Mother daughter travel is not a new thing. After all, moms have been traveling with their children for ages. I am lucky that my daughter is my favorite travel companion and that over the years, we have made it a priority to create mother daughter getaways to explore big cities like New York or Philadelphia. Our favorite mother daughter destination, even though we have already been there, is New York City where everything you could possibly want or need is at your fingertips.
My tween daughter and I recently took a quick summer getaway trip to NYC, opting to take the train from Washington DC instead of braving the traffic and congestion of a road trip. There is something singularly unique about riding the escalator out of Penn Station when you arrive in the city, opening the doors to the bustling sounds of Manhattan after a three hour train ride from the much less invigorating Washington DC.
The trick with any mother daughter getaway is to understand both your child and your destination so that whether you are taking a two-day trip or a week long adventure, you set yourselves up for a successful vacation.
Four tips for a Mother daughter getaway to NYC
1. Location, location, location
My daughter and I have taken two different trips to New York City, staying in two very different neighborhoods in the city. Last fall, we stayed at the Hilton Times Square largely because we wanted to be within walking distance to the two different broadway shows we were seeing. We had also planned to spend time at American Girl Place and to explore Central Park so it made sense to be centrally located.
More recently, knowing that the focus of our trip was to explore the Statue of Liberty and neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little Italy, we set up camp in the Financial district at the Millenium Hilton. Being able to walk to Battery Park on the morning of our Statue of Liberty tour was a huge bonus and allowed us to sleep for a few extra minutes.
2. Plan your itinerary
Although on most trips I like to explore and travel without a plan, a mother daughter trip, especially to a big city, means setting priorities. For our trip, we made a list of the three things that were MUSTS on our list, and a few other destinations that were of interest. Our three must have attractions were the Statue of Liberty, the United Nations and Chinatown/Little Italy. Our “other” bonus list included the High Line, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Having a must see and do list allows you to think about your trip in the big picture, especially in New York when there is something to do in every direction.
3. Allow for flexibility
As important as it is to create a must see and do list, it is equally as important to be flexible and spontaneous. During our trip, New York City was being blanketed by a heat wave, which impacted our plans to walk in and around the city all day long. Our two day itinerary in New York City was going to turn into a headache sooner rather than later if we did not opt for taxi cabs and an afternoon at the museum instead of walking from downtown all the way to midtown.
4. Make time for down time
I know it seems contradictory. First I suggest planning your itinerary, and then I suggest allowing for flexibility and down time. Downtime was part of my plan to make sure that our two-day trip was a success, but became even more important with the high temperatures that tend to make everyone a little less happy-go-lucky. We spent our downtime at the hotel pool and later by ordering room service for both dinners helped us end our day comfortably so that we could be ready to start the next day refreshed.
Of course, you always know that a trip was a success when you sit down on the train to come home and the first thing your daughter asks is “when are we coming back?”
What about you- have you taken any mother-daughter (or mother-son) trips? What tips would you share?