Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: The 10 Coolest Cities for a Mom’s Getaway
Mom’s day is coming up (March 15 for the UK, May 10th for the rest of the world) and if (wisely) you’re done with the usual mother’s day gift ideas (flowers, chocolates..drab!), consider the gift of travel. Whether you are a mom, or have a mom (or both), you know that moms need some time off to recover and rejuvenate. So, Momaboard has compiled a list of the ten coolest cities in the world for a mom’s getaway. Regardless of taste, interest, age, and budget, there’s something for everyone in these fab destinations.
Set on the Bosphorus, Istanbul is one of those cities that has it all. Amazing history and architecture, a trendy urban culture with great restaurants and shops, and unparalleled nightlife with clubs open till the wee hours. Istanbul is a short flight from Europe and Asia and a must-do getaway once in your life (why not now?).
Packing list: Heels, sunglasses.
Bring back for the kids: A mini Hagia Sofia
Spain’s second largest city is vibrant and full of whimsy. From Gaudi’s creations to the performers of Las Ramblas, from the magical fountains to the cafés on the beach, Barcelona is a waltz for all your senses. Take the day at your own pace, meandering through the streets of El Born, popping into the cool boutiques and many tapas bars. Emerge finally for dinner at 10pm, like the locals.
Packing list: Espadrilles, scarf.
Bring back for the kids: Catalan chocolate
Residents of Sydney, my former hometown, will have to forgive me for saying this, but Melbourne is a more elegant city and therefore, included in this list. Melbourne has a very European feel with its cobblestone streets and al fresco dining culture. Walk around St. Kilda’s, enjoy the art shows and live music in the city. For nature lovers, the Great Ocean Road is a scenic paradise and famous wine region Yarra Valley is less than two hours away.
Packing list: Shorts, flip-flops.
Bring back for the kids: Kangaroo meat (sold in supermarkets!)
4. San Francisco/Wine Country
Which brings us to wine, one of the greatest mother’s day gift ideas, especially if you can go right to the source. Nothing says mom’s getaway louder than gorgeous wines, gourmet meals and luxury packages at a day spa. Wine country is an easy hour’s drive from San Francisco and if you decide to spend a few days in the city by the Bay, you won’t regret it either! San Francisco has amazing vistas, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the winding hills of the city, and a world-renowned food scene. Sneak away from the main tourist areas like Union Square and discover local neighborhoods such as Hayes Valley and Fillmore.
Packing list: A jacket (always needed in San Francisco), a sundress (for wine country).
Bring back for the kids: Ghirardelli chocolates, made in SF.
If you are in Asia, Bali is one of the most fabulous mother’s day gift ideas. This beautiful Indonesian island is full of gorgeous resorts, trendy restaurants and funky beach clubs but is also home to innumerable yoga and meditation centers. Bali has a wonderful spirit and will restore your soul, no matter which sub-culture of the island you wish you participate in.
Packing list: Swimwear, après-swim.
Bring back for the kids: A Buddha so your kids don’t mess with your new found zen-ness
6. Las Vegas
In sharp contrast to the minimalism and tranquility of Bali, you will find extravagance and chaos in Vegas, in the form of all-you-can-drink cocktails and male strippers. And I say, why not? If you’ve never been to Vegas, it’s one of the most liberating of mother’s day gift ideas. Forget you have a husband and kids, and let your hair down, because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas (even if it’s just you with your head in the toilet just like the old days). There is a classy side to Vegas too, in the form of five-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, great shows, and luxury retail shopping, if that’s what you’re into.
Packing list: An LBD, red lipstick, aspirin.
Bring back for the kids: An over sized stuffed white tiger from Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden. Or cash from your blackjack winnings.
Gritty, arty, and totally underrated, Berlin is a totally underrated city. Get away here for a totally memorable vacation as you walk the streets, sip wine in cafes, and admire all the cutting edge art. And let’s not forget German beer.
Packing list: Walking shoes, a good camera.
Bring back for the kids: The Berlin Bear, of course!
Dubai is known as the “Paris of the East” and is accessible like Istanbul, from multiple continents. In Dubai you can shop, eat, and sight-see for at least a week but fortunately for culture buffs there are other things to do like climb up the world’s tallest building, go on a desert safari, and swim with the dolphins at the Atlantis.
Packing list: Big sunglasses, kaftans, wedges.
Bring back for the kids: Confectionery – some of the best desserts in the world.
Vienna is a music and art lover’s paradise. Just walking through the center of the city is like strolling through a Baroque museum and the museums are even more spectacular than that! Must-dos for a weekend getaway are a concert at the State Opera, a sachertorte at Café Central, and a day at the KunstHistoriches Museum.
Packing list: Walking list, ipod to download all the Mozart you will now be obsessed with.
Bring back for the kids: Manner wafers from the shop at Stephansplatz.
10. Buenos Aires
A city where people dance in the squares and tango music fills the streets sounds like a great mother’s day gift idea to me. The Argentine capital is admittedly not very easily accessible if you are not already on the South American continent, but the trip is well worth the effort.