Next summer of 2020, join GOOD Travel on one of their upcoming Mother-Daughter Trips to Peru! As an avid traveler and mother of two kids, it has always been a dream of mine to show them the world and instill a love of travel and exploring new cultures while they are young. These are my children’s formative years and I know that time is going all too fast. Before I know it my kids will be out in the world and I want to do my part in spending as much time as I can with them and teaching them some lifelong lessons at home and abroad. That is why I can hardly wait to bring my 12-year-old daughter Sophia to Peru with me next summer on a GOOD Travel trip.
I first went to Peru in 2001 not long after the horrendous 9/11 attacks. I recall being a bit fearful to travel out of the country in such a difficult time yet I didn’t let it stop me. Instead, my dad and I went on a father-daughter trip to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu setting off a lifelong passion to explore the world and understand it. I hope to be able to give these opportunities to my own children as travel has changed my life and made me who I am today, a global citizen, humanitarian and writer.
What makes GOOD Travel trips so unique is that their mission is to do good, give back and interact with the local communities within the destination. This is very important to me as I view these travel experiences as the best. In Peru, GOOD Travel is proud to have partnered with Peruvian Hearts to bring a once in a lifetime mother-daughter trip to this amazing country.
The trip will provide moms and their daughters (ages 6 to 16) with the unique opportunity to spend time immersed in Peruvian culture with the girls involved in Peruvian Hearts projects. Activities are developed with various age groups in mind to ensure unique experiences for all.
Every aspect of this trip – from the hotels to Machu Picchu to the llama hikes to the chocolate making – has been designed to ensure that the local community, economy and environment benefit from your visit. I personally can’t think of a more impactful way to travel.
Meet GOOD Travel
GOOD Travel was founded in 2013 by four women from Peru, USA, South Africa and New Zealand. Their vision is to transform the tourism industry into a force for GOOD by promoting and facilitating travel that gives back to the local community, economy, and environment.
Highlights of Mother Daughter Trip to Peru
- Spend time with like-minded moms in a true community of travelers.
- Group size averages 8 moms and 10 daughters to ensure a personalized experience.
- Hike one of the 7 wonders of the world, trek with llamas, make chocolate, visit indigenous communities, shop in local markets … all with your daughter!
- Experience a fun, enjoyable, real vacation without having to worry about what is happening next and having everything (except airfare) included in the cost upfront.
- Understand the culture in Peru – something you cannot do from a tour bus.
- Create memories that moms and kids will share for their lifetimes.
- Show your kids how to be responsible travelers, kind and compassionate friends, researchers of new cultures, explorers of new experiences and appreciative of all they have. And prove to our formidable enemy – time – that we moms can connect with our kids in meaningful and memorable ways.
What is GOOD About this Trip?
Every aspect of the trip has been designed to ensure that the local community, economy and environment benefit from your visit. For example, when it comes to shopping, GOOD encourages you to purchase your souvenirs during our visit to Huchuy Yachaq community center, which supports mother entrepreneurs or from one of the fair trade stores we will visit on the last day of the trip. Ranging from where you stay, where you eat to what you do.
All tours are organized in partnership with local tour operators who share GOOD Travel’s vision of transforming the tourism industry into a force for GOOD. For example, we will go for a hike with the Llama Pack Project, an organization working to recover traditional uses and breeding of llamas as a tool for sustainable rural development and conservation. Apus Peru is a sustainable tour company that gives a percentage of all tour income back to community projects.
Plus best of all, the trip partners with Peruvian Hearts!
This non-profit organization works to end poverty and gender inequality by educating young women and creating community leaders in Peru – one girl at a time. Peruvian-born Ana Dodson developed this nonprofit organization to enable young women to embrace education, believe in their own power, and dream of a life beyond the conditions into which they were born.
$150 from each trip fee per person will be donated directly to Peruvian Hearts. Your donation will support one of the Peruvian Hearts scholars to help cover expenses such as her tuition fees, books, school supplies, uniform, school sponsored field trips, and transportation.
You will also be supporting Peruvian Hearts through various activities – including spending time with these amazing girls – during the course of the trip.
Dates for 2020 GOOD Travel Mother-Daughter Peru Trips
•June 27 –July 4, 2020
•July 5 – July 12, 2020 (Sons welcome!*)
•July 18 – July 25, 2020
•August 1 –August 8, 2020
*Due to demand – GOOD Travel has opened up one trip to sons (ages 6 to 16) as well as daughters. All trips are open to grandmas and aunts – GOOD Travel loves multi-generational groups!
