Let’s face it: These next few months are probably your last chance for some real alone time with your partner for quite a while. Many couples indulge by enjoying the last bit of sanity in their own homes, but if you’re one of us that plans to get the heck out of town (and maybe get a little pampering while we have the excuse), here are a few tips to keep you safe and happy on your last big child-free getaway (aka “babymoon”).
Tip #1: Agree on the Locale
Maybe you’re thinking someplace local. (Fun fact: 80 percent of couples planning a babymoon pick a domestic destination, according to The Bump 2016 Member Survey.) Or maybe you’re dreaming of a tropical getaway. (After all, 40 percent of surveyed members were eager for a relaxing beach vacation.) Either way, make sure whatever locale you settle on appeals to you both so you can relax and enjoy your time together.
Curious where others head for their babymoons? Within the US, our survey shows the big winners are Florida (17 percent), California (16 percent) and Hawaii (7 percent). As for international spots, the Caribbean (7 percent), Europe (5 percent), Mexico/Baja (3 percent) and Canada (2 percent) are all top contenders.
Tip #2: Check Restrictions
Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel advisories. Zika outbreaks, for example, mean the CDC is discouraging dicretionary travel to infected areas. We’re hearing less about Zika these days, but especially if you’re planning to travel abroad, it’s smart to brush up on your Zika facts and how you can protect yourself.
If you’re flying, check with the airline to be sure they’ll let you on the plane! Most physicians say it’s safe to fly up to 36 weeks, but airlines have varying restrictions, including different policies for domestic and international travel. Cruise lines have restrictions too: Royal Caribbean won’t allow you to travel when you enter your 27th week, Celebrity Cruise Lines only allows those less than 26 weeks, and Princess Cruises sets their limit at 24 weeks.
Tip #3: Minimize Travel Time
Enduring a layover or a 10-hour car ride is no way to start a relaxing trip. Make sure you choose a location that won’t require too much effort.
Tip #4: Travel Now! (2nd Trimester)
The second trimester should be the most comfortable time to travel. By now, the nausea of the first trimester is hopefully a distant memory and you aren’t quite as uncomfortable as you will be in a few weeks. (According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the safest time to travel is from 18 to 24 weeks.)
Tip #5: Keep Your OB in the Loop
Traveling presents a new set of hurdles when you’re pregnant. The most important thing is safety, so make sure you speak with your doctor before booking that trip to Madagascar. (Especially if you’re carrying multiples or are considered “high risk,” don’t be too disappointed if your doctor wants to keep you close to home.)
Tip #6: Vaccinations
If you plan to travel overseas, check in with your doctor about any necessary vaccines.
Tip #7: Check Out Medical Facilities
When researching locations, find out if they have access to quality medical facilities near the area (just in case). Write down the contact info for nearby hospitals to keep on hand as you travel, along with a number for contacting your OB.
Tip #8: Wear Your Seatbelt Low
If you’re driving, wear the seatbelt with the shoulder portion over the collarbone and the lap portion under the abdomen as low as possible on the hips. You’ll save yourself and your belly from hitting the dashboard in the event of a car accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also recommends moving your seat as far back as possible (and tilting it back slightly) to maximize the distance between you and the dashboard or steering wheel.
Tip #9: Cruising? Not Without a Doctor!
If you plan on taking to the seas, make sure there is a health care provider on board. Many smaller ships (fewer than 100 passengers) don’t have medical personnel on staff.
Tip #10: Keep Your Blood Pumping
No matter how you’re traveling, try to get up and move around every hour or two to aid circulation, and try not to cross your legs—you’ll lessen the risk of blood clots. Keeping your tootsies elevated will also help out by preventing swelling and leg cramps. (Once you’ve arrived, we’re sure you can handle the whole “blood pumping” thing on your own…)