The Easy Way to Plan a Zika-Free Babymoon

Family Travel

Mar 04
How to arrange a zika free babymoon

How to arrange a zika free babymoon

Zika-Free Destinations: How to Have a Zika Free Babymoon

Hey, congratulations! You're expecting and you want to travel! But... zika. Argh! Here's a complete guide to what you need to bear in mind when looking for a zika-free babymoon.

What makes a good babymoon

Although I hate the word, I love the concept. A babymoon offers a wonderful chance for you and your partner to spend some restful time together before the whirlwind of parenthood begins.

Away from everyday trials and tribulations, you can relax, enjoy yourselves and indulge in dreamy conversations about how (you think) you'll parent before reality kicks in ;-)

The Problem

Pregnancy carries with it a raft of essential considerations and raises the stakes for standard travel concerns. What you eat, what you drink, your access to safe medical care, blood clots on flights... There's a lot to learn, quickly. 

And, now, there's zika. 

Now, more than ever, it's important to do your research before you can lie back and relax. A good preparation for parenthood, some might say ;-) 

You might like: top tips for travelling during pregnancy

The Solution

That said, don't let people scare you off (unless they are your own doctor.) It's perfectly possible, enjoyable even, to have a wonderful, zika-free babymoon.

Here's how.

Reality check: should you be going on a babymoon at all?

Yes, I am a doctor and I have been pregnant. But I am not YOUR doctor. Please, please, please, and please some more, check with your own doctor before you book. Some airlines and travel insurance won't cover you if you haven't sorted things out properly. And you, potentially, face months in a neonatal intensive care unit far from home. Setting aside the human cost, this costs hundreds of thousands of pounds. Sort out the paperwork!

And, caveat, remember this article isn't proper medical advice.

Which trimesteris best for a babymoon?

First Trimester

If you feel fine, then go for it! But if you're planning ahead, bear in mind that tiredness and morning sickness hit most people around now. It's also the most sensitive period for foetal development so you need to be super strict about what you eat and drink, which can be more challenging when travelling.

Second Trimester

This is the golden period for many mums-to-be (but not all, alas.) Morning sickness and extreme tiredness is settling down. Bump is small and cute. Waddling is a long way off. 

I had quite a complicated pregnancy and still managed to travel to Italy, Croatia, Spain and the Middle East in my second trimester without too much bother.

Third Trimester

Some women sail through pregnancy and so if this is you - enjoy! Just a few points to remember. Some airlines won't accept you beyond a certain date, even if all is well. And estimated due dates are just that. Estimates. The normal range is 37-42 weeks so don't plan on being pregnant right up until week 40...

On the other hand, some women suffer terribly and will be unable to leave the house by now. You won't know which you are until it happens. So, check the cancellation policy or leave off booking until the last minute. 

Top tip: speak to your insurance company and airline before booking. Pregnancy changes the rules...

Zika Free Babymoon Destinations

Now onto the fun part: the travel planning!

Europe (with some caveats)

Luckily, Europe remains a zika-free destination. However, certain countries are awash with soft cheese, cured meats, great wine tasting, swordfish and partly cooked meat. All off the menu during pregnancy. Then there are thermal hot springs and spas. Also to be avoided.

So. After spending a fascinating (but very hungry) time in northern Spain, I'm not going to do that to you! Instead, here's a pick of zika-free babymoon destinations where you don't have to miss out on too much. 

Croatia

Stunning beaches, rich history and easy to get around. I travelled to Dubrovnik and the oh-so-quiet Elaphiti Islands while pregnant and it couldn't have been easier. 

Italy

Ok, you will have to miss out on some of the cheese and cold meats. But off-season travel to big-hitting cities like Rome and Venice will still soak you in culture yet keep you out of the queues. Alternatively, rent a villa in Tuscany or Umbria and mix laid back relaxation and olive oil with trips to Pisa.

Note: depending on how your pregnancy is going, you may just want to check how far you are from a hospital. Some rural parts of Italy have long drive times (through picturesque winding roads, admittedly) and so it may be better to stay close to the cities. 

The Netherlands

Often overlooked, perhaps because of the party reputation of Amsterdam, certain other cities in the Netherlands make for a great, culture-filled babymoon away. The Hague, in particular, offers the Girl with a Pearl Earring, the Peace Palace, cool coffee shops (with lots of decaf) and even a sandy beach. Weather-wise, it's pot luck, as in Britain, but time it right and it's heavenly.

Easy Access: America

The United States excels at making things easy. Clean water, safe food, elevators, parking spaces, escalators, air conditioning, snacks on demand. Healthcare (provided you have sorted your insurance.)

It also has enough amazing travel experiences to keep you busy for a lifetime. It's a big old place. So which spots make ideal zika-free babymoon destinations?

Well, avoid the remote. Now's not the time to head into the wild and away from medical facilities. Instead, try these.

