Momcation: Bringing The Best Version of Mama Home


By Renate Engelbrecht

Wednesday, Apr 03

If you had the opportunity to leave all your responsibilities behind, pack your bags and go on a ‘momcation’ – would you?

How can you just leave your kids and your husband and go travelling on your own? Madness! The kids will miss you way too much and, will your husband even cope with work and all the added responsibilities? Also, who will run all the weekly errands? Who will prepare dinner? Who will remind the kids to pack their shoes for netball or soccer? And, no one will be able to make your daughter’s ballet bun the way she likes it… Or tuck her in at night the way you do…

I know. I’ve asked myself these same questions time and again. Still, after my most recent trip to Club Med Seychelles – a ‘momcation’ with seven other moms – I can honestly say: Pack your bags and travel, mama! Here are the Who, What, Where, When and How (and even the Why) for a ‘momcation’.

Momcation: A relaxing break from motherhood (or even wifehood) for a short period of time.

Club Med Seychelles momcation

Who qualifies for a ‘momcation’?

Well, any mother, of course. It’s a vacation for mom. In fact, I’d say one should look at it as a preventative measure, instead of a cure, investing in a mama holiday at least once a year.

After experiencing it myself and listening to what the other moms experienced, a ‘momcation’ really is lifechanging. From finally having a moment to grieve, months after that special someone’s passing, to reaching a point where you get a glimpse of who you really are inside, after years and years of being someone for everyone other than yourself, that’s what a ‘momcation’ could mean to you.

If you’re a mom in need of a moment, you qualify for a ‘momcation’.

Granite rocks La Digue Seychelles momcation

What would a ‘momcation’ entail?

Going on holiday without my husband and my kids initially seemed nearly impossible when I first started travelling without them. I’ve been travelling for work since before we got married, but somehow, after having kids, I’ve been feeling more and more guilty about globetrotting without them. I’ve always been able to use the excuse of having to travel for work, but it never cleared that lump in my throat. I miss them terribly when I am away.

My recent trip to Club Med Seychelles, located on St Anne island, was the first time I went on an actual ‘momcation’. I’d been contemplating a solo retreat for a while now and my husband, Wikus and I – the keen travellers that we are – have previously said that we both need to travel solo for a few days at least once a year. But, it’s never come to fruition, which is why this Seychellois ‘momcation’ could not have come at a better time. Especially following the hard life decisions (like moving house) we recently had to make.

Club Med Seychelles Sunset Ritual

I can’t tell you that the lump in your throat will not be there when you leave your family to go on a holiday meant for mom alone. In fact, if you’re even just the slightest bit like me and any of the moms I recently travelled with, you will miss your family terribly while you’re away. But, I can promise you one thing: You’ll return being the best version of yourself and that, for me, is worth a longing heart for five days.

In essence, a ‘momcation’ can be anything you need it to be. As long as it’s meant for your mama heart, body and soul to relax, do some introspection and to reconnect with who you are outside of being a mother, a wife, a career woman and whichever other hats you normally wear.

Where should you go on your ‘momcation’?

It could be a moms’ retreat in the berg; a spa weekend in the Cape; an escape to a cabin in the woods; or a five-day-long vacation in the Seychelles. You choose!

Having been to the Seychelles on three occasions, I cannot highlight its wonder enough. In fact, the archipelago of 115 little islands holds much sentiment for me as my first Seychellois experience was on our honeymoon and the second, while I was pregnant with our eldest.


What I loved about my very first official ‘momcation’ being at Club Med Seychelles, was that I never felt alone. I might have travelled there on my own, but I soon made friends with the other moms in the group, and Club Med’s people are incredibly welcoming and made us feel right at home.

Another reason why I would recommend Club Med Seychelles for the purpose of a ‘momcation’ is that it’s all-inclusive. Apart from the stunning boutique and the Club Med Spa by Cinq Mondes, there were no additional costs.

Spa at Club Med Seychelles

Of course, day trips would also be at an additional charge, but if you choose to merely lounge around at the pool and take part in the many, many activities the resort has on offer, you can leave your purse in your room’s safe for the remainder of your stay. All you’ll need, is the clever Club Med bracelet, which conveniently grants access to your room and other resort areas.

Club Med card

When should you go?

Don’t go on a ‘momcation’ as a last resort to fix what has been broken. As moms, we’re often so busy looking after the rest of the family that we forget to take care of ourselves. While I think the media has been taking the theme around self-love and self-care a little too far, I do believe that there is merit in caring for yourself. We need to look after ourselves in order to be able to look after our families.

La Digue mama

Travel has a way of mending your heart, opening your mind and cleansing your soul. Travelling solo as a mom allows you to rediscover your heart, declutter your mind and nurture your soul. For me, there’s no time like now for a proper rediscovery, decluttering and nurturing.

If you do decide to go to Club Med Seychelles, I’d say the best time to go is between April and May, or between October and November. Then, there are less random showers and the weather is at its best. However, we were there mid-March and it was still a wonderful experience.

How do you just pack up and go?

Well, it’s hard. Honestly, travelling to a beautiful place without those I love most, is hard every time. But, after you’ve gone on a ‘momcation’ once, you will understand the immense impact it has, not only on yourself as a mother and as an individual, but evidently also on your family.

Looking after yourself looks after your family.

So, without overthinking it, here are ten easy steps for a possible first-ever ‘momcation’:

Step 1: Say yes!

Step 2: Book your stay at Club Med Seychelles and your tickets through Air Seychelles. It’s easy, and it’s one of the safest bets if you’re looking to come back relaxed and rejuvenated.

Air Seychelles

Step 3: Pack your bag. I’ll soon share some tips on what to pack for the Seychelles.

Step 4: Hop on the plane. It’s less than 5 hours’ flight from OR International Airport to the Seychelles and a rather comfy flight with the islands’ official airline.

Step 5: Step into paradise and be in the moment.

Seychelles moments

Step 6: Send voice notes, videos and photos to those at home to let them know that you’re thinking of them. I never do video calls, because if the kids start crying, I start crying and then it’s just a mess. Maybe we’ll try again when they’re a little older.

Step 7: Remember to buy a souvenir or two to bring back home. Club Med Seychelles’ boutique has many options to choose from for both adults and children. If you happen to visit La Digue, be sure to pop in at the Old Plantation, where there is a lovely little gallery with all kinds of souvenirs too.

Step 8: Dedicate one day to exploring the islands. Seychelles Tourism offered us wonderful guidance on La Digue, and Medina Ptisana Laboudalloniana was our expert guide on Praslin as we strolled through Vallee de Mai, one of two Seychellois UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Vallee de Mai

Step 9: Dedicate another day or two to take part in activities (this is why Club Med Seychelles is a great option, as everything is included). Who said moms can’t learn to Stand Up Paddle or sail? We also went kayaking in glass-bottomed kayaks, we snorkelled, we went on yoga hikes, we meditated, we did water aerobics and more.

Step 10: Go back home with a restored mind, body and soul and many, many stories to tell and then, book a follow-up trip to show your family where you’ve been! Club Med Seychelles’ offering for kids had me dreaming of bringing them there, with amazing kiddies’ play areas, lots to do on the beach, many kids’ activities and entertainment and yummy, yummy food!

P.S. No visa is required for South Africans travelling to the Seychelles.


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