Reasons You Should Travel With Your Mom More

When I was younger I had a list of my favorite travel buddies (Mike, my friend Liz, myself) and my mom wasn’t anywhere near it. We traveled when I was a kid but I had never really traveled with just my Mom until the past couple years. Which is a shame, because it turns out that traveling with your mom? Kind of awesome.

My Mom and I have been making up for lost time: over the past few years we’ve traveled to Boston, Seattle, on an Alaskan Cruise, and we even spent a few days together in Kyoto during my trip there last March. Our next adventure will probably be of the European variety.

Now I will tell you up front that my Mom is a pretty cool Mom. She loves white wine and British mystery shows and my friends love her. Not everyone is luck enough to have such a fun Mom, but I think most people can benefit by spending some time traveling with their Mom.

You Might Learn Something New About Her

My mom and I rented an AirBNB in Boston to celebrate her birthday a few years back. It was March, snow was on the ground and a chill was in the air. Boston was my mom’s stomping ground in her mid-twenties, so she spent the weekend showing me the highlights of town. She showed me the travel agency where she once worked, the house where she once lived in that attic (just like Mary Tyler Moore) and the neighborhoods she once haunted. This opened the door for some interesting conversations and I learned a lot.

What was your mom like before you were born? The easy intimacy of travel can be a great way to learn some new things about the woman who raised you.

You Might Teach Each Other Some New Tricks

When we met my Mom in Kyoto we immediately took her out for her first bowl of traditional ramen, which she gamely tackled with chopsticks. Then we whisked her off to the food market where I forced her to sample all sorts of unidentifiable gelatinous things. It was so exciting to introduce my mom to one of my favorite elements of travel- exploring the world with my taste buds, and it enriched both of our travel experiences.

Moms can be Fun!

I genuinely like hanging out with my Mom, and I know I’m not the only one. The woman raised me so it’s natural we were would like the same things: sipping cocktails at a piano bar, visiting quirky museums, watching rom coms while doing needlework, and eating lots of delicious things.  I mean we’re not 100% on the same page: she has dragged me to more yarn stores than I care to think about, but even so, we usually have a good time.

I think that having fun with your Mom as an adult is a really special thing, because it’s a totally different dynamic than when you were a kid. Approaching each other as equals and getting tipsy while watching an Alaska sunset? That’s irreplaceable.

Moms Aren’t Around Forever

That sounds like such a downer but really, you should never take your Mom for granted. Watching both of my parents lose their own parents has taught me that.  Make great memories now, take great photos now, and just really enjoy your parents while you can. And if you can enjoy them in an exotic location, well that’s something you will always, always remember.

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Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can’t sit still! She is the co-founder and editor of Why Wait To See the World. Learn more about her here.


  1. Great article just in time for Mother’s Day. Fortunately, I travel with my mom (fairly) often!

  2. Judy Yoder says:

    Awww. Right back at ya! You are the best traveling buddy. Looking forward to more adventures together…

  3. I love this post! My mom is one of my best travel buddies. We’ve been to Italy and the UK together on three separate trips.

  4. Melanie Colwell says:

    My mum and I are embarking on a European adventure in July – we’re both interested in WW2 history so we’re hitting UK, Germany, Poland, and Austria. Your last point is so true – we’ve been talking about doing it for so long. You just never know what might happen…. This New Years Day we said “There is never going to be a perfect time, let’s do it this year!”.

  5. Linnae says:

    Love this! Mom and I did a month long European adventure while I was teaching overseas and it was an incredible bonding experience as I entered young adulthood. She studied abroad and backpacked in her 20s as well, so we have that shared sense of adventure in common. We’re hoping to repeat the experience next year, with some new cities of course!

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