Just getting back from a holiday trip, and couldn’t help but notice a number of expecting couples enjoying themselves on the beach, by the pool, and at restaurants and shops. It reminded me of an increasingly popular trend with expecting mothers, a babymoon, which is a vacation taken prior to having a new baby. It’s exactly like a honeymoon, except that you can’t drink and your body is going through various changes. Even though it may not be the same magical romantic time that your honeymoon was, a babymoon can be the perfect way to indulge yourself before the many demands that accompany parenthood. Whether it’s a quick weekend trip out of town, or a longer excursion to an exotic location, here are a couple tips that can keep you safe and happy on your last big child-free getaway:
- Don’t procrastinate. Every pregnancy is different, but typically your 2nd trimester would be the best time for a getaway. By now, the nausea of the first trimester is hopefully a distant memory and you aren’t quite as uncomfortable as you will be in a few weeks. (According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the safest time to travel is from 18 to 24 weeks.) And both airlines and cruise lines have restrictions on how late in a pregnancy a woman can travel, so don’t wait until the last minute.
- Minimize travel time. Although a trip to the Islands may sound appealing, think about your travel time. A babymoon is supposed to be a time to relax, and dealing with long flights, customs, and currency exchanges may create unwanted stress. Make sure you choose a location that will maximize your relaxation and minimize the hassle.
- Location, location, location. Decide if you are looking for rest and relaxation or family bonding time (or a little of both). Make sure the destination appeals to you both so you can relax and enjoy your time together. A couple of helpful websites: Babymoonguide.com and Babymoonfinder.com can help you choose your escape.
- Splurge for comfort. If you do fly somewhere, take the non-stop flight (see #2) and arrange for a car service from the airport. If you drive, use the money you saved on flights to book a suite or a room with a view.
- Share the news. Tell the hotel you are planning a babymoon – ask for extra pillows, a quiet room away from smoking areas. Maybe they’ll even throw in an upgrade or a few freebies.
- Safety first. Consider travel insurance, just in case. Keep your doctor in the loop and ask for travel restrictions and advice. Check out medical facilities in the area you are traveling and write down contact information for nearby hospitals. Pack a pregnancy-safe medical kit – traveling presents a new set of hurdles when you’re pregnant.
Although I wasn’t feeling great during a lot of my first pregnancy, I do have fond memories of our final trip before the baby was born. Adding a baby to your life will bring such incredible joy but also plenty of chaos. And lets face it, the months before the arrival of your baby may be your last chance for some real alone time with your mate for quite a while, and probably one of your last chances for a good night sleep as well!