 16-room destination spa with Native American-inspired treatments including pinon body scrubs (featuring the pinon nut for exfoliation) and energy clearing.

    Alternatively, venture further east to Kyoto, Japan. Just a couple hours outside of Tokyo by train, the Airbnb survey says it's one of the hottest cities for 2017. Mothers and daughters can explore the 2,000 temples and shrines including Golden Pavillion (made entirely out of gold leaf) and stay at the new Four Seasons Kyoto, which opened last year. 

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  • A Bonding Road Trip

    A Bonding Road Trip

    In addition to giving you more freedom to make pit stops or alter your plans, being in a car with your travel companion can foster intimacy. “Many people are more comfortable sitting and talking rather than being out and about,” says Lachmann. In Texas, the famed Austin to Marfa road trip is a favorite of road trippers. Starting in Austin, Texas, known for its great bar and food scene, travelers can head two hours to Fredericksburg, a small town with family-run shops, then hike together at Enchanted Rock, a former spiritual holy ground. Next, arrive at Marfa, famous for its bohemian community and exciting art scene. Stars like Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, and Rock Hudson have stayed at the historic El Paisano Hotel and, one of the main incentives to drive here, travelers can search for the mysterious lights that appear in the sky. The drive is approximately 8 hours.

    Alternatively, the Pacific Coast Highway, from Napa Valley to Santa Monica (six to eight hours), takes travelers on beautiful, rugged coastline. Mother-daughter pairs can even explore the exotic roads of Hawaii, like Big Island, where a drive along the coast is complete with beautiful coffee plantations and volcanoes, or the famed Hana Highway in Maui, which has waterfalls along the drive and breathtaking coastal views.            

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  • An Endorphin-Raising Adventure

    An Endorphin-Raising Adventure

    Getting adventurous with your mom can give you both an endorphin rush which, research shows, increases bonding. “Head farther afield to two of the top adventure destinations,” Drummond recommends. “A safari in South Africa is an unforgettable experience," she says of the first. The family-owned Lion Sands Private Game Reserve offers four different luxurious lodges with their own unique style and experience. You can even spend a night in a treehouse on the property. Hoping to spot the Big Five, guests participate in twice-daily game drives with expert field guides and trackers, and can also take a walking safari.

    The other top destination, Costa Rica, also provides excellent active opportunities for mother-daughter pairs. Monteverde or Arenal are great locations for exhilarating, scenic canopy tours. Other activities include white water rafting, surfing, scuba diving, and hiking. "Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens, in the shadow of the majestic Arenal Volcano, offers roomy private casitas set within a tropical rainforest," says Drummond. One note of warning: “Truly take in to consideration what each person’s threshold is so you don’t become overly ambitious,” says Lachmann.

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  • A Mother-Daughter Retreat

    A Mother-Daughter Retreat

    “Organized trips take the stress out having to plan every dinner and activity so the two of you can instead focus on bonding,” says Lachmann. “It’s a great idea for people who want support in creating a more comfortable, low-key getaway.” Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, a Mediterranean-style wellness resort two hours from Los Angeles, is a great option, known for its themed mother-daughter programs. They’re hosted by a celebrity and her mom (Shailene Woodley, for instance, has hosted) and are designed to encourage multigenerational bonding through shared experiences, including workouts and hikes, gourmet cuisine and cooking classes, spa treatments, and fireside chats on health topics unique to women. The next event takes place June 11-18, 2017. 

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