You may have heard the buzzword “babymoon,” but why is it important for couples to have one? And where should you go for an unforgettable vacation that keeps risks as low as possible for pregnant moms? We talked to experienced travel agents for advice and recommendations.
What exactly is a babymoon?
A babymoon is a trip that a couple takes when expecting a baby. It helps partners to recapture the romance during a happy yet stressful period of their lives.
While babymoons are particularly hot right now, the trend is really the latest example of what travel agents have known for years: that travel helps couples bond.
As New York-based travel consultant Ashley Les explains, “People realize that it’s important to take a step away and enjoy what may be the last trip together with just the two of them for a while. Their honeymoon might’ve been a few years ago, and it’s time to celebrate their new adventure and focus on being together.”
... it's important to take a step away and enjoy what may be the last trip together with just the two of them for a while.
Why work with a travel agent to plan your babymoon?
Couples tend to be their busiest when they’re getting ready to welcome a new member of the family. That’s why it makes sense to let a travel agent take care of the details and customize the best possible experience for you.
If you want special treatment on your babymoon, don’t book yourself through a site that pulls up many hotels and resorts at once. According to Bay Area travel consultant Vikram Seshadri, when you plan that way, “you’re getting the least amount of preference, because those bookings are the ones that cost the hotels the most. They really don’t give you the special treatment you’d get if you booked through a travel advisor.”
Indeed, travel agents can deliver the special amenities and deals that will make your trip more luxurious and relaxing. “Sometimes we can get you extra perks for the same price—like daily breakfasts, spa credits, early check-ins, and late checkouts—because of our relationships,” says Seshadri. “That matters so much for a babymoon. Because who knows when your next trip is going to be?”
... we [Vacation.com travel agents] can get you extra perks for the same price.
How did we choose the best babymoon destinations?
Some of the criteria that influenced our choices are:
● Fun and relaxing attractions – Our agents’ preferred destinations offer a variety of activities, from restful to adventurous, that won’t be too taxing or risky for expectant parents.
● Ease of travel – We prioritized places that you can reach via nonstop, preferably short, flight options.
● Minimum risk of Zika – We chose only destinations that currently have no known cases of Zika from local mosquitos, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Zika map.
Where should you go on a babymoon?
Without further ado, discover our agent-approved babymoon destinations.
Warm and Beachy Babymoon Ideas
The different flavors and moods of the Hawaiian islands can satisfy babymooners of almost any taste. “You can be in as crowded or remote a place as you’d like and have an amazing time,” says Seshadri.
What makes Hawaii a great babymoon destination?
● Fewer logistics for U.S. travelers to manage: “It’s very different from the mainland,” explains Seshadri, “but you get all the creature comforts of being in the U.S.: electricity, phone lines, the language, and the amenities.”
● Short travel from the West Coast and nonstop flights from the East Coast: You can catch a flight straight from Boston or Newark to Hawaii. “It’s long, but it’s easy,” notes Seshadri.
● Plethora of lodging choices: Hawaii’s many resorts range from lively and upbeat to intimate and peaceful. Among his favorites, Seshadri mentions the spectacular Four Seasons properties on the Big Island and on the small jewel of Lanai. Beyond Ritz Carlton and Taj-level hotels, however, there are plenty of luxurious but more affordable hotels on the Big Island, Maui, and Oahu.
● Varied terrain: Adding to the mix of choices, you can decide whether you’d prefer a more “arid, manicured” area or a tropical, untamed region.
● Tranquility on the island of Kauai: “If you want a truly romantic destination away from the crowds before the baby comes, Kauai is the one I’d send people to,” says Seshadri. “It’s the most remote, the least touristy, the greenest, the most lush.” Since Kauai is less of a resort island, stay at a boutique hotel or a B&B.
● Relaxing beaches and scenic drives on Maui: Les specifically recommends the island of Maui for its vistas and sunbathing. “Maui would be ideal with the beaches and the Road to Hana—a great drive with waterfalls right off the road. You can really enjoy those without long hikes.”
Best times to visit Hawaii?
