Your two is about to become a three. With the big news comes a lot of planning as you shift into hyper-mode. Those carefree weekends are now dedicated to assembling contraptions for the nursery, making countless trips to Babies “R” Us for everything you forgot and attending a semester worth of parenting classes.
I wish I could say that life will slow down after your little crying bundle of joy arrives. As a new parent myself, I can attest that it won’t. That’s why the babymoon is so important. It’s one last time for the parents-to-be to reconnect, relax and enjoy a full night of sleep before life changes completely. Here are some tips for planning a babymoon. You’re going to need it.
Have Dad Plan It
I’ll admit that I was useless during the pregnancy. I wasn’t required at most doctor’s appointments and the nesting hormone wasn’t pumping through my veins. Just the thought of everything we had to do sent me into a nervous breakdown. Thus, my wife carried most of that burden. However, I put my energy into planning babymoon that was sure to pamper her—a boutique resort on a chocolate plantation in St Lucia.
Keep It Simple
Remember, Dad, this vacation is more about her than about you. Visiting breweries in Belgium or walking across Ireland will have to wait until next time. This vacation needs to involve a lot of down time to rest before the two of you become sleep-deprived zombies. On the flip side, the mega-resort that spans a mile of beach may look perfect but getting around might not be easy for the mother-to-be.
Go During the Second Trimester
Your window of opportunity is between weeks 14 and 28. Why? Mom might be dealing with morning sickness during the first trimester—long car rides or turbulent airplanes may induce more of it. During the third trimester, many women find traveling with the growing baby bump uncomfortable. Not to mention, airlines put restrictions on travel as the pregnancy nears due date—check with your carrier for their specific rules.
Limit Travel Time
Like the trip itself, babymoon travel should be simple. Car rides should be limited to four hours with stops every hour for a bathroom break. Same goes for flights—non-stop if possible. Be sure to request an aisle seat for easy access to the plane’s bathrooms.
Check on Local Medical Care
This isn’t code for “don’t leave the country.” The Caribbean can be a perfect babymoon getaway. You’ll want to ask the hotel about local medical care, though. Is a doctor onsite? How far is the nearest hospital? Also, check your medical insurance coverage before you leave and consider buying supplemental travel insurance in case you need an emergency evacuation back home. Lastly, always run your plans and potential activities by your doctor.
Tell everyone you encounter that it’s your babymoon. The red carper will roll out for you more than on your honeymoon. Our “extras” included a first class upgrade, a gift basket in our room and access to the front of almost any line. Even the grounds men at our resort went out of their way to care for my wife, delivering her fresh mangos and coconut water every afternoon as she sat poolside.
Pack Plenty of Snacks
Even if you’re booked at an all-inclusive resort, bring plenty of snacks! You never know when the hunger pangs might strike.
Lastly, Cherish the Time Together
My wife and I adore our son and enjoy every minute of parenthood. Yet, every once in a while, we sneak a peak at our babymoon photo album and reminisce about the quality time together. More importantly, our talks and chance to reconnect helped to solidify our new role as parents.
Bryan M. Richards is a beer, food, and travel writer based in Charlotte. His work has appeared in Men's Journal, Beer Advocate, and just about anything with the word Charlotte in it. In a previous life, he was a corporate road warrior staying in two to three different hotels a week and often forgetting his room number.