First things first, the babymoon we are referring to is the type that does not include a baby! There’s also the kind, traditionally, following childbirth when new parents stay in and build a bond with their precious bundle. Well, we’re all for taking that type of babymoon too, but what we’re talking about here is a couples’ trip taken during pregnancy, typically before the birth of your first child, or before the birth of subsequent children but generally without taking your other kids along—because that sounds more to us like a family holiday (different type of vacay altogether!).
Circle In content editor Vanessa Geerling offers first-hand advice for expecting parents thinking about booking a holiday before baby’s arrival.
If you’re anything like I was during my first pregnancy, you are a busy parent-to-be! Planning to work as late in your pregnancy as you can (more time to spend with baby on parental leave), coordinating your handover, list-ticking, setting up nursery, nesting, and catching up with all your childfree friends for one last hurrah. So much to do—we get it!
At the time, rest simply wasn’t part of my vocab. So, when my husband booked a quiet, slow, romantic getaway, tacked onto the end of a friend’s wedding trip, my first thought was, “Why aren’t we taking a city trip?” I know, right?
Of course, it was bliss! Lazy breakfasts in a peaceful courtyard with a view, nosing around stately villas, gentle hikes in the nearby mountains, late afternoon dips in the pool, and barely a child in sight! It was the perfect babymoon destination and unfortunately one we won’t be revisiting any time soon. Why? Because back then, we were ‘DINKs’—the life-loving, work hard/play hard, extremely fortunate but without a clue, ‘Double Income No Kids’ couple.
The number one reason why we chose to have a babymoon back then was…because we could! It was an amazing way to acknowledge and celebrate the impending, ginormous change about to occur in our lives. A time to rest, reconnect and spoil ourselves. Take some time out from work, a change of scenery, to reflect and look to the future—not unlike the strategy weekend my work team took every year to regroup and plan ahead.
Fast forward seven years, when baby number three was on the way, we considered another babymoon, albeit on a much tighter budget. But at the time it didn’t matter whether we chose to travel abroad or opted for the staycation, took one week or one night. The reasons for taking a babymoon had not changed, and, if anything, seven years and two and a half kids later, our sights were smaller, but our need to take one was even greater.
So, let’s recap the reasons why, first baby, second or more, you need a babymoon:
Take time out, rest, and recharge
Step away from the busy! Rest is the number one thing you will struggle to get enough of when you’re the parent of a newborn.
Reflect, dream and plan
Look back with gratitude on the life you’ve made together, the career you’ve built, and the fun you’ve had. Think about what your priorities are going forward and get ready for them to take a 180-degree turn once baby arrives.
Make beautiful memories
So that when you haven’t washed your hair for two weeks and can’t see your sofa for the laundry pile, you’ll have something to reminisce about.
Spend quality time with your partner and reconnect with a little romance
Because you won’t have time for that in the months immediately following your baby’s arrival, and you’ll want to build up your stores in an effort to keep any impending spousal resentment at bay.
Sleep, exercise, read, eat, whatever takes your fancy—remember to not apologize for doing what you want.
In the interest of antenatal health, it would be remiss of us not to also list the following things to consider:
Plan when to go
Second trimester is your best bet, once the morning sickness has subsided but before you start the pregnancy swag and your ankles morph into cankles. Planes and ships have restrictions on when pregnant women can travel, and it’s generally earlier in multiple, IVF, and high-risk pregnancies. Get the travel all-clear from your doc. Remember there is always the risk that baby could arrive early and you don’t want your birth plan to not go to, well, plan.
Think minimizing travel distances and times
Make sure you stretch and move your legs frequently during travel. Consider how quickly and easily you can get home if something goes wrong. If getting home before the birth isn’t possible, what healthcare options are available to you at your destination, what costs are involved, and are you insured?
Keep your budget in check
With parenthood comes new expenses—some you might not be prepared for. Make sure you choose a holiday within your means and stick to your budget when you get there.
Be realistic about your destination
We all have different likes and tolerances. When planning your trip, think ahead about how you might be feeling when you’re that much further along your gestation. Tropical paradise or hot and bothered? Glamping bliss or dangerously low bed and a toilet queue? Remote retreat or no high street to grab those last-minute hospital bag essentials? Culinary tour or wine and soft cheese nightmare?!
The details are important and planning ahead smartly is key to making it a babymoon to remember.
Written by Vanessa Geerling, content editor at Circle In.