5 Tips for Planning a Mother-Daughter Trip

I love to spend time or travel with the entire family. As a family of girls (poor husband is all alone!), sometimes we want to enjoy a “girls trip” on our own while allowing him to spend time on his hobbies. Whether for a day or overnight, planning a mother-daughter trip can be easy!

1. Even a Little Bit of Time Can Mean A Lot
Earlier this year I decided that “the girls” needed an excursion. Unfortunately, that fell at a time when it was impossible to get away for the weekend. After a little deliberation (“Could we try to spend a night and get up the next morning to leave at daybreak?” and “Should we just wait until another weekend?”), we decided to go for a mother-daughter day trip to nearby Dallas.

Then, we followed our travel philosophy: there’s no time like the present! We planned out our day, loaded up early one morning, and were able to be home at a respectable time that evening.

If you have something that limits your plans, find a way to do what you can. Your mother-daughter trip doesn’t have to be an elaborate weekend at a resort. It could be driving across town to visit a park or museum. Spending time together is better than spending money.

2. Plan some unique meals
When we travel, one of our rules is to steer clear of all chain restaurants. Why travel a thousand miles to eat at a local chain that you can find five minutes from your house? We ask everyone we see for advice about meals. “Where do the locals eat?” “What’s your favorite place to eat in town?” “Does your city have something they are famous for?”

Be willing to go a little out of the way to find great food. For this girls trip, I did a quick search of local establishments and found a couple of doughnut shops that had been noted on some national television stations. We chose one and enjoyed combinations we had never imagined.

3. Find a main attraction
Find a main attraction that offers a variety of activities. On our mother-daughter trip, we chose to visit the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. On a gorgeous day, there are many activities to appeal to all families. Take a blanket and stare at clouds from the lawn. Enjoy lunch or a mid-afternoon snack in the restaurant. Tour the DeGolyer home. Feel the breeze from White Rock Lake. Visit the gift shop. Or, simply wander the 60+ acres of beautiful gardens.

Take time to smell the roses together. Spending time enjoying simple things is better than a highly choreographed afternoon that can deteriorate into tears and drama. (I remember the days of planning events around nap times!)

Mother Daughter trip - Dallas Arboretum & Botantical Garden
A trip to a botanical garden is a wonderful way to spend a Mother-Daughter day out.

4. Simple things can be fun, too
We don’t have a local Trader Joe’s, so a trip to Dallas means packing the reusable bags and the TJ freezer bag and stopping by the store on the way home. It’s one part of the trip that the girls look forward to most.

As I gather the ingredients for favorite meals, pick up some loved treats, and peruse the specialty items, the girls are critically eyeing the shelves to choose what they want for school snacks next week. Each trip includes a shopping limit for each girl. I switch it up each visit; sometimes it is five items, other times a certain dollar amount. Giving them that freedom and choice at the end of a long day turns what could be a trying part of the day into one last adventure.

One of our favorite trips when the girls were a tiny bit younger (how I miss those days!) was an excursion to the American Girl doll store. You might have to travel a bit to get there, but everyone should definitely see an American Girl doll store. From small children to serious collectors, the store is way over the top and more than I could imagine. From furniture and clothes to a hair salon for the dolls, there are so many things to see! Definitely make plans to spend a few hours. I recommend reservations for your meal. Your doll can also have a booster seat to join the meal and will receive a small plate to eat as well! Kind of silly? Perhaps. Loads of fun for kids of all ages? Definitely!

5. Girl Fun doesn’t have to be expensive
Now that the girls are older, we enjoy getting manicures or pedicures together. Nothing can go wrong with pretty nails! The girls had been pestering me to get their nails done. Our local school district has a cosmetology program, and students and teachers had been asking if I had had visited yet.

We visited the local high school cosmetology salon resulting at nail services at a deeply discounted rate. The students received valuable experience and contact hours toward their state certification process, and we received pedicures. That’s a win-win! It’s always fun to visit a spa, but choosing a cosmetology school can be fun too!

Mother Daughter trip - Pedicures
One of the most fun parts of a mother-daughter trip can be getting pedicures together. Everything’s better with pretty toes!

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This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Heather C. Are you interested in traveling to Dallas? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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