Honeymoons get all of the love.
I mean, I get it. They’re romantic, steamy, secluded. A symbol of your commitment to each other, a way to connect after the rigors of the wedding planning. Some even say your honeymoon is more important than your wedding.
But the “babymoon” often takes a back seat to the main moon. After all, for most couples, a babymoon comes several years after the honeymoon. By then, you may have had a lot of alone time with your partner. Maybe you’ve traveled together. Maybe you’re concerned about the cost of a trip with a new baby on the way. Maybe you simply don’t think you need one.
Here’s a secret though, that no one ever told me: Becoming a parent is a way bigger life change than getting married. It’s not just that travel changes. Everything changes. You sleep way less, you have significantly less free time and money, and, I’m just going to say it — your sex life changes, particularly in the first three months or so after the baby’s birth. Entering parenthood is a big deal. And it’s best to enter parenthood armed with relaxation, a renewed sense of purpose, and some quality time with your significant other.
Of course, you can go anywhere for your babymoon, but I’m a big proponent of going somewhere international.* It’s way easier to travel internationally without kids (no buying them a seat, managing jet lag and long flights, navigating strange foods, etc.) so it may be your last chance to travel overseas for a while.
Still, not just any international destination will do. You want to be able to relax, eat clean food, and minimize walking long distances. This is not the time for that white water rafting camping trip! After two international babymoons that were a raving success, I give these three locations my full endorsement:
There are multiple islands in the Caribbean perfectly suited to a babymoon. St. Kitts, The Cayman Islands and Bermuda would all make for a great trip before the baby comes. But the Bahamas have more to offer than just sun and sand.
First, it’s one of the closest non-bordering countries to the United States. This makes it a quick and easy flight from Miami, ideal for keeping those pesky leg cramps at bay. It is jaw-droppingly beautiful, with pink sand beaches, turquoise blue water, and enchanting sunsets. There are no major safety risks, they have modern hospitals in case you require one, but above all, Bahamians know how to take care of their tourists. And there is nothing more necessary for an expecting mother than to feel pampered!
Bahamian spas are modern and forward-thinking. Many of them offer hot and cold therapies, tension-releasing techniques, and aromatherapy using exotic herbs and minerals. Nearly every spa has a prenatal massage option!
Bahamian hospitality is so accustomed to babymoons that many of the hotels even offer a babymoon upgrade package. For an additional charge, individuals can take advantage of perks like breakfast in bed, a room upgrade, and extra pillows.
Between all of your sleeping and sunning, take time to visit the Graycliff Chocolatier. You’ll satisfy any cravings while learning to make your own chocolates or just opt for the factory tour. The best part? You’re eating for two so you can absolve yourself of any guilt.
I spent my second babymoon in Mallorca, a place I’d wanted to visit since I read Emma Straub’s The Vacationer’s.
Spain is always a good idea, and Mallorca, in particular, seems made for expecting parents. The sunlit island has rolling hills that appear almost Tuscan — with a blue sky that seems to rest on top of the mountains. It’s beautiful and peaceful.
Renting a car is easy and inexpensive there, giving you the freedom to zip around the island at your leisure. The weather is milder than most tropical destinations so if you’re hot and miserable (as many expecting women tend to be), you’ll be more comfortable than at some other beach locations. They’re famous for their tapas restaurants, which means you can sample a variety of flavors.
The small, romantic villages are the perfect place to connect with your partner. While parts of the island can be touristy, many are secluded and private. It gives you a European vibe without all of the museums and itineraries and walking that usually accompany European vacations.
Without any loud attractions, there is plenty of time to rest and relax. But there are also some of the best views in the world, vineyards, harbors, and country homes. The whole island is so quaint and picturesque that it’s almost unreal. The only thing that will make it easier to leave is the fact that when you get home you get to have your baby. Which, it turns out, is a pretty good reason to go home!
Bali has grown in popularity thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love, and there’s a reason Bali is the love part of the book. But long before the book took off, Australians considered Bali to be the ultimate escape from the rigors of daily life and babymoons.
It’s an island known for its lush jungle and picturesque rice paddies. Different than the tropical vibe of the Caribbean, you’ll feel like you’re in a foreign country — not another beach getaway. Single folks flock to Kuta for the clubbing. But babymooners can find the zen they seek by heading to the calming shores of Ubud.
A huge focus of Bali’s resorts is on total body wellness: mind, body, spirit. Many retreats offer yoga classes and healthy menus featuring locally sourced fruits and vegetables so you can nourish your growing baby and body. They’re also famous for their spas and beauty treatments — so you can get relief from any ache or pain you’re experiencing.
There’s rich culture if you want it, sightseeing if you’d prefer that, and lots of beaches. Visit the Hindu temples. Bask in the country’s lush waterfalls. Private tours are available throughout the island are relatively affordable, so there’s no need to exhaust yourself. The people in Bali are generous and accommodating. It’s the beachy vacation you always wanted, and it’s best to visit before you have a young child who will need to adjust to the rather drastic time change.
Regardless of where you go, even if it’s just to the hotel down the street, make a babymoon a priority. Soon enough you’ll spend your evenings rocking a sweet little babe — a beautiful change, but a change, indeed. There’s nothing more important to prepare for, and there’s no better way to ditch the nesting and the “to do list” parts of prepping than to escape as a couple.
*International travel should be avoided by pregnant women with underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or a history of complications during previous pregnancies, such as miscarriage or premature labor. For pregnant women in good health, the second trimester (14–26 weeks) is probably the safest time to go abroad and the third trimester the least safe, since it’s far better not to have to deliver in a foreign country. Before going abroad, make sure you have the names and contact information for physicians, clinics, and hospitals where you can obtain emergency obstetric care if necessary. In general, pregnant women should avoid traveling to countries which do not have modern facilities for the management of premature labor and other complications of pregnancy.