“There’s really no bad time to go,” according to Seshadri. The tourism peaks are spring break and summer vacation. May is a quieter, less expensive time. The period between Thanksgiving and mid-December is also recommended to beat the crowds and high prices.
With its turquoise waters, pink-sand beaches, and British colonial cities, the island of Bermuda presents a gorgeous, Zika-free alternative to the Caribbean.
What makes Bermuda a great babymoon destination?
● Easy travel and perfect for quick trips: Bermuda is just an hour-and-a-half flight from most of the East Coast. As Les notes, “For people who only have a weekend and want to stay within a short distance from home, I’d definitely suggest it.”
● Exciting, low-demand aquatic activities: Many of Bermuda’s biggest water attractions will be comfortably easy for expectant parents. “None of them are too deep that you couldn’t enjoy it by just snorkeling,” according to Les. Peer down at sunken ships, preserved underwater after more than a century. Go swimming at Blue Hole Park. And splash around with sociable dolphins.
● Natural wonders that are easy to see: Exploring the Crystal Caves is almost as simple as taking a scenic walk. Be wowed by the Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum, and Zoo. “There’s an area where lemurs are roaming. You can get up close and personal with sea lions. We only went because it was raining, but we were so glad we didn’t overlook it.”
Best times to visit Bermuda?
“It’s nearly a year-round destination,” says Les. “It never gets too hot or really too cool.” And, unlike many Caribbean destinations, Bermuda remains an option in the summer and fall: “It rarely gets hit by hurricanes, so you don’t have the added stress of weather.”
While many European beach destinations are throbbing with parties, the Azores’ low-key, untouched ambiance will enchant expectant parents who need a break from it all. Located off the coast of Portugal in the Atlantic, this group of islands is a hidden gem according to Les, who booked a clients on a babymoon to the Azores this past summer. “It’s easy, close, and there’s no Zika.”
What makes the Azores a great babymoon destination?
● Nonstop flights from the East Coast: Since the Azores are out in the Atlantic, they’re closer than mainland Europe. The option to travel directly to the Azores from New York recently became available.
● Remote and peaceful ambiance: While most of Europe is overrun with tourists, especially in the summer, “not many people know about the Azores, so it’s kind of a cool spot to get into right now.”
● Budget-friendly pricing: Trying not to spend too much before the baby comes? A trip to the Azores will cost you less than a typical European vacation.
● Rugged yet lush landscape: The Azores’ striking terrain ranges from volcanic craters to terraced tea estates to “green cliffs with waterfalls and nobody to be seen,” says Les.
Best times to visit the Azores?
June through August. You can make the most of warm temperatures and avoid the rainy season.
Cuddly and Culinary Babymoon Ideas
Québec and/or Montréal, Canada
Craving a trip to France but don’t want to book a long, expensive international flight? These walled cities in French Canada exude Continental charm… just a short distance from the U.S. border. “The first time I went to the French part of Canada, I felt like I was in Europe, even though it was only a 1-hour flight away,” remembers Les. And, while you’ll hear the locals converse in French, Canada is bilingual, so you don’t have to worry about a language barrier.
What makes Québec and Montréal great babymoon destinations?
● Easy to reach by plane and train: You can catch a quick flight, or take a more leisurely train journey.
● Walkable cobblestone streets: The old cities of Québec and Montréal are fairly compact. You can see all the sites on foot without getting tired (especially if you take a little break at a café now and then).
● Entertaining alternatives to walking: Avoid steep steps and savor breathtaking views of the port on the Old Quebec Funicular, a huge glass elevator built into the hillside. You’ll rise from the Petit Champlain strip of shops and restaurants up to the wooden Promenade des Gouverneurs above. And if you get tired of meandering on foot, take a horse and buggy tour and listen to colorful descriptions of the cities’ histories and long tug-of-war between French and English influences.
