Step-by-step guide to organizing + relishing the perfect babymoon.
Babymoon: A last hurrah for you and your partner before diving into the magical-tumultuous-confounding waters of parenthood. We’re all about babymoons, so much so that we’ll probably do another one before baby #2, even though babymoons are typically reserved for first timers. But, pshh. We’re doin’ it.
Our love for this variety of trip stems from its ability to pull you out of the to-do-list-filled prep that comes along with pregnancy (or preparing for the arrival of an adopted child), and allows you and your partner to step back and look at the bigger picture of your life thus far, and your dreams and fears about the future.
In addition, a babymoon is the perfect time to chill the F out. You get to stop dealing with endless Amazon deliveries, fielding texts about the baby shower, and figuring out how to finagle more maternity leave out of your boss. Instead, you get to say yes to couples massages, stay in bed all day with room service and HBO, or explore an area that won’t be as easy to navigate with a little in tow. This is the ideal reset button, allowing you to flow into the third and fourth trimester feeling more centered, serene and ready to do the damn thing.
To help ensure your babymoon is all that and more, move through the following steps.
Note: Before you book a trip, run it by your care provider to ensure it doesn’t pose any risks for your unique situation.
1. Make a list of your dream destinations.
What are the locations you’ve always dreamed of exploring? As you write them down, don’t censor yourself, just write every wild and wonderful destination you’ve fantasized about. And sure, you can have your partner make his or her own list.
2. Now cross off the locations that have Zika, and other such pregnancy threats.
Because you want the babymoon to be relaxing, skip areas that could expose you to Zika, malaria, dengue or other not-good diseases. In addition, if you think a certain location would make you concerned for your safety, cross it off the list.
Cruise Tip: If you’re considering a cruise, know that most cruise lines prohibit women who are more than 24 weeks pregnant from boarding.
3. Next, eliminate sites that primarily offer activities you can’t partake in.
If you love skiing, but are too pregnant to partake, heading to a location like Vail or Mammoth might irritate you - unless your favorite part of skiing is the post-snow hot chocolate and cuddle by the fire... So as you analyze your remaining destinations, review whether or not you’ll feel bummed about not being able to join in on the activity the locale is known for.
4. Then, choose from your remaining options.
Now that you’ve whittled down your list, you’ve hopefully ended up with babymoon destinations that are safe, and not envy-producing. With your partner, discuss the remaining areas, pinpointing the one that tickles your travel fancy. And because some of us have to think about funds (especially with a baby on the way) take into account the following step...
5. Determine your budget.
Unfortunately, it takes money to travel, and sometimes lots of it. While we’re all about splurging on a babymoon, as we think it’s honeymoon-level-important, we also don’t want you to spend your entire vacation stressing about how much you’re spending. So, take a realistic look at your finances and determine how much you can spend on this trip, without putting yourself in a state of financial panic.
With your travel budget in hand, start mapping out the structure of your babymoon. For example, this budget can help you determine whether you can fly business or economy, what type of accommodations you can swing, how many nights you can stay, which restaurants you can frequent, and the activities (here’s looking at you spa services) you can indulge in. With all that said, if you find your budget doesn’t allow you to enjoy your selected destination the way you’d like, consider going back to step #4.
6. Plan the trip for your second trimester.
As most women aren’t given the go ahead to fly during most of their third trimester, and the first trimester is often consumed by uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, it’s wise to plan the babymoon for the second trimester - a period known as the “Golden” trimester, when many women get a burst of energy.
If you can only swing a trip in the third trimester, know that while it’s usually safe to travel by car during this time, issues like back discomfort and having to pee every 90-seconds can make a road trip not fun. But as we said before, run the trip by your care provider, regardless of your trimester.
7. Book an aisle seat near the bathrooms.
As you’ve probably noticed, pregnancy makes you have to pee (or at least feel like you have to pee) a lot. Do yourself a sold by selecting an aisle seat that’s a few rows away from the bathroom, so you don’t have to sit right by it, but also don’t have to spend more than 10-seconds getting there.
8. Board the plane early.
When the flight attendant makes the “Anyone needing additional time to board can now proceed to the gate” announcement, get on it. As lovely as it is standing in an antsy queue while holding all your carry-ons, you can skip this joy by pulling the pregnancy card, which we’re all about.
