So you’re expecting a baby, and, with all of the planning, excitement and — let’s be honest — lack of you-time to come, a Babymoon could be just what the doctor ordered. (We’re not doctors, but we’d have to agree.) You may not be the Duchess of Sussex, but you still deserve to be treated like royalty. This pre-baby vacay is an opportunity to relax, pamper yourself, connect with a partner, get some headspace or be whatever you want it to be.
Read on for our top Babymoon picks, as well as tips for traveling while pregnant.
What to expect: Red rock views, mild climates, luxury spas, art, spiritual transformation
Getting there: Fly into Phoenix and rent a car. Sedona is a 90-minute drive from the airport and you’ll enjoy having wheels to explore once you’re there.
When to go: Summers can get very hot (think temps in the mid-90s), making spring and fall the best time to go for comfortable, mild weather. You may find some shoulder season savings in May or September when the weather will hover around the 70s but peak tourist season hasn’t quite started.
Where to stay: Stay in the Oak Creek district south of the city center. You’ll find luxe spas and picture-perfect waterfalls. Book the Babymoon package at L’Auberge de Sedona, which includes dinner, the maternity spa treatment, a baby gift and a welcome package with sparkling cider and chocolate covered strawberries.
Amelia Island, Florida
What to expect: Natural beauty, oceanfront views, local shopping, historic charm, sandy beaches
Getting there: Located on the coast of northeast Florida, it’s only a 30-minute drive from Jacksonville International Airport.
When to go: Mild temperatures make Amelia Island an attractive option year-round. Winter weather sees highs still in the 60s, while summer can really heat up into the 90s. The island also has active mosquito prevention in place.
Where to stay: Book the Babymoon Getaway package at The Amelia Island Williams House. You’ll get a chilled bottle of (non-alcoholic) bubbly, chocolate-covered strawberries, a picnic basket filled with gourmet sandwiches and snacks, a romantic carriage ride for two through the historic town and dinner for two.
What to expect: Mild weather, mountain views, art galleries, luxury spas, farm-to-table dining
Getting there: Fly into Los Angeles and rent a car for the scenic 90-minute drive to Ojai. Compare prices for nearby airports in Burbank and Santa Barbara as well. You may find a better-priced flight to one of these smaller airports (and the drive will be slightly shorter).
When to go: There’s really not a bad time to visit Ojai. The California sun is likely always shining, but keep in mind summer will be the hottest month and usually the most crowded. Visit in spring or fall for pleasant temps and fewer crowds. With the heightened sense of smell that comes along with pregnancy, consider (or avoid, depending on your tastes) a trip in April for Pixie month when the town celebrates this sweet, seedless tangerine. With over 25,000 trees at their peak, the smell will be prominent. Similarly, if you love the scent of lavender, a visit in June will coincide with the town’s lavender festival.
Where to stay: Book a stay at the Ojai Valley Inn for a custom experience. Build a personalized itinerary full of what you want from your trip — from spa days to art classes to pool lounging, your time is yours. Take advantage of the Babymoon Package, which includes a 50-minute Expectant Mother’s Massage, daily breakfast for two and a stylish take on the diaper bag from a fave local shop, Petunia Picklebottom.
Where to eat: Enjoy scenic views of 200-year-old Oak trees and mountain vistas when you dine on dishes full of fresh, seasonal ingredients at The Oak. For something a bit different, reserve a table for a Sunday, when they have their weekly Bluegrass Brunch. For something a bit more formal, try Olivella for fresh Italian dishes in an elegant setting.
What to expect: Classic New England, mountain views, laid-back charm, farm-to-table dining
Getting there: Fly into Vermont’s Burlington International Airport and rent a car to make the quick 45-minute drive to Stowe.
When to go: While Stowe is often thought of as a ski destination, it’s the rest of the year that makes it a pretty perfect Babymoon spot. Plan a fall getaway for prime leaf-peeping opportunities, or visit in spring or summer to take advantage of mild weather (think 50s and 60s). You may find opportunities for savings around Stowe’s ski resorts in the offseason. Skip early summer to avoid the season’s black flies and mosquitoes (which are not the species which transmit Zika).
Where to stay: Book the Bump on Board babymoon package at Topnotch Resort and score a maternity massage, unlimited fitness classes, a body pillow, midnight snack and gift card for a local jewelry store. Bonus: It’s close to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory for all cravings and they offer up free samples for everyone — so partners can get in on the action.
