Your family will soon grow by one. You’re pregnant! Congratulations! Your life is going to change in ways you cannot imagine. So, before that happens, you want to take one more fantastic vacation, the kind where money is no objective, being pregnant is not a hindrance and – most importantly – you won’t be exposed to the mosquito that spreads the Zika virus.
Ugh, Zika. The scourge of the pregnant set. Exposure while pregnant could lead to microcephaly other brain malformations and birth defects in your baby. Best to stay away from places that have known cases. Unfortunately, that eliminates about 60 countries and three U.S. states. Most of these are in tropical areas where the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the one that carries the virus, can reach.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a high quality and worry-free trip where you do what you want. Here are seven Zika-free babymoon destinations (in alphabetical order).
OK, so it’s not a city, but it’s so far north that no Zika is going to get there. The best way to see Alaska is to cruise, and there are numerous options on many of the biggest and best cruise lines. There’s plenty of good food and spa options on ships, and you can take any number of excursions, or stay on the boat. And unlike Mexican cruises, Alaskan cruises tend to skew older, so an expectant family should fit right in with the grandpas and grandmas you’ll meet. Maybe they’ll dote on you.
The birthplace of Democracy offers plenty before you give birth. Don’t miss the historical tour of the famous Acropolis. Mount Olympus is a great day trip; and Delphi, home of the famous Oracle, puts you in touch with the great mythology.
For great dining, try a Greek Maze. No, this isn’t where you explore a Labyrinth trying to find the Minotaur. This is where you sample lots of little plates of dips, meats, fishes and more.
Because of the heat, don’t travel in July or August. Go in May or June. If you can get there, stay on the Island of Crete at the St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas. They offer his and her massages, candlelit dinner and a welcome pack of honey cakes, seasonal fruit and mineral water.
Do an Internet search of “Babymoon Barcelona” and one place keeps coming up: The Mandarin Oriental Hotel: luxury accommodations (often with a complimentary room upgrade), full daily breakfast and massages of between 50 and 80 minutes. There’s also great dining in Restaurant BistrEau. Other people swear by the W with its great views, pools and top-notch fitness center.
Of course, there is plenty to do, including the whimsical Parc Guell with its unusual yet impressive man-made landscapes; the colorful Saint Joseph of Boqueria Market, which goes back to the 17th century and is resplendent with fresh meats, fish and produce; as well as numerous churches and museums. And if you love soccer, er, futbol, go to Camp Nou Stadium, home of FC Barcelona.
Whether you go in the winter or summer, there’s plenty to do. If you’re up to it, ski at Heavenly Resort in the south shore or Squaw Valley in the north by day and enjoy the casinos and nightlife after the sun goes down. In the summer, there’s boating, hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, water skiing and lake cruises, plus golf, shopping.
Stay at the Ritz-Carlton on the north shore and enjoy a mellow mama massage, dinner at Manzanita and flavored s’mores around the fire pit. On the south shore, Marriott’s Grand Residences offers gondolas to the top of Heavenly as well as luxurious accommodations.
Because it’s such a busy city, many might not consider this an ideal babymoon destination. You couldn’t be more incorrect. Heathrow Airport is in the city, making it easy to fly in, buy a travel pass and have access to the Tube or public buses.
Shop at the Portobello Market near Notting Hill, cross the London Bridge and enjoy lunch at Borough Market, wander around Mayfair, SoHo and Covent Garden, take in a soccer match in one of the five teams that currently play in the Premier League’s top division.
Stay at the Savoy or the Connaught. Each offers daily breakfasts, spa treatments and great proximity to other great museums and galleries.
The Eiffel Tower. The Champs-Elysees. The Louvre. The Seine. Sidewalk Cafes. There is so much to do and not a mosquito is sight. Take a romantic walk or three and dream up baby names. There also are loads of spas and shopping if you want to stock up on baby clothes and other soon-to-be-necessities.
Stay at the Villa Madame and take advantage of the Seine river cruise, plus daily breakfast for two. Or try the Hilton Paris Opera and get a gift bag for you and baby.
Plenty of history awaits babymooners. Buy a Roma Pass and check out the Forum, the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, Fontana di Trevi, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon and the 135 Spanish Steps.
There’s more good food than you can possibly eat, and the lodgings at the Grand Hotel Via Veneto are top notch. For a minimum two-night stay, you get daily buffet breakfast, free pass to the spa and an 80-minute massage.