Self-isolation. What we’re all living through right now is about as far from self-preservation as you can get. When you’re a busy mom working from home while also figuring out how to home-school your kids and do what seems like way more laundry than usual, the last thing you have time for is contemplating time away from loved ones who may also be driving you crazy.
And yet, a momcation—either alone or with a girlfriend or two—sounds like heaven right about now, doesn’t it? Recent studies suggest that time spent nurturing female friendships, especially when you’re a mom, can significantly improve your mental state and overall health. Here are 10 momcations to dream about.
1. Have Some Honky-Tonk Fun in Nashville
Music City is a must-see mecca for moms who enjoy music. Whether you prefer country music, classic rock, or soul, you’ll find a dance-worthy spot to hear incredible live music all along Broadway in Nashville. In addition to the terrific tunes, you can also take part in hands-on activities ideal for gal pals, such as biscuit– or chocolate-making classes, walking food tours, candle-making workshops, bourbon tasting and shopping.
Recommended Hotel: The Hermitage Hotel
2. Jazz it Up in Montreal
Known as The City of Festivals and The Paris of North America, Montreal has everything a group of moms need: eclectic boutique hotels and cobblestone walking paths in Old Montreal, wonderful neighborhoods and vibrant nightlife, and a world-renowned jazz festival every summer, which features hundreds of free outdoor concerts showcasing every musical genre, from hip hop to blues to yes, jazz. The Quartier des Spectacles downtown gets transformed into a city-within-a-city, featuring pop-up wine bars and French bistros. Speaking of food, Montreal’s gastronomical scene—which celebrates everything from fire-cooked bagels to poutine—means you’ll need to pack your elastic-waist pants.
Recommended Hotel: Le Square Phillips Hotel & Suites
3. Bask in the Sun in Bermuda
Just a short two-hour flight from New York gets you to Bermuda, a British island territory in the North Atlantic Ocean known for its pristine pink-sand beaches. Grab your beach bag and vacation reading and head to Elbow Beach or Horseshoe Bay, where you can lazily watch the waves or wander the shoreline. Or, you can go cliff-jumping at Blue Hole Park or Admiralty House Park, located in the outskirts of Bermuda’s capital town, Hamilton. You’ll find great shopping and restaurant options here, too—don’t miss Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy fish sandwiches on raisin bread. After a day in the sun, take an evening to enjoy a Haunted History Walking Tour, which runs year-round and is a great way to learn about the island’s fascinating culture.
Recommended Hotel: Rosewood Bermuda
4. Soak up Caribbean Culture in Barbados
Get your island girl groove on in Barbados, where you can lounge on the white powdery Crane Beach. The gentle waves are perfect for moms who want to take a surfing lesson, while the coastal coves offer sheltered swimming and snorkeling. Or, head to Bottom Bay, which sits just north of the massive Sam Lord’s Castle. Protected by high, jagged cliffs, this pink-sand cove is a great spot to soak up some sun or have a picnic. Bath Beach on the Atlantic Coast offers great swimming due to minimal waves, and here you can also walk along the shore to a small waterfall. Evenings are best spent in Holetown or St. Lawrence Gap, where live music and frothy cocktails abound.
Recommended Hotel: Colony Club by Elegant Hotels
5. Take a Culinary Trip to Paris
Passionate about French cuisine? Combine your love of food and travel by booking a trip to Paris, where eating and drinking are a way of life. Sign up for an award-winning Paris Secret Food Tour, where you’ll explore local bakeries, markets and brasseries while sampling cheese and croque-monsieur sandwiches. Or, take some hands-on cooking classes with La Cuisine Paris, where you’ll learn to make buttery croissants and macarons or master classic French sauces with an experienced chef.
Recommended Hotel: Sofitel Arc de Triomphe
6. Take a Mini-Vacation Designed Just for Moms in Newport Beach
Some properties have designed mom-centric packages that combine rest, relaxation and pampering. The Resort at Pelican Hill encourages moms to put themselves first for a few short days. Its Momcation Package includes a credit for their five-star spa, a bottle of red or white ‘Mom Juice,’ a cushy bathrobe to enjoy and then take home and a room with coastal Pacific Ocean views. You can also take in a game of golf and enjoy world-class Italian food.
Recommended Hotel: The Resort at Pelican Hill
7. Learn to Scuba Dive in St. Lucia
For moms whose idea of total relaxation involves swimming with exotic fish and sea creatures, take a trip to the luxurious Anse Chastanet Resort, where Scuba St. Lucia PADI pros will teach you how to scuba dive from the beach, or on boat dives to explore the walls between the majestic Piton Mountains with their volcanic formations and pinnacles under the sea. Night dives are also available for a totally different experience. Other diving around the island takes place in the Soufriere Marine Reserve, where divers are treated to colorful coral reefs, tropical sea life and two shipwrecks. Moms will also enjoy other resort activities including paddleboarding, kayaking, sunrise and sunset yoga, volcano hiking, and jungle biking.
Recommended Hotel: Anse Chastanet Resort
8. Go Cycling in Wine Country
Napa Valley is the perfect place to take a bike tour that goes off-road and through the vineyards. On the Napa Valley Bike Tour, moms will spend the day exploring three different vineyards, topped off with an artisan picnic lunch and wine. The Yountville area is known for its Insta-worthy views, not to mention its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. You’ll learn about vineyards and will work off at least part of the calories you ingested—it’s a win-win.
Recommended Hotel: Westin Verasa Napa
9. Enjoy Whitewater Rafting in West Virginia
If your idea of vacation involves plenty of thrills, you’ll love Adventures on the Gorge, an all-inclusive resort with lots of outdoor experiences. Located on the rim of the longest river gorge in Appalachia in southern West Virginia, the property offers Class I to Class V whitewater rafting trips for a short adventure or a full day of excitement. First-timers and veteran rafters alike will appreciate the pools of calm water and roaring rapids during scenic trips through the New River Gorge. And if you’re up for more, the resort also has horseback riding, ziplining at speeds up to 65 mph, fly-fishing and kayaking.
Recommended Hotel: Adventures on the Gorge
10. Go Ice-Climbing in Banff, Alberta
With jaw-dropping views everywhere you look, a visit to Banff-Lake Louise is a memorable way to travel alone or with girlfriends. With its hipster ski town vibe, plenty of outdoor activities year-round and luxurious, yet affordable hotels and lodges, it’s worthy of a bucket list entry. Get a vertical toe-hold in the Rockies by spending the day ice-climbing with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures in nearby Canmore. If you can climb a ladder, you can ice climb. The trekking company provides ice tools and crampons for boots, and you’ll learn basic rope work and how to kick into the ice. Bonus: Your money goes much farther in Canada.
Recommended Hotel: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Montreal-based Wendy Helfenbaum is a journalist, content strategist and TV producer who writes for dozens of digital and print magazines, as well as many brands. Wendy loves cruising, adventure travel and venturing off the beaten path with her husband and teenage son, and she can pack a carry-on bag like nobody’s business. Follow her @WendyHelfenbaum.
What to Pack for Your Next Trip
Women’s/Mom’s Cool Overwater Bungalow Swimsuit for Summer
Women’s/Mom’s Fall Outfit for a Lake Town
Mom’s/Women’s Summersalt Swimwear for a Cheap Vacation
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