Location: Cusco – Machu Picchu – Sacred Valley – Cusco
A Taste of the Trip
“Taking Mom and Daughter Bonding to New Heights” – A Guest Post by Karin Nunan, Director of GOOD Travel Family Trips
When I started planning a mom and daughter group trip to Peru, everyone thought I was crazy. “Moms dragging their girls around the world! What fun would that be?” But in summer 2018, the naysayers were proved wrong. And now, with a successful life-changing trip for 8 moms and 10 daughters under our belt, GOOD Travel and I are looking to change more lives in 2020. What makes this trip so special? What is it about getting off the beaten track with your daughter that makes the bonding experience so unforgettable? A world heritage site? Llamas? Chocolate? Peruvian female role models? Read on to find out.
When I hatched this idea for a mother-daughter group trip, it was after a laborious process of researching every group travel offering on the market. With the growing number of family trips and women-only group trips, I was surprised that I could not find exactly what I was looking for. Not that I did not want to bring my husband, but after a year of (unsuccessfully) balancing work and life, I was craving a week alone with my young daughter, Finlay. I wanted an experience that included: a cultural immersion program to give her a glimpse into a world outside of her own, adventure to keep her engaged, outdoor time to keep us active, and relaxing time to allow us to recharge together. And as a sustainability expert, it was important to me that we go with a travel company that puts giving back to the environment, local economy and community above profits. So when my search came up empty, I called long-time friends at GOOD Travel.
I was craving a week alone with my young daughter, Finlay. No work. No cell phone. No distractions.
It took nanoseconds for GOOD Travel to approve the pitch. “I remember feeling so excited after talking with Karin about her idea. GOOD Travel’s mission is to empower travelers to have a positive social, economic and environmental impact – and what better way to achieve this than through inspiring young travelers to connect and care about the people and places they visit” ~ says Eliza, GOOD Travel co-founder.
GOOD Travel’s mission is to empower travelers to have a positive social, economic and environmental impact – and what better way to achieve this than through inspiring young travelers to connect and care about the people and places they visit.
We jointly developed an itinerary and I vetted it first with Finlay, who flashed her then 6-year old toothy grin and squealed, “Llamas? Chocolate? New friends? Machu Picchu? Sign me up, Mom!” She used that enthusiasm to recruit other daughters (and ultimately their moms) at her school and I used the endorsement to encourage other overworked moms in my network and beyond to join our inaugural trip. And a few months later, our community of 18 female travelers aged 5 to 50 was off to Cusco.
In transit, the other seven moms and I shared our expectations of what we wanted this trip to instill within our comparatively privileged girls from the U.S., Australia and Singapore. We wanted them to get an understanding of new cultures, a glimpse into how others live, and perspective they can’t gain from our own backyards. We united in the fact that raising children with empathy, compassion, and perseverance in today’s world – when us moms are pulled in so many different directions – is a major challenge. However, we all felt that travel could make a difference. But I worried, could we deliver? Could one week in Peru really make a difference? And then we landed in Cusco and were met by the Peruvian Hearts scholars. Girls with whom we would spend the week. They met us with signs, confetti, hugs, smiles, balloons, more hugs, love, and an endless amount of enthusiasm. We were off to a great start.
We wanted them to get an understanding of new cultures, a glimpse into how others live, and perspective they can’t gain from our own backyards.
We spent our first full day in Cusco with our new Peruvian Hearts scholar girlfriends. We learned that their organization – which works to end poverty and gender inequality by educating young women and creating community leaders in Peru one girl at a time – is more than just their affiliation. It’s their lifeline. To be selected as a scholar is highly competitive – not only must a girl be incredibly driven with high grades and come from a low-income family – but she must have big dreams! The scholars we met were working towards high school and college degrees in engineering, science, teaching and one was working towards her Michelin Star. And while not a requirement, it was no coincidence that every scholar with whom we shared the week was passionate about education, unrivaled in her enthusiasm for changing the world, and madly in love with the mountains in her backyard.
We visited their homes, met their families, shared meals, danced, sang, went on a picnic, listened to their stories, and listened to our girls later that night reflecting on those stories. Carlota used to walk 4 hours a day to primary school and back (“That’s like Machu Picchu every day”, said Lucy, age 9.) Without electricity and running water, and oftentimes not enough money to eat dinner, Aldy stays up all night studying for exams. (“I promise to always try harder, mom”, said Finlay, age 6.) Persevering against a broken home and numerous challenges, Yanet defied the odds to stay in school. (“I really do appreciate you, mom,” said Jordan, age 15.) And MaFi told stories of facing discrimination as the only girl in her engineering classes. (“What is it like to be a warrior?” asked Mila, age 5.) Even for the younger ones, our mission for this trip to make a difference in their perspectives was working.
We left Cusco the next day for the Sacred Valley with Aldy in tow. She had agreed to come to Machu Picchu to give a helping hand to the younger girls, if needed. What we found is that the girls didn’t need Aldy’s help but were craving her attention. The girls dragged her around a small ancient village that we had stopped in to try our hand at learning their famous weaving tradition. On the train to Aguas Calientes, they all wanted to sit with her. They wanted to know everything about Peru – does she really eat Guinea Pig? (“At the local food market.”) Has she ever been to Machu Picchu? (“Only once when she was really little.”) What are her biggest worries? (“Grades.”) What are her happiest moments? (“Any time spent with the other scholars.”)
