by Melissa Jaramillo
You're pregnant for the first or even second time (or more!). You're already painfully aware that there will be many sleepless nights and busy days ahead of you caring for your new baby.
There's a growing trend of couples taking what's been affectionately called a "babymoon" -- a trip a couple takes before the baby arrives and lets the couple to connect and enjoy being with one another before the long journey to parenthood begins.
It's kind of like a honeymoon, but different. You could even consider it your second honeymoon.
How does one plan for the perfect babymoon?
Try these tips and suggestions so you can concentrate on having a great time together. Don't spend this time centered on ending the chapter on coupledom and instead, embrace and celebrate the creation of your new family.
Planning the perfect babymoon
Choosing the babymoon location
If you're planning on taking your babymoon a few weeks or months before you're due date, you may not want to vacation too far from home.
On the off-chance you do encounter any complications, you don't want to be too far from your healthcare provider.
Also keep in mind that in the homestretch, traveling can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for a mom-to-be.
Another detail not to overlook is getting travel insurance in case you need to cancel the trip -- because your baby comes early or you experience any complications.
An added bonus is that if you need a doctor during your vacation, most travel insurance covers out-of-pocket expenses for medical help.
Babymoon ideas and suggestions
Choosing just the right location for your babymoon has to account for the fact you may be cranky, having mood swings, food carvings and wild variations in body temperature.
Here's a list of some popular questions to ask one another and suggestions of getaways:
1. Why are you taking the babymoon?
Want to spend time bonding, attending classes, getting relief for aches and pains or shopping? Depending on your answer you might want to look at a spa resort, shopping district, weekend pregnancy workshop, the beach or some combination of it all!
2. How many months pregnant will you be at the time of the babymoon?
Choose your location based on the stage of pregnancy. Most women take babymoons in the second trimester.
3. What kind of budget do you have to spend?
Take a look at your finances and take a pre-baby vacation that doesn't break the bank.
✓ Spend time in a different city
✓ Attend childbirth workshops
✓ Plan a picnic at the park
✓ Book a pregnancy massage at a spa
✓ Go to the beach
✓ Have your favorite chef cook a meal for you both
✓ Hire a housekeeper
✓ Eat out at your favorite all-you-can-eat buffet
✓ Spend time in a nearby hotel being pampered
✓ Lookout for babymoon hotel package deals which offer healthy meals, keepsake gifts and relaxing movies to watch
Popular babymoon destinations
Tropical islands like Hawaii, the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands are always among the top destinations for the mom-to-be and her partner because they provide a mix of relaxation and adventure such as walking, snorkeling and swimming.
More of a big city person? Consider San Francisco and New York City as they have tons to offer like walking tours, shopping, eating out, fine dining, museums, sport and leisure activities, nightlife and parks.
How about a cruise that sails to tropical locations? Filled with romance and plenty to do, plan ahead and book early as most cruises do not allow women pregnant over 24 weeks to be on board.
The beach which is perfect to relax and vegetate. Mexico, California, and Florida have some of the nicest beaches that are accessible and affordable.
The key take away from all this is that when you're planning your babymoon, make sure you're comfortable, mellow, relaxed and can unwind before baby arrives.
Match your babymoon vacation to your needs and re-connect with your partner before the big day comes!
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.