In Brandy Ferner’s upcoming novel, “Adult Conversation,” two burned-out moms escape to Las Vegas for a short respite from the crumbling marriages and endless snack requests that define their everyday lives. It’s a practice that Ms. Ferner, a mother to a 6-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy, understands well: She’s been going on so-called “momcations” with a fellow mom friend since her daughter was born.
Three or four times a year, they check into a hotel and spend a long weekend in their pajamas, ordering room service and bingeing on reality television. It’s an escape, Ms. Ferner said, that to the childless might seem underwhelming.
“It’s so basic — people who don’t have kids live this life every night,” she said. “But I don’t need a massage or fancy dinner. I just need no one touching me while I lay horizontal and binge on TV.”
She isn’t alone. If you look on Instagram, the momcation, a vacation for tired mothers designed specifically to give them a break from spouses and children, is on the rise: The hashtag #momcation appears in more than 52,000 posts. Now hotels and tour operators are attempting to cash in on the trend, rolling out packages targeted and designed for the exhausted mother.
Most targeted momcations come with a steep price tag, which makes them out of reach for many caregivers. But for those who can afford it, a variety of packages are now on the market.
In California’s Napa Valley, the Archer Hotel has the “Mom’s Wine Country Getaway” package, which includes homemade salted caramels, a bathrobe, slippers and “complimentary Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV with premium channels — plus a remote you won’t have to share.”
At The Resort at Pelican Hill, a five-star retreat in Newport Beach, Calif., customers booking the “Mom-cation” package (available through May 15, 2020; prices vary depending on room) receive a $50 spa credit, a “Guilt be Gone” bath bomb and a branded bathrobe to take home, which they can wear while sipping on their complimentary bottle of “Mom Juice” (red, white or sparkling wine).
“Family vacations and girls’ weekends don’t offer moms the chance to truly relax,” said Robert Marusi, director of sales and marketing at Pelican Hill. “Our ‘Mom-cation’ is designed to offer the time and tranquillity to focus on just herself for a day or two.”
The historic Beaufort Inn in South Carolina and the French Lick resort in Indiana offer complimentary bottles of champagne, spa credits and chocolates to women booking on their own as well as groups of friends.
Tour operators have also jumped on the trend.
True Tahiti Vacations, a woman-owned vacation company specializing in French Polynesia, offers both the Moorea Momcation (from $4,777 per person) and the “Magical Momcation” (from $7,204 per person), two weeklong escapes in pool-front or over-water bungalows that include spa treatments, snorkeling with turtles and round-trip airfare.
“You spend every single day focusing on the needs of others,” reads the marketing material for the Magical Momcation. “You feel like you invented the term ‘multitasking.’ Well how about taking some time to focus just on YOU?!”
Ms. Ferner admits that while she isn’t in love with the term momcation, it’s a trend that has been a long time coming.
“It’s the mainstream telling moms they deserve a break. And that’s huge,” she said.