Boston and the Capes

I love New York, and always will, but her transport system isn't ideal for pregnancy. Boston offers a calmer pace, where you're more likely to be able to get a seat. Head to Cape Cod or Cape Ann for sun, sand and lighthouses (but maybe skip the islands if you need to make a quick dash to hospital.)

Florida

I'm a little reluctant to recommend this one as it's such a good destination for families, which is what you soon will be! But if you want to go swimming with manatees, soak up world class Dali art and great (safe) food while still being able to scrunch your toes in the sand then try Florida's Gulf Coast. 

Guaranteed Sunshine: The Middle East

Hot but with air conditioning, excellent medical facilities and no reported zika, several spots in the Arabian Peninsula make ideal babymoon spots.

Oman

I love this beautiful, friendly, calm country in the Middle East and in fact I did travel there when pregnant. Relax in beautiful luxury at the Chedi Muscat (with one of the world's best spas) or journey through this land of gleaming mosques, orchards, desert sands and pristine beaches. It is hot here, though, which is a drawback when pregnant.

Ras Al Khaimah

One of the seven United Arab Emirates, Ras al Khaimah is easily reached from Dubai and has a range of beautiful luxury hotels that mix culture in with the local landscape. Unlike Dubai, it's not a party place and doesn't particularly attract families. If you want to stay active, seek out hiking routes in Jebel Jais.

Sharjah

Another one of the United Arab Emirates, Sharjah is a dry state (no alcohol) so pregnancy is the time to visit and not miss out!

Sharjah city combines modern art installations and butterfly houses with traditional souks and beautiful museums on Islamic culture and aviation. It's a very short drive from Dubai and a short drive to the deep-red dunes. 

Jordan

Jordan is an amazing destination within the Middle East, awash with wonders of the world like the Dead Sea and Petra. However. Whichever way you slice and dice it, Petra involves an entire day walking on uneven ground in the heat. Not ideal for most pregnant folk and it would be near criminal to travel to Jordan and not see Petra. So this may be one to put on the backburner for now.

Note: dune bashing is great fun but probably not the best activity when pregnant.

Zika-Free Babymoon Essentials

So there you have it. Check with your doctor. Check the zika-free list (and other diseases, it's not only zika you have to worry about.) Arrange your insurance. And enjoy! (And then come back here and share cute bump and then baby photos, would ya?! Everyone enjoys those!)

The next step: the best places to travel with a baby

Disclosure: Some of these trips, or parts of them, may have been hosted, but that hasn't affected which exciting places I've chosen for this list. The wanderlust and desire to share the adventures with you is very much my own!

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more. Find out more.

  • Izy berry says:

    I will recommend guatemala is incredible place

    • Abi King says:

      Ah, yes it looks so interesting but I’ve not made it there (yet!) One of these days…

  • Emyr Thomas says:

    Some great ideas here. My travel plans for the first part of this year include Lisbon, Douro Valley, Santorini, St Lucia, Amalfi Coast (again!)… with many more for later this year hopefully! x

    • Abi says:

      Ah, what a gorgeous sounding list! And, well, the Amalfi Coast is so spectacular it deserves a repeat visit! I’m scrabbling around for cold weather clothes before heading to Helsinki and then into Lapland…

  • Karolina says:

    Thailand is the best country on the world! I can’t resist visiting this incredible country at least once a year :)

    • Abi King says:

      Ah, yes, it’s so beautiful! Although, I haven’t been for (gulp!) over 10 years. Was hoping to get there this spring but a few medical problems have cropped up. One of these days! Thanks for the reminder :-)

  • Claire says:

    So much inspiration here! Love your pictures, absolutely beautiful.

  • Great list and I agree, its one that’s really hard to put together. As an Indian I wonder why India doesn’t pop up on any of these lists more often… do you think it has to do with safety?

    • Abi King says:

      Hm. You know, you have got me thinking about this for days, now. It’s not a safety concern as in Syria, Iraq etc. And India obviously has a beautifully rich culture with such variety, landscape, food, architecture… I’ve only been twice and I had two very different experiences. One was fantastic, the other (the standard tourist route in the north) was pretty tough going. I had people break into my room and several times on the street people tried to rob me. Neither of these things are exclusive to India, of course (I had my wallet stolen in London, for example) but in certain places it can be very, very tough going if you don’t look as though you fit in and if you feel small and vulnerable as a result. I’ve always thought that the thing for me to do would be to head back with an Indian friend – perhaps I would be treated differently then? Or, perhaps I just had a string of unfortunate circumstances. Also, the visa process is awkward – you need special photographs and someone to vouch for you in India plus trips to the visa processing centre. But these are relatively easy to overcome so they wouldn’t hold me back. Just throwing it out there as food for thought, because you’ve really got me thinking! Thanks for the interesting question!

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