Where to eat: Enjoy locally sourced cuisine in a cozy historic setting at Starry Night Cafe or connect with your partner at Simon Pearce Restaurant, once named one of “America’s Most Romantic Restaurants” by Travel + Leisure. With the backdrop of the Ottauquechee River waterfall and an actual covered bridge, we can’t argue.
What to expect: Island charm, diverse culture, world-class spas, turquoise ocean views and white sand beaches
Getting there: A number of major airlines offer flights to Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport. Once there, some hotels will offer free airport transfers (just sort your KAYAK hotel search by “Free airport shuttle” under our Freebies filter) to easily get you to and from your resort.
When to go: Peak season runs from December to May, but even in January when it’s at its coldest, temperatures range from 63-77 degrees. Hurricane season is from July to October, so you may find a shoulder season sweet spot in June or November. And it’s one of the only Zika-free islands in the Caribbean, making it perfect for a tropical babymoon.
Where to stay: Stay at Breezes Resort and Spa on Cable Beach in Nassau, which offers a number of dining options, a full-service beachfront spa and lots of entertainment options (or you can just lay peacefully by the sea). Purchase the Babymoon upgrade to add breakfast in bed, daily cabanas and facials at the spa.
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
What to expect: Laid-back island charm, ocean views, sandy beaches, fresh local cuisine
Getting there: Seasonal flights make summer the most convenient time to visit Martha’s Vineyard. JetBlue, Delta and American Airlines all fly direct from New York (JetBlue also flies from Boston and American will get you there direct from Washington, DC). But if you’re traveling in fall, winter or spring, not to worry — just fly into Boston’s Logan International Airport and connect with Cape Air, which offers daily flights year-round. If you prefer to take a ferry to the island, summer brings plenty of options from different points in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. But in the other seasons, the only year-round ferry option is the Steamship Authority, which departs daily from Woods Hole on Cape Cod (an hour and a half from Boston).
When to go: Summer. Without a doubt, summer is the best time to visit Martha’s Vineyard. Not only are there plenty of convenient ways to get there, but the weather is also at its best, typically ranging from the 70s to high 80s. Late spring and early fall are also good options — but if you plan to use the ferry, be sure to check seasonal schedules.
Where to stay: While there are plenty of luxe, top-of-the-line accommodations around the island, if you really want to indulge before the baby arrives, book a stay at Hob Knob. This boutique hotel and spa has all the historic island charm you could ever need. Splurge on the Babymoon Indulgence package and get a welcome basket, afternoon tea service and a prenatal massage (along with a regular massage for your partner, so they don’t feel left out of the fun).
Where to eat: Dine overlooking the harbor at Garde East with fresh, local ingredients and an always-changing menu.
Tips for traveling while pregnant
Timing your trip
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests traveling during your second trimester for more active vacations. The morning sickness experienced by more than half of pregnant women in their first trimester can make travel uncomfortable, while the third trimester may find you more easily fatigued.
That said, everyone experiences pregnancy in different ways, and if you’re healthy and have consulted with your doctor, there’s no reason to avoid flying at any point in pregnancy up until your 35th week (sooner, if you’re pregnant with twins or triplets). Women are not recommended to fly after week 36 and most airlines won’t let women on board at that point.
If you have to travel after week 36 (and your doctor’s given the OK), call the airline or cruise line first. Some may require a doctor’s note if it looks like you’re close to your due date.
If you’re traveling internationally, it’s important to remember that some countries may place limitations on the entry of pregnant travelers, so it’s advisable to confirm country-specific requirements with the local consulate.
You’ll also want to find and contact a local OB-GYN. Your own physician may be able to advise. The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers can provide a directory of English-speaking physicians around the world. You can also contact the local US Embassy or American Consulate for advice.
It’s wise to bring along documentation of your expected date of delivery, doctor’s contact information and blood type while traveling. Some airlines may require pregnant passengers to have a medical certificate signed by a physician or midwife. If traveling in your third trimester especially, bring a copy of your medical records and ultrasounds in your carry-on.
While everyone loves a direct flight, if you’re traveling a long distance, it can actually be better to book a flight with a stop, giving you the opportunity to stretch your legs properly and have a meal.
Choose an aisle seat (preferably close to the bathroom) so you can easily get up as needed. Because pregnant women are at higher risk for blood clots, it’s important to get up and move around frequently, as well as drink lots of water to aid swelling in-flight.
Most importantly, whether traveling near or far, in your first trimester or third, always talk through your plans with your doctor before you go.