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9 mother-daughter trips of a lifetime where you can disconnect to reconnect


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Two years ago, I took my mother—with whom I’m not all that close—to Paris. The trip, which was her first to Europe, was an intensely challenging experience. (No more churches, Ma!) It was also one of the most memorable and meaningful of my life.

Whatever your situation with your own mother (or daughter), it’s unlikely you’ll regret—at least not ultimately—embarking on a similar adventure with her. As Mother’s Day approaches, it might be worth discussing the idea of a little one-on-one QT somewhere special.

Below, find several wellness-forward options that will satisfy the mind, body, and soul.

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Best mother-daughter trips for wellness, yoga
Photo: Instagram/@Denmeditation

1. The DEN Meditation Retreat in Sacred Valley, Peru

I recently made the rare choice to evangelize on behalf of a silent retreat I attended through The DEN, and even went so far as to call the experience life-changing. For this reason, I’m including an upcoming retreat hosted by the same organization and led by the same leader, Heather Prete, to this list.

The July retreat is not silent, which may (or may not, *LOL*), be a better setup for your mother-daughter trip than the one I attended. The focus is on “mysticism, spirit, and a journey into the heart,” and the six-day itinerary includes meditations, dharma talks, yoga, guided tours, healing sessions with a local shaman, healthy vegetarian meals, and more. Plus, there’s an option to tack on a tour of Machu Picchu at the end, so you and mom can check that historic sanctuary off of your bucket lists together.

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Best mother-daughter trips for wellness, yoga
Photo: Stocksy/Koen Meershoek

2. Portugal

Mother-daughter trips to Paris are inarguably incomparable, but for those who’ve already been, it might be worth checking out 2018’s buzziest travel hotspot instead: Portugal. The zeitgeist-y country’s two biggest cities, Lisbon and Porto, offer the perfect mix of local flare and trendy cosmopolitan comforts (e.g., sweatbox fitness and poké bowls). Meanwhile, Portugal’s wellness retreat-and-resort scene is burgeoning both in the big cities and out on the Azores Islands, where nature is the name of the game and you and mom can disconnect to reconnect.

Portugal’s wellness retreat-and-resort scene is burgeoning both in the big cities and out on the Azores Islands, where nature is the name of the game and you and mom can disconnect to reconnect.

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Best mother-daughter trips for wellness, yoga
Photo: Golden Door

3. Golden Door: San Marcos, California

At retreat center Golden Door, you and yours will have the unique opportunity to bond through novel challenges and experiences that cater to all age ranges, from tap-dancing classes to archery lessons. You can also spend quality time chatting on early morning hikes, indulge joint curiosities via offered courses in subjects like astrology and, of course, do your own thing when you need a little bit of space (with minimal feelings hurt, hopefully).

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Best mother-daughter trips for wellness, yoga
Photo: Instagram/@theclassbytt

4. The Retreatment by Taryn Toomey

Full disclosure: I’m one of those people who legit cries, mid-burpee, in Taryn Toomey’s The Class. Her sweat sessions are so cathartic for me that if I could, I would attend a session every day. You can make this dream of mine your reality by attending one of her Retreatments this year, like the one on Martha’s Vineyard in July, Mustique in May, or Whistler in October. Sample itineraries involve two hours of The Class daily along with yoga, hikes, local excursions, and a potentially uncomfortable (in a growth-enabling way, of course) women’s circle.

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Best mother-daughter trips for wellness, yoga
Photo: Instagram/@kelseyjpatel

5. Bali

This Indonesian country lives up to its Eat, Pray, Love reputation as a destination for female travelers, so if your mom’s looking for an adventure that feels relatively secure, this could well be it. While staying at one of these budget-friendly bungalows, the two of you can make pals with primates in Ubud’s Monkey Forest, take Balinese cooking classes, visit with local healers, experience a cleansing ritual at the Tirta Empul temple, climb Mt. Batur before sunrise, swim, surf, and so much more.

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Best mother-daughter trips for wellness, yoga
Photo: Instagram/@collectiveretreats

6. Collective Yellowstone

This gorgeous glamping experience may be a good way for you to relive the memories of family camp trips without the whole “roughing it” part that one (or both) of you may have outgrown. Collective Yellowstone is a luxury-tent resort located in the magical Moonlight Basin near Big Sky, Montana. Locally sourced meals are served on site or can be packed as picnics, and nightly s’mores are a thing. Activities include fly fishing, swims at the Moonlight Basin Club, explorations of Yellowstone National Park, in-tent massages, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and more.

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Best mother-daughter trips for wellness, yoga
Photo: Instagram/@lakeaustinspa

7. Lake Austin Spa & Resort

Though you could certainly just relax under the big Texas sky while staying at this resort, it would be a bit of a shame to do so as innumerable activities are included in the price of your stay. As with Golden Door, you’ll have your pick from a wide swath of workouts, outdoor activities both on the water and off, spa treatments (many of which utilize locally grown ingredients), group meditations, and various classes and seminars (including cooking courses).

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Best mother-daughter trips for wellness, yoga
Photo: Instagram/@cottars1920camp

8. Kin Travel: Kenya

Eco-minded mother-daughter duos might want to venture on a sustainable safari via Kin Travel in partnership with Cottar’s 1920s Camp, one of the most environmentally friendly hotels in the world. This luxury camp is located at the edge of the Maasai Mara Natural Reserve and Serengeti National Park and is run by the grandson of the company’s storied founder. Activities include game drives, excursions into local communities, locally sourced bush dinners, and even some *surprises.*

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Best mother-daughter trips for wellness, yoga
Photo: Stocksy/Bonninstudio

9. Your birthplace (or hers)

For those moms that didn’t raise their kids in their hometowns, here’s a chance to visit the place in which you grew up and regale your daughter with stories of your childhood instead. (This also works if your daughter was born somewhere other than where she was raised and you want to show her the sights she was too small to remember.) Or, if there’s another spot on the map that was really formative for you, share it! Who doesn’t love a trip down memory lane?

No matter where you end up, here’s how to avoid traveling like a tourist. Plus, you may also want to take Anthony Bourdain’s tip for making the most of your big trip.

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