‘Momcations’ becomes latest travel trend


In years past, it was “mancations.” In coming years, it could be anything from “kidcations” to “seniorcations.”

But the travel industry is currently hoping the next holiday excursion to catch on will be the “momcation.”

Billed as “the revenge sequel” to male-bonding “mancations,” the “momcation” targets mothers seeking a break from screaming infants, frustrating adolescents and defiant teenagers. Which pretty much covers the gamut of motherhood.

“All this talk about men’s primal need for mancations drove me crazy,” says Kathy Carl, a member of the Hopkinton (Mass.) Girls Getaway Group. “My friends and I wouldn’t trade our kids for anything — but we recently decided it was time to hatch a plan for a no-kids, no-husbands escape.”

Not only are some women envious of men who take off for a weekend to fish, drink, play poker and smoke cigars with their buddies, a few of them are openly resentful about it.

“Activity from moms groups on I’m in! has doubled since we launched,” said company founder and CEO Josh Lesnick. “We are seeing a tremendous amount of interest in women’s two- and three-day trip itineraries, which feature a variety of destinations and activities — from spa to extreme outdoor adventures. Women traveling in groups is the evolution of Girls Night Out.”

The company reports thousands of groups of women — with names such as the Hard Working Moms, the Book Club Babes and the Runaway Mamas — are using its site (www.imin.com) to plan getaway trips. According to its research, more than 20 million women take at least one of these trips a year, spending an average of $791 per person, per trip.

The average trip for women, however, is one day less than for men, and a majority of them are within three hours of their homes.

Where are the women going?

From New York City to Smalltown U.S.A. From the sands of Paradise Island, Bahamas, to the mountains of Whistler, Canada.

And what do they do?

“Babes in the Berkshires at Canyon Ranch” in Lenox, Mass., offers Pilates, kayaking, a ropes course, gourmet dinners and a spa, with a package price starting at $2,000 for a three-night stay.

“Manic Mommies Escape to Newport” in Rhode Island touts group yoga, mansion tours, guest speakers and a chic boutique, starting at $399 for two nights.

“Mackinac Mamas — Mackinac Island Girls’ Getaway” includes horseback riding, golf, and “chocolate and cherries pedicure and spa treatment,” approximately $500 for three days.

For mothers, there are an infinite variety of ways to escape on “momcations.” Or, as the travel industry hopes they will prove to be, “cashcations.”