One thing the millennial generation has caught on to rather enthusiastically is the “babymoon.” It’s another honeymoon before the baby comes, and why not? Mama, you’ve been working all these months creating a human and you deserve some time to get away with your honey. Dad, I’m sure you’ve been putting in some hours already serving your sweetheart and it only gets busier as D-day approaches. A babymoon is the perfect chance to steal away even if just for a day or two and enjoy each other’s company before 2 becomes 3 (or more!)
Just like any vacation, there’s no rules to how to do a babymoon (of course this time you should heed your doctor’s advice on travel or restrictions). I think the most important rule of thumb when planning your babymoon is to make it a vacation that serves you and fills you up. Whether you need to be pampered and rested, filled with adventure and fun, or it literally doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get some quality time – do that for yourselves.
My husband and I recently took our babymoon and it was quite possibly one of the greatest times we’ve ever had together as a couple. At least I’m putting it in my top 5. We are expecting our first little one this August and the thought of a babymoon was something that really intrigued me since before I got pregnant. Early on in pregnancy, I had a few criteria of my own for a babymoon. 1. I was dreaming of going somewhere that’s not necessarily easy to do with a little one (aka far drive, plane ride, etc.) If we could make it work, I wasn’t super excited on the idea of going somewhere close by for the weekend that we will probably end up doing with our little babe when she’s here. 2. I wanted to travel in my second trimester. I’ve never been pregnant before so I had absolutely no idea how this was all going to go except for what I have heard and read. I heard that first trimester can be miserable (especially if you’re traveling) and the third trimester scared me a little bit with traveling because of all the what ifs. What if I was put on bed rest? What if she decided to come early ON OUR VACATION? What if I wasn’t feeling very good and I was cranky? Well, I can certainly say – even with the easiest pregnancy I would still avoid traveling in the first trimester if you can help it. I actually ended up traveling to the east coast for the holidays and a wedding in the first trimester and the travel part was actually a nightmare for me. Constantly motion sick, exhausted but couldn’t get comfortable in a car or plane, and battling a really bad cold the entire time. No-thanks, I’ll sit the next one out. I did however end up traveling in my third trimester and it was absolutely wonderful (we’ll get to that later) 3. I wasn’t super keen on leaving the country. Food aversions were definitely making my adventurousness with eating very limited and I personally felt a little more at peace being in the same country as my health insurance.
We ended up brainstorming for months where to go for a babymoon and if it was even a possibility. Our busy schedules and tight budgets were putting a little bit of a damper on my babymoon dreams. After much deliberation and searching we were able to look into a location that I thought I could only dream about for a spur of the moment trip. In about a month time we planned our sweet little babymoon to Maui, Hawaii. Now, I’m not saying you should plan your babymoon the month before you go – but I am saying it can be done and it can be amazing. So, if you’re running out of time, be encouraged because you may still have a chance.
Wait a minute, you just said you had a tight budget and you went to Maui? How does that make sense? You’re absolutely right. That’s the greatest oxymoron if I ever heard one. Here’s how: we booked our tickets with airline miles we had racked up for some time – those airline credit cards actually pay off I’m telling you. Staying in a fancy resort right on the beach wasn’t one of our priorities. We have dear family friends who live in Maui and welcomed us with open arms to stay with them. Since we were in a house we often ate most of our meals at home and we ate out a few times for the meals that we really wanted to. Bonus blessing: We were planning on renting a car to get around the island, but our friends happened to have an extra car that they offered for us to use. Needless to say, we made our babymoon with what we had and what we could do and it ended up being perfect for us.
Hopefully by now, your confidence is soaring and you’re getting super excited about that babymoon that you’re dreaming up or anxiously waiting for. Before you go…
Here are a few tips that I have pulled together for making the most of your babymoon:
First and foremost, it's your vacation before baby arrives so do what YOU want to do.
If you want to nap for 7 days straight, go for it. If you want to see everything and do everything (within reason and what your doctor is okay with you doing) plan it out and do it! I am all about relaxing and I love adventure and I think I gave myself a really happy medium on our trip. I'm not kidding when I say, my second day in Maui I slept for 12 hours. I was so tired I fell asleep at 5pm and didn't wake back up until 5am the next day and I wasn't mad about it one bit.
If you're traveling far, make sure you're comfy.