After a night of exploring the amazing craft markets in Aguas Calientes, despite the excitement, the girls all tucked themselves into bed quickly knowing the next morning was an early start. We had to get to the top of Machu Picchu before the sun. And our group was always determined to meet all challenges! That night, as I lay awake in my bed looking up at the mountain, relaxed, happy and listening to Finlay’s soft breathing, it occurred to me. Only a few days into the trip and before even crossing off the 5th Wonder of the World from my bucket list – I had achieved my personal goal. I was entirely unplugged from the world and focused solely on my daughter. Nothing could feel better.
The next morning we were first in line for the bus (while some of our crew chose to hike up) and we spent a beautiful morning with a sustainable local tour company, Apus Peru, who taught us so much about the magnificent history of the Incas. We explored the mountain and forced our daughters to sit through endless photos – they complied as if somehow understanding the innate nature moms have of wanting to capture such moments for all of posterity. That night after reaching back to the gorgeous Sacred Valley, we all slept soundly. The next day some explored the valley and went hiking, some stayed to relax on the grounds of our eco-hotel, while others participated in a cooking workshop. Our legs were tired but our hearts were full and our excitement was still endless.
We spent the rest of the magical trip trekking through the Andes Mountains with conservationists from the Llama Pack Project who dedicate their lives to protecting llamas. We learned how to make Peruvian chocolate in a cacao workshop at the ChocoMuseo and we shopped in local markets that support neighboring communities. Back in Cusco, we had a dinner at the Peruvian Hearts scholars’ shared apartment where we reflected on our hopes and dreams and spent hours dancing and singing. On the last night, we went on a moms night out (while the girls had a pizza and movie night in the hotel with Aldy) which allowed us to reflect on whether we accomplished our mission with this trip. We all agreed we had – our girls were happy, we were happy, and we all learned so much about not only Peru, but about ourselves. One mom said, “I feel so lucky to have had so much time with my daughter in a dream destination and with a group of women and girls we are proud to now call life-long friends.”
I feel so lucky to have had so much time with my daughter in a dream destination and with a group of women and girls we are proud to now call life-long friends.
Now as we start planning for 2020, I’ve taken some time to reflect back. Sure we had a melt-down or two (mostly the tired moms). And we moved up mountains slower than others (mostly the tired moms). There were broken braces, treks through towns for tampons, missed meals, late buses, lost teddy bears, and tired feet. But our girls rose to every challenge – just like the Peruvian Heart scholars.
Our girls were in Peru to be responsible travelers, kind and compassionate friends, researchers of new cultures, explorers of new experiences and appreciative of all they have. And we moms were there to prove to our formidable enemy – time – that we can connect with our girls in meaningful and memorable ways. One mom recently told me, “I have never taken a more relaxing trip with my daughter but the highlight was meeting so many other amazing moms and sharing our ideas and visions for our girls’ futures. That was truly inspiring.” But I still think what resonated most with our group was the time spent with the Peruvian Hearts girls. And aside from the endless photos of us on top of Machu Picchu, those moments and friendships will be what our girls take forward with them in life.
I have never taken a more relaxing trip with my daughter but the highlight was meeting so many other amazing moms and sharing our ideas and visions for our girls’ futures. That was truly inspiring.
Jordan, 14, recently told me, “Going to Peru changed the way I see things. It made me realize how much we take for granted and how I need to appreciate the little things in life. Getting to meet with the girls from Peruvian Hearts was a once in a lifetime experience. Moving forward, Peru taught me to be thankful for everything.” And Bronte, 11, said “Spending so much time with my mom was truly special and I still can’t believe how much in common I have with the Peruvian Hearts scholars. I don’t know which activity was my favorite – I loved them all.”
And for Finlay, when I ask her for feedback, she still talks about the llamas (she is going to be a conservationist, she says) and the chocolate workshop (or a chef, she also says), and how much she loved spending the week with Caitie, our GOOD Travel guide. But just the other day, as she was drawing in her school reflection journal, unprompted, she looked up at me and said, “I was just thinking of Aldy. I wonder how she is doing in school. I miss her.” Mission accomplished.
Spending so much time with my mom was truly special and I still can’t believe how much in common I have with the Peruvian Hearts scholars. I don’t know which activity was my favorite – I loved them all.
So to all the naysayers who think traveling with kids to one of the Seven Wonders of the World can’t be done successfully, and meaningfully, give us a call. Our young daughters will be happy to tell you how rewarding it can be.
(And for those with sons, due to demand, one week has been opened up to sons as well. Grandmas, aunts and female special friends always welcome!)