Mother and daughter travel
Credit: Eva-Katalin, Getty Images

Remember when you were a little kid and one of the best gifts you could give your mom was a handmade coupon book, redeemable for sweet and obviously free gifts like a massage, breakfast in bed, or one week of doing the dishes? You can understand now that it wasn’t the actual act that was so special, but the thoughtfulness behind each one and the fact that they typically brought you together. Even though you’re old enough now to buy meaningful things for your mom, we know that thoughtful acts and spending time together still top her wish list. And one of the best gifts you can give your mom (that also happens to be a gift for you) is taking an annual trip with her—just the two of you.

Whether you have a family of your own or close friends you typically travel with, your mom might not be the first person you think about taking a trip with, but we’d argue that she should be. Planning yearly trips with your mom—whether they’re big week-long trips overseas or a quick weekend getaway to the coast—is a special activity for the two of you to cherish. And we bet you’ll have the best time while you’re at it. To prove it, here are 6 reasons you should plan an annual trip with your mom.

You’ll Both Be Out of Your Comfort Zones

As opposed to when you visit each other’s homes, no one is automatically in charge or responsible for calling all the shots when you’re traveling. You’ll have to compromise when it comes to making itinerary choices and be open to what the other wants to do. And you’ll both probably opt for things that the other has never done before—something that’s less likely to happen with people your own age. Getting out of your comfort zone is not only a thrilling and rewarding part of traveling, but it’s also great for strengthening your relationship.

You’ll Learn More About Each Other

Speaking of your relationship, traveling provides the perfect opportunity to get to know each other better as you are now—not as the mom who raised you and not as the daughter or son who grew up in her house. You’ll see more of her true personality and she yours. Having new experiences and trying new activities and food will definitely bring up topics you probably haven’t discussed before, and when you’re on vacation, you’ve got all the uninterrupted time to chat in the world.

You’ll Both Get to Cross Off Bucket List Items

The trips you take with your mom can be big (a milestone birthday trip to Italy) or small (a weekend in a small town that’s halfway between your homes), either way it’ll still be special. But knowing you can count on that yearly trip with mom means you can come up with destinations that are on both your bucket lists.

Credit: Emma Innocenti, Getty Images

You (Probably) Travel Well Together

We know this won’t be true for every son or daughter taking a trip with their mom, but for the most part, you can assume you’ll travel well together and be on the same page about a lot of things. Whether you want to splurge on a hotel or restaurants, whether you’d rather go hiking or spend the day at the spa—everyone’s priorities while traveling tend to be a little different, but many of us share the same ones with our parents (who likely first showed us how to travel in the first place). If you and your mom do have some disagreements about setting an itinerary or agreeing on a wake-up time, you know you can be honest enough with each other to strike a comfortable balance.

It’s a Fun Way to Catch Up

As life happens and work or family obligations take you farther apart from one another, it’s nice to spend time together that isn’t over a holiday or shared with several other family members. If you aren’t lucky enough to live within a short drive of your mom, putting an annual get-together on the books gives you that much-needed time to chat more openly without distractions or competing obligations.

You’ll Create Special Memories to Last a Lifetime

We all hate to admit it, but traveling with your mom won’t always be an option. Even taking one trip together is a blessing you’ll be sure to cherish for years to come. And for all the above reasons, traveling together will put you in unique situations and spark once-in-a-lifetime conversations that you wouldn’t otherwise have had together. The pictures and stories you’ll share will be with you forever—and what could be better than that?