Take frequent stops (hello, bladder!), stretch, get up and move around a little if you're in a cramped airplane and try to pick a seat near the bathroom. Aisle seats are helpful too for easy access. Bring a pillow or support belt for your back to help ease some back pain.
Do a little research on local food.
Know ahead of time (if you don't already) what's safe for you to eat. During our stay in Maui we learned about a newer concern with food on the island. Fresh produce (especially leafy greens that absorb water) can carry a disease going around called Rat Lung Disease. If I ever ate a salad, I just asked the server where the lettuce came from (mainland or local) and I thoroughly washed any produce I bought.
A lot of people say that the second trimester is the best time to travel.
Usually by then, you are feeling great and you're showing which is all so exciting. I really wanted to travel in my second trimester but with our schedule it just didn't work out that way and I ended up going week 28-29. I was a little hotter than normal and a bit more tired, but I made the most of it on our trip by getting in the water all the time and taking naps whenever I felt like it. I paced myself with activities and even though there was a waterfall I never got to see because I was too tired - I still had an incredible time! Also, if you're thinking of getting maternity photos done typically the best time to do it is right around the 7 month mark. By then, you are showing and probably still feel pretty good. This time is also a pretty safe bet the baby hasn't arrived yet and you can take some photos before he/she arrives! If you're 7 months pregnant and on your babymoon -take advantage and get some epic shots in a memorable location! Keep in mind if you’re planning on doing a cruise – most cruise ships have pretty strict policies on pregnant women traveling past a certain week. It varies by cruise line but it can be anywhere from 14-24 weeks. Some airlines have restrictions too, but they aren’t as constricting as cruises. Be sure to look into the pregnancy travel policies before booking anything!
If you can't do a babymoon before the baby comes, do one after.
One perk of doing a babymoon before the baby comes is the quality time and chance for connection with your significant other before your little peanut rules the roost and captivates your attention. If you can do it, that’s wonderful! If not – there are ways you can be really intentional towards each other before babe comes. If a babymoon just isn’t working out before the baby comes (believe me, I know how quickly 40 weeks can fly by) then plan for something for after the baby gets here. Save up a little extra on the side for an epic trip after you give birth. Once you feel settled and comfortable with the baby, start thinking about when you might want to try and travel with your little babe and start planning your first special family vacation OR someone close like your parents might be over-the-moon about watching your sweet bundle while you get away.
B E A C H B A B Y M O O N S
You don't have to stick to just maternity clothes
Finding a great bathing suit can be a challenge on any given day and I personally didn't like any maternity suit that I was finding. Great news - bathing suits don't have to be maternity! I just focused on finding a top to fit my ever changing bra size and bottoms that fit comfortably and gave me enough coverage. I ended up just buying one size up from what I normally buy for bathing suits. Bonus points, I got to show off my baby bump that I am currently all heart eyes over.
Beaches get hot - stay cool!
Being out in the warm sun is so wonderful, but don't let your body overheat. If you feel too hot - you probably are. So get in the water, stay hydrated, arrange to have an umbrella or find some nice shade.
No matter what trimester you travel for your babymoon, you're probably experiencing some kind of pregnancy symptoms. No need to add sunburn to the list. Keep mineral sunscreen handy, bring a sun hat with you, glasses and a cute kimono or cover-up that compliments that adorable bump of yours.
Keep bug spray handy.
Bug bites are unpleasant and with Zika a concern in some places that’s just one more thing you can cross off your list of worries if you take extra precautions.
Don't sit in a wet suit!
If you're going to get in the water, there is bacteria that festers in wet places. UTI's and yeast infections can be common in pregnancy and that was something I didn't want to experience on my vacation so I always had at least an extra bathing suit bottom to change into in case we went out to eat or exploring after swimming.
Whether you’re able to take an epic trip to your bucket-list destination or you’re having a sweet staycation, if you’ve got two weeks of vacay or just an over-night planned, make this your special time, you deserve it!
Leave a comment and tell me about your babymoon travel plans, dreams, or advice! What is the best advice you can give for traveling while pregnant or maybe funniest pregnancy blunder during your trip? Mine was that I thought I had packed 3 extra pairs of daily contacts for our trip when instead I was actually two and a half days short! I would love to hear any feedback or answer any questions you may have for me about planning a babymoon or the trip we took.
Special thanks to my husband for capturing some fun bump shots on our trip!