Pura Vida Adventures, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
One way to assuage your guilt about leaving your little ones is to do something they wouldn’t — or couldn’t — enjoy. This empowering surf camp for women in the cool surf town of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, is a great spot to remind yourself that you’re more than just a mama. Surf lessons are interspersed with daily yoga classes and plenty of beach chill time; while some session weeks are coed, most are female only, and as a result, it’s easy to become BFFs and share with your fellow surfer chicas. Meeting new friends (and not just because you have kids roughly the same age) can help you connect back to yourself all while learning a new skill you’ll be psyched to show off to your kids the next time you’re on a family vacation.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Breathtaking architecture, delicious food, and plenty of expats make this destination a must visit in Mexico. It’s great for solo travel with a small town vibe, plenty of local businesses, and nearby hot springs, which are perfect for a long soak. While the town feels worlds away, it’s only 150 miles from Mexico City, so it’s easily accessible. But be warned: the many American expats who have moved here may tempt you to settle down here, too.
San Sebastián, Spain
San Sebastian is a foodie haven, with many companies offering food tours and cooking classes, like Mimo Food, which offers multiday courses that operate as an immersion in learning to cook in the Basque style. But the best part about solo traveling in the Basque region is the pinxto tradition. Instead of sitting down for a meal, many make a lunch or dinner out of multiple pinxtos, which are appetizer-like snacks sold at bars and restaurants. Snack your days away, then spend downtime sitting on the beach.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
With lush, ancient forests, beautiful ocean views, and plenty of resorts that tout quiet as one of their best qualities, Vancouver Island is a great place to immerse yourself in nature, eat fabulous food, and relax. There are plenty of guided tours into the forest so you won’t be “alone alone” — ideal if you love the outdoors, but aren’t up for trekking solo.
Culture-loving moms should book a trip to London, where the theater, museums, and bookstores are second to none. One huge benefit of traveling solo to a city for the purpose of soaking up the arts: it’s a lot easier to get a ticket for one (maybe even to the always sold-out Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). Museums in London are all free, so it’s easy to pop in and out and completely plan your itinerary moment by moment.