A babymoon may be a millennial thing, but it’s a great idea for anyone who is expecting. Read for my tips and thoughts on planning a babymoon, from choosing where to go to where to stay.
I am your stereotypical millennial. I eat avocado toast, I drink lattes. I Bird, I Uber. I barre, yoga, pilates, spin and
So of course I wanted a babymoon, which I didn’t even realise was a millennial thing until I said it a few times and got some blank looks in return. A what? In the life of a millennial, a babymoon comes after your honeymoon which comes after your destination wedding, mmkay? It’s a vacation you take when you’re about 6 months pregnant and, feeling hashtag woke to the life changes ahead, it’s that final trip before your two forever becomes three.
Initially, husband wasn’t at all keen on the babymoon idea. (He’s an elder millennial so I knew it would take some convincing to get him on board.) We’re about to have a baby with all the accompanying expenses, so financially, it’s not the best timing, he explained. But added a strangely millennial caveat that, only if the stars align, should we go.
So here’s how the stars aligned…
Choosing where to babymoon was surprisingly simple. I was looking for the closest, warmest somewhere outside of Europe that doesn’t have Zika. Unfortunately, that ruled out a lot of places. Most of the Southern Hemisphere still carries a risk of Zika advising pregnant women not to travel. That narrowed it down to California or Florida. Although Miami is now cleared of Zika, husband’s risk appetite of -100 ruled that out too… So, California it is!
While it’s true that it’s always sunny in California, the average temperature in Feb is actually somewhere between 8-18 degrees, reaching highs of 21-23 towards the south. That’s no beach vacation, but that’s just as well since sun-bathing while pregnant generally isn’t a great idea. (Not saying you can’t do it, but there are a lot of precautions to consider if you do.) When researching the state, we looked up Napa Valley and Big Sur near San
The two main expenses of a babymoon are the flights and hotel. Daily expenses such as food and activities are actually much cheaper than other holidays as pregnant women can’t do a whole lot of things (no skiing, no scuba diving, no rafting, no hang-gliding, no mountain-climbing, no horse-riding) and they can’t drink alcohol, which actually adds up to some rather significant savings. Perhaps a topic for another time is also how pointless it is for pregnant women to eat at Michelin-starred restaurants. Think about it. I’ll have the seabass, but could you please remove the caviar and foie gras?
While it is perfectly safe to travel when pregnant (up until the eighth month if there are no complications) there are a few things to be mindful of. Doctors recommend staying well hydrated, wearing compression socks during the flight, as well as getting up to stretch your legs frequently. You should also get a doctor’s note confirming that you’re fit to fly and remember to take your maternity notes with you.
If flying long-haul, a major advantage of choosing business class is the extra space, comfort and most importantly, the ability to lay on your side while sleeping! However, business class return tickets from London to San Diego with BA cost on average £4000 per person. That’s a lot… but with a companion voucher and
So what’s the catch? To book with a companion voucher, you have to book a reward flight and have saved up enough avios points. In addition, only a limited number of seats, sometimes as little as 6 per flight, are marked for reward customers, which greatly limits the availability. For the most popular routes, these seats sell out within hours of becoming available 355 days in advance. To my surprise, when I searched for our chosen dates I found two seats available, and had just enough avios to book them!
To start collecting avios, British Airways have a friend referral program where you could receive 26,000 bonus avios when signing on – terms and conditions apply. If interested, email or message me for the link.
As I’ve written about previously, I often look for boutique hotel associations such as Relais & Chateaux or Small Luxury Hotels when I travel, the former being my absolute favourite. Although considerably cheaper, we didn’t want to rent an Air bnb as we love the hotel experience and wanted one last luxurious break.
My preference for a Relais & Chateaux hotel was not only important because I love everything about them but also because there is no other hotel group I trust more when it comes to their food quality standards. Just because it’s a 5 star hotel doesn’t mean you won’t get food poisoning. Food safety is a major concern when travelling abroad pregnant; and if it wasn’t for Zika, that would also have limited which countries we’d consider.
To qualify and belong in the Relais & Chateaux group, the hotel must pass frequent, stringent inspections and adhere to the highest of hospitality standards, particularly and especially in regards to food. In fact, one of the key differentiators of the group is their commitment to locally sourced gourmet ingredients and fine dining.
It was one of those chance encounters that people rarely, if ever, follow up on and
It was just our luck that this particular San Diego Relais & Chateaux hotel also happens to be one of if not the best hotel in California. Also coincidentally, it specifically caters to babymoons, literally ticking all the boxes! I emailed our friend, owner of this mystical place, and explained how we were considering his hotel for our babymoon. And in his reply, he made us an offer we could not refuse. I won’t mention figures, but let’s just say that the stars could not have been more aligned!