Build a Perfect Babymoon

Say good-bye to your childfree status with one last travel hurrah.

Image courtesy Spark Fly Photography.

Image courtesy Spark Fly Photography.

As an avid traveller I always knew that my pregnancy would include a babymoon. While having a little one certainly doesn’t mean the end to one’s globetrotting ways, there’s no denying that a baby can dramatically change how one travels (good-bye isolated jungle hotel and hello kid-friendly resort). Because of that, it only makes sense to have one last adults-only adventure (health allowing of course!).

What’s a babymoon and why should I take one?

Some people use the term “babymoon” to describe the concept of spending the first few days following birth tucked away in one’s home with just baby and one’s partner. Then there’s the other definition: A trip taken by expectant parents ahead of baby’s arrival. This is the definition I use and it’s one that any experienced travel industry professional will be familiar with. While it’s understandably tempting to save your vacation days (and money) for your maternity leave, if your circumstances allow it, a babymoon is something you should try to make time for.

As any parent can tell you, a pregnancy, particularly with a first child, results in life rapidly becoming all about the baby. Everything else, including your relationship with your partner, drops into the background. But by taking even just a few days to indulge in a babymoon, you and your partner have the opportunity to take a step away from baby fever and focus on re-connecting with each other. Ideally this results in a stronger relationship and one that’s better set to take on the challenges of an infant.

A babymoon is also a good way for you to re-discover yourself during a time when you might feel like a passenger in your own life. Having a few days to focus on exploring a destination that represents your taste and interests is a simple, straightforward way to remind you that you’re more than just a mom-to-be.

What should I look for in a babymoon destination?

Before getting your heart set on any particular place, take a look at what your health insurance covers. Even if you’ve been experiencing a picture-perfect pregnancy, this is one area where you can’t be too careful. Find out exactly what your insurances will pay for, on both mom and baby’s sides.

Originally my Toronto-residing husband and I were going to head down to Washington DC. However, when our two usual insurance providers (both major companies) told us that they would not cover the baby’s costs if it were born prematurely, we decided to restrict our trip to Canada. A quick chat with my OB confirmed that we were making the right choice; she said that if she were in our place, she’d also only be travelling to a domestic destination.

While less of a concern, what your provincial insurance covers is also something you should check in to. This past summer, an Alberta woman who went into premature labour while in rural Ontario made headlines when it looked like she would be on the hook for her hefty air ambulance bill. Luckily for her, the Alberta and Ontario provincial governments eventually agreed to split the cost. Talk to your insurance provider to see if inter-province coverage makes sense for you.

Since the point of a babymoon is to have one last adult-oriented trip with your partner, plan a trip that’s not one that you would take with children. While you might not be able to indulge in fine wine and spirits, you can certainly still take advantage of fancy restaurants and high-end spas. Consider a destination that will let you and your partner indulge in your particular hobbies and be sure to splurge on a luxe hotel; it might be years before you get to treat yourself again to such an experience.

How you’re feeling will play a big part in selecting your ideal destination. Are you up for hikes and hills or is lounging on a beach more your speed? Or does the idea of wearing a bathing suit make you cringe? Be honest with yourself and don’t feel bad about not expanding your travel boundaries; this is one time when your trip should conform to you and not the other way around.

Regardless of your physical state, you’ll likely want to pick a location that’s walkable and offers relatively easy access to public washrooms, air-conditioned spaces and a good hospital, just in case.

Can my babymoon include flying?

If you have your healthcare practitioner’s okay and do your research, then yes! Each airline has a different policy on pregnant customers so be sure to read the fine print before you buy your tickets. Generally though you can fly without a doctor’s note up until your 35th or 36th week of pregnancy.

Regardless of when you fly, you’ll want to make sure that you get up and walk around, in order to minimize your risk of blood clots. Wearing compression or surgical stockings is something else that you may want to look into, especially if you’re taking a long flight. And take it from me, use the bathroom whenever you get a chance.

Are there any specific locations that are best?

We were fortunate enough to have two separate babymoons. The first was to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Bay of Fundy National Park in New Brunswick and the other was to Mont Tremblant in Quebec. Our Maritime vacation was an ideal second trimester trip as at that point, I was still up for outdoor activities like moderate hikes and dips into the Atlantic. We visited Mont Tremblant at the start of my third trimester. With its cute pedestrian village, two gondolas and multiple prenatal-massage offering spas, it has everything a seven-month pregnant woman needs.

Two other great Canadian destinations for babymoons are Quebec City and Vancouver Island. While both of these locations are ones that you might visit with kids, they also offer more adult-oriented attractions including luxury hotels.

In the U.S., Charleston, Washington DC and Boston are a trio of great options as they are all highly walkable, urban locations that offer plenty of adults-focused activities, whether it be a historic tour or a high-end restaurant.

Whatever location you pick, just make sure that it’s one you feel completely comfortable about visiting and that it’s a destination that should result in some amazing memories for you and your partner.

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