However, as some airlines don’t freely offer up this courtesy, speak with the gate attendant ahead of time to see if they’ll let you slide in before the masses converge on the line. It’s hard to say no to a lady growing a baby.
9. Bring nausea soothers on the plane.
Pregnant women barf, or get so nauseous they wish they could just barf and get it over with. It’s really not fun when this happens, especially on an airplane. While you’ll want to have nausea soothers for the entirety of your trip (and pregnancy) they’re mega-important on an airplane, or that car you have to get in after the plane.
Minimize nausea, and replace the nutrients you lose if you do up-chuck, by bringing along a survival kit with the following…
-Refillable water bottle and a baggie of pink Himalayan sea salt. A pinch of the salt in your water helps with water absorption. Dehydration can intensify morning sickness, so if in doubt, sip your water.
-Bananas, as they’re gentle on the stomach and replace the potassium you lose when you vomit.
-Sprite or Ginger Ale
-Crackers. Going too long without eating can enhance nausea, so nibble on crackers even if food sounds like the last thing you want to put in your mouth.
-Peppermint essential oil. Put a few drops on a tissue and inhale.
10. Make sure you have an ample supply of any needed medications.
Load up on your needed prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, herbal and dietary supplements, and vitamins before you depart. Even if you’re not going to a foreign location, it can be a pain in the uterus to run out of an important med and have to track down a replacement when you just want to read those gossip mags by the pool. Bring enough for the entirety of your trip, plus an extra week’s supply in case you’re delayed in returning home.
11. Have a plan for if special circumstances arise during the trip.
While you’ll likely have an emergency-free babymoon, pregnancy is filled with surprises, which is why you’ll want to research if there are hospitals or clinics near your accommodations, and what type of care they’re equipped to provide. If you’re staying in a more remote location, ask about their protocol for getting guests emergency medical care. For example, when I lived on Roatan, Honduras, there was a service that provided helicopter transport from the island to the hospital on the mainland.
12. Choose accommodations that will pamper you.
Regardless of how laid-back you are about travel when you’re not pregnant, having a baby growing in you means you have every right to up your standards and select accommodations that feature that plush king bed, Egyptian cotton sheets, soak tub and spa that caters to pregnant ladies. Don’t worry, you can go back to backpacking and sleeping in a coffin shaped tent after baby’s born... or maybe not.
13. Don’t be shy about mentioning the babymoon.
Much like what can happen on a honeymoon, resorts, restaurants, and other vacation service providers will sometimes offer a complimentary room upgrade, free dessert, or other special perks to commemorate your milestone trip. So slip in the fact that you’re on your babymoon when talking to such a person – no shame in that game.
14. Research the area’s pregnancy-friendly activities.
While you can’t ski, scuba dive, hang glide or say yes to most thrill-inducing activities, look into the pastimes you can partake in, like sightseeing, nature walks, low key yoga, pool lounging (lots of pool lounging) and other chill pursuits that will make you feel like you’re making the most of the babymoon, while not pushing it too hard. Speaking of not pushing it...
15. Pad your itinerary with ample downtime.
It can be easy to overextend yourself on vacation, especially when you’re in an area you’re craving to explore. Ensure you have the stamina for the activities you really want to do by giving yourself plenty of time for rest and sex (?!)
16. Use the babymoon as an opportunity to get deep with your partner (and no, not just like that.)
A babymoon is prime time to dive into the conversations you and your partner have been too busy or overwhelmed to engage in. As the trip will hopefully offer ample time to think, talk, ponder and talk some more, you can get deep into expressing your concerns and excitements about what a baby will mean for your relationship, social life, careers and beyond, how you’ll want to navigate the changes, or anything else that’s been tickling the back of your mind, but you keep brushing away.
These conversations will not just send you into the remainder of your pregnancy, and the beginning of parenthood, with more calm and clarity, but will also serve as a powerful bonding opportunity for you and your special person.
17. Hire a photographer.
As you’re likely looking pregnant in your second trimester, and are hopefully at your most relaxed in your gorgeous babymoon destination, this is an ideal time and place to have a prenatal photo shoot. Before you depart for the getaway, research the area’s best photographers and book a session.