Planning A Cool Cancun Mother-Daughter Getaway

By Nancy Schretter, Editor

Mother-daughter getaways are popular one-on-one family vacations for moms and daughters of any age. These kinds of family vacations create strong bonds and lasting memories, particularly if you plan carefully and choose the right travel destination for your trip.

For long weekend escapes to sunny climes, the Cancun area is a great choice for a mother-daughter trip. The regions’ wide variety of attractions makes it easy to find fun things to do together and many resorts are available to fit any budget. In addition, direct flights – and low sale fares – to Cancun can often be found.

If you’re thinking about planning a mother-daughter vacation in the Cancun/Riviera Maya area, here are a few road-tested tips:

Choose the right spot: The Cancun/Riviera Maya area works well for mother-daughter getaways because of its many attractions, including the beach, shopping, watersports, Mayan ruins, eco-parks and more. Direct flights are also readily available. Pick a resort close to the Cancun airport to eliminate long transfer times. In addition, make sure to involve your daughter in planning the trip and encourage her to research ideas.

Consider your daughter’s age: If this is your first mother-daughter trip, start out slowly. Plan a 3-4 night escape rather than a full week-long vacation. In addition, choose a resort that caters to kids your daughter’s age – such as those listed below. This is particularly true for moms with 'tweens and teens. Check reviews on the Family Travel Network and TripAdvisor for more information.

Discuss budgets in advance: If your daughter is older, it’s best to have an honest discussion about money issues in advance. Cover budgetary issues during the trip planning phase when discussing such topics as accommodations, dining options, and attractions. The Cancun/Riviera Maya region has a wide variety of accommodations to fit any budget and choosing an all-inclusive can make this part of the process easy.

Set a comfortable pace: When choosing a destination or trip venue, keep in mind your individual preferences for waking hours, activity schedules, dress, dining options, nightlife, and needs for sleep. Respect your differences. Discuss your preferences in advance and choose a resort that fits the bill.

Allow for private time: Mother-daughter trips do not necessitate spending every waking hour together. Everyone needs a break sometimes, especially teens and young adults. Be honest with yourselves about your needs for time alone and build it into your trip. Resorts with programs and activities for your daughter’s age group are a good option.

Make it special: Including at least one “always wanted to do” activity or event can make mother-daughter trips particularly memorable. In the Cancun area, you might try something like a luxurious spa treatment, swimming with the dolphins, shopping in Playa del Carmen, driving a mini-speedboat through the mangroves, or exploring an underground river. Brainstorm with your daughter in advance and find out what she thinks would be amazing to do.

Leave expectations at home: It's easy for moms to get all misty-eyed envisioning the intimate bonding moments that will be created on their mother-daughter trip. If we're being honest, however, we know that family vacations never go exactly as planned. There may be bumpy moments, relationship issues may surface, travel snafus happen, and those heart-to-heart chats might never occur. It's okay. Just take the experience as it comes and go with the flow. You may find that in spite of everything, it's the best trip you both have ever had.

Think about inviting others: Mother-daughter trips can also be fun when you have more mother-daughter pairs along - or even an aunt or grandma. Traveling with other mothers and daughters provides built-in companionship for both adults and kids, and it can ease some potential tension when traveling with teenagers.

Record the memories: If your daughter is willing, give her a disposable camera and a journal so that she can keep track of your adventures. When you get back, the two of you can collaborate to create an online or print photo album to remind you of your trip. If you have a daughter who's resistant to pictures, try to respect her wishes. Select a small souvenir to purchase as a memento of your vacation together. It's always surprising to see how much these are treasured in later years.

Picking the right resort is key. For a long weekend getaway, it’s best to pick a family-friendly resort close to the Cancun airport to cut down on transportation time. All-inclusive resorts can be a smart option - making vacation planning and budgeting easy. These getaways are fairly hassle-free and those yummy fruit smoothies come without a bill attached.

Here are two of my top choices for mother-daughter getaways in the Cancun area:

Azul Beach Hotel by Karisma
Best For: Moms with babies, toddlers, and school-aged girls
Why Mama Will Love It: Casual, relaxed resort feel; Mom’s Morning jogging/yoga program; attentive beach and pool butlers; awesome beach cabanas with comfy beds; seaside massages; beach picnics; generally tranquil surf at reef-protected beach
Why The Girls Will Love It: Kids’ Spa Suites with strawberry ice cream manicures; Azulitos Kids Club with lots of activities for kids 4-12; Fisher-Price toys lending program; cool kids’ pool area; 24-hour room service, lots of tours and an inexpensive shuttle to Playa del Carmen for shopping
The Scoop: Located in Puerto Morelos - just 20 minutes from Cancun’s airport, the Azul Beach Hotel was named as one of the Top 10 Family Hotels in Mexico & the Caribbean in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice 2010 awards. When we visited, the resort was packed with parents with babies and toddlers and the area around the pool felt like a fun Mommy & Me playgroup. Because of the resort’s small size (just 98 rooms), it’s easy to meet other moms and kids and make friends. All of the rooms are close to the beach and there’s fantastic snorkeling at the reef right off shore. All restaurants serve a la carte dinners and no reservations are required. The resort offers free room service, DVD players at dining room tables, beach picnics and barbecues, and free child amenities and Fisher Price toys. Request a beach cabana as soon as you arrive and get a beachfront massage – they’re lovely.
For More Information: www.karismahotels.com

Club Med Cancun Yucatan
Best For: Moms with ‘tween, teen and school-aged girls
Why Mama Will Love It: Great food with multiple dining venues; tons of sports and activities with excellent instruction; extensive watersports; world-class spa; cool evening shows; beautiful Jade Villa option for upscale accommodations and personalized service
Why The Girls Will Love It: Awesome Passworld hangout for tweens and teens; extensive Mini Club Med program for girls 4-10; flying trapeze, waterskiing, tennis and a wide variety of other activities; fun kids’ shows; shopping options and extensive tour desk on site; proximity to Cancun’s shopping venues and other attractions
The Scoop: Club Med is a superb choice for active moms and daughters who want to make the most of their getaway. Located on its own private peninsula only 20 minutes from the airport, Club Med is close to all Cancun has to offer – but yet a world apart. Club Med is known for its international flair, enthusiastic staff and superb sports instruction, and Club Med Cancun Yucatan delivers in spades. You’ll find gorgeous wide beaches with plenty of lounge chairs, delicious food (don’t miss the white chocolate bread!), and great entertainment – especially the Michael Jackson show. Club Med is a particularly good choice for mother-daughter vacations because of the ease of doing activities with one’s own age group as well as spending time together. 'Tweens and teens love the Car Wash Passworld teen club and the younger ones end up begging to go to the Mini Club Med programs.
For More Information: www.clubmed.us

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