Babymooning: Adventures in Pre-Parenthood
Planning for the arrival of a child can be exhausting. There’s the physical and mental drain of pregnancy, along with managing all that new information from diets to Kegels.
But it’s also a joyous time and that’s why every couple should mitigate the pressure of pregnancy and enjoy a babymoon.
The babymoon is the trip that precedes the arrival of the baby, allowing couples to celebrate this approaching milestone without the distractions of their daily lives.
As a male travel writer, I’m automatically much less knowledgeable about pregnancy than many readers of this magazine. So I consulted with Marissa, my wife (who is expecting this November), and many of her pregnant friends on what mothers-to-be seek in a babymoon. The consensus revealed that the things that mattered most to expecting mothers were atmosphere, cost, and considerations about the health of the mother and baby.
With these considerations in mind, Marissa and I opted for the islands and spent our babymoon in St. Barth at the Tom Beach Hotel. She wanted romantic, restful, and healthy. I just wanted her to be happy. (Good move, right?) And those were the perfect words to describe the turquoise waters and white sand beach at the back of our hotel. Even the hotel’s restaurant, La Plage, featured a fresh juice bar that was more salubrious than Marissa ordering sugary virgin cocktails to pair off against my Dark and Stormies.
Marissa and I read on our lounge chairs, took dips in the sea, strolled the short stretch of beach, and had romantic evenings at La Plage. And while Marissa got everything that she wanted, she also had me for three days. And to a relaxed sunbather, having me at their side for too long is like sitting in the sun without sunscreen. (It’s fine until it starts to hurt.)
Luckily, the babymoon is also an opportunity to enjoy your passions, ones that will certainly take a back seat upon the arrival of your newborn. In front of our hotel, a small wave broke. Marissa encouraged me to spend an hour or two in the surf. Having the surf just out front turned out to be important, as the waves that I often surf on vacation (like the golf courses or fishing charters that your husbands might travel for) are usually a distance from the hotel. So even when we took our ninety minutes apart, we were still within eyesight of one another.
The most important aspect of the babymoon though is to enjoy each other. And to do so, you don’t have to visit the most remote island or most expensive resort.
You can spend a weekend at a nearby bed and breakfast or take a road trip to the place where you got engaged. Many of my wife’s friends were gung ho on an all-inclusive babymoon. While all-inclusives are easy, from my prior experiences, many resorts that offered this option tended to cater to revelers or families. And it’s doubtful pregnant couples want that sort of ambiance for their last trip before the baby arrives. These days, however, a few hotels are wising up and putting together packages for expecting parents, offering up pre-natal massages, belly bump photography, and a list of other amenities for mom-to-be. Smartly, they’re not forgetting about dad and providing sips of bourbon and celebratory cigars in the package, too.
No matter where you decide to babymoon, the key is to find a place that allows you to break from the stress of pregnancy and to enjoy one another before two becomes three.
Noah Lederman writes the travel blog Somewhere Or Bust. His travel writing has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun-Times, Islands Magazine, the Economist, and elsewhere. Visit his blog to get your free copy of his humorous travel ebook, Misadventures in Southeast Asia. You can also follow his adventures on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. He’s expecting his first child in November.