Even in the happiest family dynamic, there are days when daughters just aren’t all that interested in hanging out with Mom. While some of that distance represents a natural part of growing up, it doesn’t mean fun mother-daughter vacations have to be a thing of the past.
Wild Women Expeditions, an expert in women-only travel, is making bonding easier with several new summer vacation packages geared toward moms and daughters.
“At a certain point we daughters may feel we have nothing in common with our parents anymore,” said company owner Jennifer Haddow. “Adventure travel is a great way for us to redefine our relationship with our mothers.”
In Iceland, for example, a seven-day Women & Girls Gold Circle Riding Adventure was designed for girls aged 10 to 16 and includes five days of horseback riding on small Icelandic horses. This should not be your first time in the saddle — in fact, some experience riding English-saddle style is recommended — but riding lessons also are included, as are the services of female professional horse guides.
Accommodations are in mountain huts and guest houses, and the six-mile-a-day route was designed to show off the best of southern Iceland’s natural beauty. Mom and daughter will ride past the volcanoes, geysers, waterfalls, mountains and lakes of southern Iceland, and horses will move at a comfortable, relatively bounce-free gait of up to about 20 mph.
The trip is available July 19–25 and is priced at $2,295 per person. The rate includes gear, accommodations, homemade meals, park and other entry fees and transfers from Reykjavik.
Moms and daughters aged 8 to 13 can bond over a four-day Women and Girls Canoe Trip in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park Aug. 2–5. Priced at $795 per person, the trip includes group camping and paddling equipment and gear, all meals, shuttle from lodge to canoe put-in, the services of professional female guides, a night at Northern Edge Algonquin Nature Retreat, sauna and a shower at trip’s end.
The trip includes 2.5 hours daily of paddling through the park, which boasts more than 1,250 miles of canoe trails through 4,700-plus square miles of wilderness. Participants will learn such skills as how to pack and set up camp, read maps, tie knots, start a fire and spot signs of wildlife. The adventure also includes one night at Northern Edge Algonquin, an off-grid ecolodge with highly rated cuisine and comfortable accommodations.
Meanwhile, older mothers and grown-up daughters can not only re-cement those family bonds, but also empower daughters to help rejuvenate their mothers to adopt a healthier lifestyle, Haddow said. To that end, she created a six-day Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit Retreat in British Columbia’s West Kootenays.
“This retreat is all about savoring the beauty of the land that surrounds us, each other’s company and our own inner wilderness,” Haddow explained. “We offer a space to do that creatively, allowing you to indulge in what it is that you need: restoration, physical activity or stillness, self-expression or exploration, connecting with other spirited women, learning new skills, pursuing an old or new passion.”
The trip includes kayaking and hiking outings, restorative yoga and creative movement sessions and meals with local, organic cuisine, designed to “awaken the inner wild woman through sacred ceremony, meditation and nature awareness activities.”
The trip, scheduled July 3–8, July 27–Aug. 1 and Aug. 29–Sept. 3, is priced at about $1,322 per person.
Huntsville, Alabama, is one of those destinations helping define the family-friendly vacation. Home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the city is lovingly nicknamed Rocket City thanks to its history of always reaching for the stars. This is where you’ll find Space Camp, where kids and families can take part in various programs at the world’s largest space museum, U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Through Dec. 31, family travelers can enjoy the most unexpected thing in Florida: a white Christmas. The Now Snowing in Celebration festival in Kissimmee, Florida, embraces winter traditions for both locals and visitors. Free to visit, families will love heading to the town built by Disney.
Let family travels take you to one of these stunning aquariums around the United States. Recently, Aquarium Store Depot analyzed TripAdvisor reviews containing words such as beautiful, breathtaking and picturesque for 175 public aquariums across America. Each aquarium ranked based on the percentage of reviews to determine the most eye-catching aquariums.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
All aboard! A holiday afternoon tea on a vintage train winding its way through lush wine country? If that sounds a lovely to you as it does to us, the Napa Valley Wine Train is on track to offer you a great seasonal experience perfect for sharing with family or loved ones. Tea is served in a holiday-decked vintage Pullman rail car with historic features like Honduran mahogany paneling, etched glass partitions, sumptuous armchairs and gleaming brass accents.