Where to Go on a Babymoon? Challenges of Choosing Pregnancy-friendly Destinations

babymoonBeing fortunate enough to take a sort of “last-hurrah” vacation as an expectant couple should be enough, right? You should already count yourself lucky (especially if somebody else is nice enough to watch your older child or children while you’re gone).

So let me preface this by saying that I realize this is not a real problem and that I fear that this will sound ridiculous. But some of you might be realizing that choosing a good destination when you’re expecting is a challenge! And it occurred to me that I’m probably not the only one out there who has Googled “traveling while pregnant” for destination ideas to find that the only links returned are articles on getting up and walking during long plane flights. In the end, I can only offer that (1) these are some of the factors you might consider, (2) you will get to travel again once the baby arrives (and the real challenges begin), and (3) you’ll have a great time regardless. Think of it less as a last hurrah and more of a chance to celebrate what’s to come.

In our case, the first getaway during my pregnancy was to Montreal, to celebrate an anniversary. My husband worried about the long car ride, and I feared that a romantic getaway to the “Paris of the North” (in the winter) wouldn’t be the same without foie gras; stinky, unpasteurized cheeses; dips in a steamy, hot jacuzzi; or copious glasses of wine. Of course we got over it.

The next vacation we got to plan was for a February escape to warmer climes (and hopefully a sun-drenched beach). We’d taken a trip to India the previous April (with the push being that we should seize the opportunity to see a place I’d always dreamed of visiting before having a baby might keep us away for a while), and we actually considered a repeat trip while our visas were still valid. But it seemed unnecessarily risky: Aron had gotten sick briefly on our last visit, and the fear of food-borne illness—potentially devastating to a fetus—loomed large. We also thought about all of the bug repellent we had applied (instead of taking anti-malarials), and knowing that I would now neither feel comfortable using Deet nor taking anti-malarials placed the destination firmly in the no-go category. We had really hoped to go somewhere that could prove challenging with a baby or small child (as opposed to a kid-friendly, domestic spot like Florida), but found that most places that are warm in February are in the tropics and posed similar problems.

I think it was around the time that I reminded my husband that I also couldn’t scuba dive that he was ready to give up on warm weather altogether, suggesting instead that we head for snowy mountains and embrace the winter. But I quickly vetoed the thought of a non-skiing, non-hot-tubbing, non-hot-toddy drinking week in the snow. Picky, picky.

In the end, we got very lucky: my parents (probably tired of my indecision) came to the rescue with a gift of a Caribbean cruise and we had an amazing time! We also snuck off to Napa for a few days of couple-time and laughed at ourselves for booking a trip to the wine region at five months pregnant.

Have a look at the trips we took while I was pregnant:

nggallery id=131157

  • Montreal (2 months) 1 of 6
    Montreal (2 months)
    I posed with (and looked longingly at) my husband's wine and foie gras-covered French Fries at famous Au Pied du Cochon, because the pregnancy was still a secret on our trip to Montreal.
  • Caribbean Cruise (4 months) 2 of 6
    Caribbean Cruise (4 months)
    My belly finally started to show (thanks to all-you-can-eat cruise buffets), but not so much that I always looked pregnant versus chubby in a bikini. Sigh.
  • Caribbean Cruise (4 months) 3 of 6
    Caribbean Cruise (4 months)
    On the upside of abstaining from Rum Punch in the Caribbean? Fresh coconut water.
  • Napa (6 months) 4 of 6
    Napa (6 months)
    This was such a great time to travel: I felt good and had a clearly pregnant belly while still being comfortable in all my shoes. We rode bikes instead of wine tasting.
  • Cape Cod (8 months) 5 of 6
    Cape Cod (8 months)
    Felt awfully heavy while biking the national seashore trail, but at least we were at the beach. Just had to look away to conceal my envy as my husband ate oysters.
  • Cape Cod (8 months) 6 of 6
    Cape Cod (8 months)
    We relaxed on the beach... with a pile of baby books. We'd be traveling as three before long.

What destinations have you found to be particularly pregnancy-friendly? Where would you go on a babymoon?

P.S. Here are links for travelogues about the destinations in the slideshow: Montreal, Caribbean Cruise, Napa, and Cape Cod.

Read more of Ashley’s writing at Hither & Thither.
And don’t miss a post! Follow Ashley (@AshleyMuirBruhn) on  Twitter and Pinterest

[all photos my own]

 

 

 

Tagged as: , , , , ,

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.