10 solo travel retreats for moms to enjoy beyond Mother’s Day

Meet other moms and like-minded women as you embark on a solo travel journey. Picture: Supplied

Meet other moms and like-minded women as you embark on a solo travel journey. Picture: Supplied

Published May 10, 2024


Mothers also need some time out. When you’re constantly giving, it’s easy to forget about recharging your own batteries.

And while it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 5, you can still take time out from your motherly duties during the rest of the yar.

So why not take some time out and head on your own solo adventure, even if just for a weekend?

According to Flight Centre South Africa’s “South Africa’s Year in Travel 2023” report, its most common customers in 2023 were women between 50 and 59 travelling on their own to destinations like London, Rome and Mauritius.

The travel agency’s marketing manager Bongi Keswa, who is also a mother, believes that moms need to take a break.

“I advocate for solo travel as a means for mothers to press pause, indulge in some well-deserved relaxation and return refreshed and ready to tackle whatever life throws at them,” she said.

So if you’re inspired to take some time out and join the women embarking on solo travel expeditions, here are some top picks from the travel expert.

The bush is a great spot for recharging your batteries. Picture: Unsplash

A safari in Lion Sands Game Reserve

According to Keswa, Lion Sands Game Reserve is a true South African classic and it’s also where the current Safari Guide of the Year and the first woman to win the title, Kimberlee Le Hanie, brings the magic of the bush to life.

“Put your feet up in a luxury tent at an eco-lodge, soak up the silence of the bush, tuck into starlit dinners, and surround yourself with our country’s most gorgeous wildlife,” said Keswa.

Luxury in the Winelands

Keswa said if you’re looking for a South African spoil close to home, the winelands are your go-to.

“Think rolling vineyards bathed in sunshine, luxurious spa treatments to melt away your stress, gourmet meals you won’t have to share and, most importantly, someone always at the ready to top up your wine glass,” she said.

Whale-watching and wellness

The travel expert said that nature-loving moms looking for peace and serenity provided by the ocean should consider a whale-watching and wellness retreat.

“Picture an ocean-front retreat, like Morukuru Beach Lodge in De Hoop Nature and Marine Reserve, where your day starts with mindful meditation followed by nourishing therapies. Salt-water swims and beach walks with sunset views and whales breaching just a few metres away also await,” said Kewsa.

For a laid-back getaway with a twist, try glamping in Morocco. Picture: Unsplash

Ayurvedic rejuvenation in Kerala, India

For moms looking to explore outside of South African borders, Keswa suggested an Ayurvedic rejuvenation retreat in India, where the traditional medicine originated.

“If yoga and meditation aren’t quite cutting it, try healing mind, body and soul with a deep reset through Ayurvedic rejuvenation, which includes panchakarma (a five-part detoxification process), herbal supplements, specialised massages with medicated oils and herbal steam baths. Kerala is where you’ll find some of India’s finest Ayurvedic retreats,” she said.

Thermal baths and alpine charm, Lake Bled, Slovenia

Keswa suggested that mom’s looking for a “different experience” have the option of exploring thermal baths in Slovenia. She highlighted that Lake Bled is tucked away in the Julian Alps, a true Slovenian gem renowned for its crystal-clear lake, charming island with a historic church and the healing properties of its thermal springs (usually ranging in temperature from 20°C to 23°C). Plus, along with the revitalising mineral waters, there’s plenty of hiking and biking to enjoy.

Glamping in the Moroccan desert

Closer on the continent, moms looking to encounter mysteries in the desert can go glamping, or glamorous camping, in Morocco.

“Glamping in the stone-and-gravel Moroccan desert gets you back to basics with just the right amount of creature comforts. Pair stylish tents with desert yoga under the twinkling stars and sunset hot air ballooning for a truly unique solo escape,” said the travel expert.

Aguas Calientes, part of the Inca Trail in Peru. Picture: Unsplash

Trekking the Inca Trail, Peru

Keswa said that if trekking the Inca trail in Peru is right up your alley, prepare to walk a legendary trail that takes you through diverse landscapes and ancient ruins, significantly high altitudes and the heart of Peruvian culture, a testament to your strength and resilience, with incredible rewards along the way. “This four-day, three-night trek has an epic conclusion – the awe-inspiring sight of iconic Machu Picchu,” said Keswa.

Surfing and self-care in Bali, Indonesia

The travel expert said that if you’re a solo travel mom looking for an energising getaway, think surfing and self-care in Bali.

“Relax in the sunshine, catch some waves at beginner-friendly surf camps, find your Zen through daily yoga classes, and explore rice paddies, ancient temples and bustling local markets. If you dare, give the world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak produced from partially digested coffee cherries collected from the excrement of civets, a try.

Northern Lights adventure, Iceland

Another unforgettable retreat to add to your travel bucket list is a Northern Lights adventure.

“Standing beneath a sky dancing with the colourful swirls of the Aurora Borealis should be right at the top. Throw in long soaks in geothermal hot springs and exhilarating glacier trekking to round off your adventurous escape,” said Keswa.

For optimal viewing, she said to book your trip between September and April for clearer night skies.

The Camino de Santiago, Spain

And finally, to round up your travel bucket list inspiration, Keswa suggested visiting the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

“This network of ancient pilgrim routes promises a transformative adventure. Walk at your own pace, meet fellow pilgrims from around the globe and discover the simple joys of life on foot,” she said.

Keswa said that while the trek typically takes about 35 days to complete, you can get your pilgrim certificate by walking at least the last 100km into Santiago, taking you five to six days, averaging about 20km per day.