Recent studies have shown us what we already know, that a mom-cation is good for the soul. It’s scientifically proven that when we don’t connect enough outside of romantic relationships and mother-child bonds, our health suffers. Taking a mini-vacation without your kids or partner can help prevent parental burnout at home. This summer I was lucky enough to take an amazing mom-cation with some fellow local mom friends and we had the time of our lives. I can tell you first hand that our little weekend mom-cation did wonders for helping me reset and return home feeling better at coping with all of parenthood’s daily struggles. What made our mom-cation come together easily was by staying local, focusing on relaxation, and enjoying the beauty our own town has to offer. Although I definitely can’t take credit for planning our mom-cation, I have a few tips that hopefully will help you get a plan in action.
Take Charge of the First Step
The first step is figuring out a plan to pitch to your mom friends! Luckily for recent mom-cation, another amazing mama took care of this step, otherwise, none of it would have ever evolved! You’ll first need to decide on a location. Us St. Augustine Moms live in one of the most beautiful vacation spots around, so deciding to do a Staycation seemed like the perfect plan. No complicated travel arrangements and no worries about being too far away from our kids. Sites like AirBnB are a great resource to browse and get the planning process started. Our planning mom picked out a couple of local AirBnBs to choose from and from there she was able to select a vacation date, knew how many moms would need to be on board, and what our estimated portions of the costs would be.
Use the Facebook Events Feature To Plan Your trip
By far my biggest tip is to use the Facebook “Events” feature to begin your planning. It’s easy to set up an event, just go to the “Events tab” from your homepage and click or tap “create event” on the left side for desktop (left, top from a mobile phone). Make sure to set the event to “private” unless you want to invite the whole world to join you though! From here you can invite all your mom friends to join, pitch your initial plan (with photos of the potential accommodations) price info, date of the vacation, etc. You can then create a “sign up” post to narrow down who is committed to actually going on the mom-cation. When we did our recent mom-cation, we narrowed down which of the selected Air B&B’s everyone would be interested in through a group poll. Then, once we selected the AirBnB, we used the maximum number the house would sleep (12) for the guest list.
Have Clear Guidelines Regarding Payment
What deters many people from putting a plan in action is dealing with coordinating payments for the trip. Nobody wants to be stuck fronting the cost of an expensive trip if their friends don’t pay up. Nowadays we have some great technology like Venmo and Paypal that make it easy for friends to pool cash together and stay accountable if there are any disputes. We were able to calculate each person’s total cost for the mom-cation by dividing the total cost of the Airbnb for the selected time by the number of people the house would sleep (we knew we needed 12 moms to commit). The first 12 moms to Paypal our “planning mom” the deposit money made the guest list. I will advise you that if you are the “planning mom” gathering the payments and if you are only collecting deposit money upfront, you need to be clear on the responsibility for the rest of the payment. Make sure you state in clear terms when the next payment will be due, how it must be sent to you, and that if something comes up and a mom go on the vacation, that it will be their individual responsibility to fill the spot with another paying mom or pay the rest of the payment regardless. It may seem harsh to make this the rule but in the long run, it will save friendships if everyone knows their responsibility and commitment going in.
Depending on everyone’s preferences and budgets, you may choose to eat all your meals out during your mom-cation. If you decide to eat at restaurants, I’d recommend deciding on the places you’ll dine in advance to make things simpler and avoid a lack of consensus on the day of. You could also pool money together in advance as a budget for take-out meals or groceries (services such as Shipt or Instacart can bring them right to your vacation rental). During our mom-cation, we opted to cook all meals on-site. We used the event page to sign up for who would cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner on each day, what they would cook and also to work around food allergies and dietary restrictions in our group. Cooking on-site was fun, and it enabled us to try some new foods and all sit down together for our meals. On one of the nights, in particular, one mom cooked some of the best enchiladas I’ve ever eaten! Moms who don’t want to cook could also sign up to bring drinks (including water and coffee!).
Bring the Fun
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, make sure you enjoy your mom-cation, you deserve it. Leave any mom-guilt at home and relax. You can look forward to finally taking a proper shower without your toddler interrupting and sleeping through the night (which one or two moms in our group took to the extreme, by sleeping in for almost a full day!) Our Air BnB was on the beach and had its own pool, so we chose to relax poolside most of our mom-cation. Some essentials to pack for added fun are games (such as Cards Against Humanity, Uno and Jenga); music and a playlist to set the tone; fun inflatables if you have pool access, and of course a camera to fully document your experience!
I hope this post will give you a good starting point to plan your own mom-cation, be it large or small, near or far. You’ll return to your precious family feeling refreshed, and revitalized and ready to jump back in.