California Dreaming of The Most Millennial Babymoon

California Dreaming Millennial Babymoon Blogger

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 bootcamp on the reg. The only jeans I own are skinny. I hashtag and use words like lit, yaas, basic, FOMO and AF. I have Spotify, Netflix, Prime, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. My life goal is… can you guess? To live my best life, of course, which also means to live slower, minimally, and more sustainably. I’m a blogger, influencer, whatever. I am as millennial is it freakin gets.

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…

Destination

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 Francisco. But decided better to leave them for another time when I can actually drink. As for my risk averse husband, Los Angeles was considered as potentially dangerous, which left us with San Diego.

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?

Flight

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 avios points paying only taxes, the price falls to £600 each. That’s a saving of £6800! While £600 is still not cheap, it’s incredible value for an 11 hour flight. Tickets to Greece cost a similar amount in peak times.

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.

Hotel

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.

Stars

Funny little story, on holiday in the Algarve last summer, husband and I met a very interesting couple. In conversation, I mentioned how Relais & Chateaux is my absolute favourite to which the gentleman said something along the lines of, “How interesting, I have one of those. If you guys are ever down in San Diego, you should come and stay.”

It was one of those chance encounters that people rarely, if ever, follow up on and I remember thinking then, when, if ever, would we visit California? Passing thoughts for a passing conversation. Until four months later when I was researching my babymoon.

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!

Want to know what happened next?

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Lara Olivia
Lara Olivia

Freelance writer and blogger obsessed with food, travel and good stories.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

13 Comments

  1. 20 February 2019 / 6:36 pm

    Haha i thought the exact same as Scarlett… What is BIRD? 😀
    I was quite keen on a baby-moon, but after our Christmas in Denmark, I started feeling unwell, so the thought of flying was not tempting at all. I guess we are going to have a delayed “baby-moon” – or something haha!
    I am so excited for you, Lara
    Big heart and hugs from us

    • 21 February 2019 / 3:06 pm

      Well if ‘the stars’ hadn’t ‘aligned’ so perfectly for us we probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere either! So when I came across this opportunity it was just too good to pass up, pregnant or not! 😀 xx

  2. Ruby Lee
    20 February 2019 / 5:15 am

    We must have booked our Babymoon around the same time as you did (looking at the date of your post)!! We are a bit cheeky going to south of France at Brexit weekend, funny enough also using companion tickets (expires this April!). Not as warm as where you will be though!! How far gone will you be when you go away? I will be 31 going 32wks so it works out all fine.

    Enjoy Cali x

    • 21 February 2019 / 3:09 pm

      Hi Ruby! I went in early Feb while I was 26 weeks pregnant, which is a good time for any long-haul travel. Will be writing more about the trip soon! Hope you have a great Babymoon in France and remember to stay away from soft cheese! It’s not easy all these restrictions is it? xx

  3. 13 February 2019 / 9:40 pm

    Oh it sounds like it all worked out perfectly!!!

    • 13 February 2019 / 9:41 pm

      Like it was meant to be! ☺️😘

  4. 13 February 2019 / 8:33 pm

    Lara I love this. I have heard about the Zika issue from my friend – so hard for her to get somewhere hot. The rewards scheme is what I like to here. I am gonna google this now. We never collect air miles but we really should cause we fly at least 4 times in a year. Cant wait for more..

    • 13 February 2019 / 9:21 pm

      Thank you so much 🙏 Send me a message or email if you’d like a referral link! For me it’s 100% been worth it. We’ve done all our major travel using companion vouchers and avios, literally saving us thousands!

  5. 13 February 2019 / 12:27 pm

    OK, Lara. what is a Bird? I guess I am showing my age! We didn’t have babymoons back when I had my first. But why the heck not? You’re going to have your hands full soon. And California at this time of year is perfection. Looking forward to your next instalment!

    • 13 February 2019 / 12:40 pm

      Lol 😀 well to be fair I only found out about Bird’s on my trip to Vienna last November. It’s one of the leading companies of those electric scooters you’ll be seeing more and more of worldwide in big cities. Also the topic of a funny South Park episode recently… although I don’t imagine you saw it 😛 Our world and our trends are constantly changing, from babymoons to bumpfies (bump selfies), who knows what’s next! But why the heck not is my attitude too 😉 x

  6. 12 February 2019 / 9:02 pm

    I am a huge fan of San Diego as we nearly moved there for my Dr C’s work! I’m Loki g forward to hearing the next installment Lara!

    • 13 February 2019 / 10:06 am

      Can you not still go?! I would live there in a heartbeat. A big house in La Jolla with an office overlooking the ocean… *sigh* hehe

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