● Diverse and delicious dining: Explore the many flavors and inventive experiences of Montréal’s hip culinary scene, from a lavish North African feast at La Couscousière d’Ali Baba to a gourmet meal savored in pitch blackness at Au Noir. Les has vivid memories of the latter: “It’s a fun experience of being present. You can’t use your phone. You try to feed each other and get crême brulée up your nose and everybody is giggling.” Looking for classic French cuisine, like succulent sole meunière and duck confit? The decadent offerings at spots like Le Bonaparte in Montréal and Le Continental in Québec can match the acclaimed traditional restaurants of Paris.
Best times to visit the Québec and Montréal?
To see the astonishing ice palace and snow sculptures, visit Quebec between January and March, particularly around Winter Carnival in February. Both cities are also lovely in the summer, with breezes off the Saint Lawrence river keeping you cool as you watch elaborate street performances in historic squares.
Filled with stunning waterfalls, glaciers, volcanic heat vents, and other natural attractions, this friendly country is Les’ go-to babymoon recommendation. She cites its relative closeness to the U.S., the lack of Zika risk, and the abundance of low-impact activities. “For the most part, your experience would not have to change because you’re pregnant. You’re not just going and sitting on a beach. You’re having a true adventure together.”
● Close and convenient to the East Coast: “From the East Coast, getting to Iceland is faster than getting to L.A.,” Les notes.
● Perfect for those without a lot of time to spare: For couples that can’t manage a long babymoon, Iceland gives you the chance to immerse yourself in an almost Martian landscape. Just a few days is enough to make the rounds to many iconic sites. “You can go for a short time and really feel like you saw a lot.”
● Relaxing tours of landmarks: For example, the Golden Circle in southern Iceland is essentially a drive with stops for jaw-dropping natural sights. “It’s adventurous, but soft adventure. You can see the waterfalls, geysers, and lava fields. There isn’t anything too strenuous. You won’t be hindered by the fact that you’re growing a little human!”
● Comfort food and baby celebrations in Reykjavík: The Hamburger Factory restaurant has a tradition that will fit right in on a babymoon: “Every time a baby is born in Iceland, the hospital calls the restaurant and everyone cheers. They get really, really excited about adding more Icelanders to the population.”
● Warm and toasty lodges and spas: Snuggle up and be pampered at the Ion Adventure Hotel. Though close to Reykjavík, it seems like “you’re out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by lava fields, mountains, volcanoes, and lakes.” Expectant parents can cuddle in the “very cozy atmosphere, with big fluffy pillows, fur blankets, and floor-to-ceiling windows. You can see the northern lights right from the hotel.”
Best times to visit Iceland?
September, October, and November. You can see the northern lights without bearing the brunt of the deep Icelandic winter.
Stockholm, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark
Les recommends visiting these welcoming northern European cities in a single trip: “You can fly nonstop into one city, take the train to the other, then fly nonstop home. It’s very easy to see both.”
What makes Sweden and Denmark great babymoon destinations?
● Easy to get around: “These cities are small and very walkable. Nothing is too far out of reach.”
● Cozy, artisanal charm: The Danish concept of hygge, which exalts simple, cozy joys, distills a major aspect of these destinations’ appeal. Get your hygge fix shopping for wooden toys, knitted baby accessories, and other handcrafted items at the cities’ vast annual Christmas markets.
● Cultural landmarks from classic to kitschy: As you prepare to tell fairy tales to your little one, visit the Little Mermaid monument in Copenhagen, home of writer Hans Christian Andersen. In Stockholm, boogie your way through ABBA: The Museum, which Les describes as “by far one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Who doesn’t want to walk through a museum singing ‘Mamma Mia’ and ‘Dancing Queen’? You get to this one circular room with a disco ball, and all you do is dance.”
● Heaven for gourmands: As Les points out, Stockholm and particularly Copenhagen are home to several of the most lauded and creative restaurants in the world. If you’re eating for two, take that as an opportunity to indulge in multi-course marvels at Noma or Geranium—guilt-free.
Best times to visit Stockholm and Copenhagen?
If you don’t mind bundling up, Les recommends November and December. That’s when the Christmas preparations are in full swing. Prefer warmer weather? Go in the summer when public gardens will be in bloom.
Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan a memorable babymoon to a dream destination? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with an expert travel agent, who can customize the dream trip itinerary that you deserve.