You’ve gone on a romantic getaway, jet-setted with your squad and even globe-trotted solo. But what about traveling with mom? Exploring the world with the woman who birthed or raised you can be just as transformative, educational and fun. It’s also the perfect opportunity to spend quality time together, create memories on the road and learn more about the world and each other. Here are four destinations to consider:
For luxury, there’s No place like Paris
A trip to Paris is always a good idea, especially when in the company of your mother. Easily explored by foot, you can stroll and shop along the Champs-Élysées or in the Galéries Lafayette (haussmann.galerieslafayette.com) for hours on end, stopping to refuel in any of the outdoor cafés in upscale Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A tour of the decadent Palace of Versailles will reveal the heady opulence of France’s storied past, while a visit to hallowed sights such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre will give you the chance to stock up on adorable “usies” because you can never have enough of those.
For the mom who seeks adventure: Hong Kong
Often said to be the place where “East meets West,” Hong Kong’s mix of Asian and Western cultures makes it a dynamic destination to explore. The bright neon lights, futuristic skyscrapers, foreign smells and densely packed streets provide a sensory experience like no other. Its unique location and history mean there’s tons to do: You and your mom can marvel over the expansive vistas from Victoria Peak, bond over dim sum or high tea at the Peninsula Hotel, or get a local experience by riding the historic tram from Western Market to Happy Valley. Once you’ve exhausted yourself in the big city, you can hop a ferry to one of the region’s outlying islands and find refuge in all the quiet nature that abounds there. Fun fact: Surprisingly, less than 25 percent of Hong Kong is developed. Cap off your sightseeing tour with a session of foot reflexology at Gao’s (gaosfootlankwaifong.com); an hourlong massage is the best way to soothe your world-weary feet and reflect on the day’s events with your mother.
South Africa’s second-largest city is rife with jaw-dropping vistas, spectacular cuisine, pristine beaches and rich history. The best part is that all this is available with a competitive currency and cheap airfares, so South Africa is increasingly becoming a value destination. Cape Town is bursting with experiences you can share with your mother: Get your drink on at a wine-tasting in Stellenbosch’s renowned vineyards; learn more about Nelson Mandela’s virtuous journey with a tour of Robben Island (robben-island.org.za); work on your tans on Camp Bay’s picturesque beach; or gossip over a braai (South African barbecue) in one of the city’s top-rated restaurants. If you’re feeling particularly active, take a morning hike to the summit of Table Mountain and bear witness to one of the world’s most spectacular views.
Need some sun? Try Barbados
The sun-drenched beaches on this calm Caribbean isle provide ample opportunities for you and Mama to relax and catch up. Barbados’ beaches are as beautiful as they are plentiful, and the sandy shores of the Crane Resort (thecrane.com) were rated one of the world’s 100 best beaches by CNN. But Barbados has much more to offer. The breathtaking limestone caverns comprising Harrison’s Cave are well worth a stop, and a visit to the Friday fish fry at Oistins, a Bajan cultural institution, gives a crash course in the island’s cuisine. The flying fish is a must!