Babymoon in Cyprus

Photo courtesy of the Independent
Photo courtesy of the Independent

Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean with beautiful beaches and mountains and is very rich with history. It dates back to the Neolithic times and has been occupied but the Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Alexander the Great, Ptolemaic Egypt, the Roman Empire, Arab caliphates, the French Lusignan dynasty, the Venetians, and then the Ottoman Empire until it was placed under British administration in 1878. It was then granted independence in 1960. The city of Nicosia is divided and  was not free to walk between the Turkish and the Greek sections until 2003.

It is a great place to go if you love adventure, there is so much to do:

  • See the Kykkos Monastery in the Troodos Mountains. It is said to be the wealthiest Greek Orthodox monastery and if you are there early enough you can see the monks in their morning prayers. Also there is a Byzantine Museum with artifacts.
Photo courtesy of Anne Dickens
Photo courtesy of Anne Dickens
  • The same mountains have the ten Byzantine painted churches with their wall frescoes that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List
Photo courtesy of Ko Hon Chiu Vincent
Photo courtesy of Ko Hon Chiu Vincent
  • Explore the villages in which little has changed over the generations. And given how many years the island has been inhabited, the architecture is influenced by many cultures. You can find some wonderful crafts made by hand as well.
Photo courtesy of Cyprus Land
Photo courtesy of Cyprus Land
  • Go to the Akamas for a hiking adventure. The Avakas Gorge is some beautiful hiking in spring. Visit the turtle conservation project at the Lara headlands. l See the Karavopetres, ‘the Sailing Ship Rocks.’ And while you’re there, visit the small chapel of Panayia tou Vlou, the Byzantine church of the Virgin Mary of the Blind, to have your eye problems miraculously cured. And if you’re up for more adventure, drive up to the Cape Aranouti and see the mythology with the Fontana Amorosa and the Baths of Aphrodite.
Photo courtesy of Pizza Travel
  • Go snorkeling or scuba diving at the wreck of the MS Zenobia which is off the coast of Larnaca.
Photo courtesy of Gloria Travel Services
Photo courtesy of Gloria Travel Services

Photo courtesy of Gloria Travel Services

  • Visit the capital of Nicosia where you can see the city divided between the Turkish Cypriots in the north and the Greek Cypriots in the south. The city is the only divided city in the world. The division was opened up in 2003. Stand on the 11th floor of the Shacolas Tower to see a panoramic view of Nicosia and visit the Great Inn, a 16th century Ottoman Inn.
Photo courtesy of Visit North Cyprus
Photo courtesy of Visit North Cyprus

Photo courtesy of Visit North Cyprus

  • If you like acoustics, visit the Curium, where it is said that you can speak quietly in the center of the stage and be heard at the farthest reaches of the theatre. They hold productions there often.
Photo courtesy of Elspeth Broadbank
Photo courtesy of Elspeth Broadbank
  • Take a walk on the Limassol Coastal Walk and pass the beaches, gardens, sculptures, and the archeological site of Ancient Amathus.
Photo courtesy of Spotting History
Photo courtesy of Spotting History
  • Go Skiing on Mount Olympus!
Photo courtesy of CypLive
Photo courtesy of CypLive

Photo courtesy of CypLive

  • Visit the donkeys on the Karpas peninsula. Someone shot some of them and it united the Greek and Turkish Cypriots through Facebook to protect the donkeys who roam freely around the peninsula.
Photo courtesy of Riviera Beach Bungalows
Photo courtesy of Riviera Beach Bungalows
  • Visit the Bellapais Abbey, a 12th century French Gothic Abbey in the Five Finger Mountains which was said to inspire Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle
Photo courtesy of North Cyprus Discovery
Photo courtesy of North Cyprus Discovery
  • Go to Paphos, the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its remains of ancient villas, theatres, fortresses, tombs, and mosaics.
Photo courtesy of Travel Weekly
Photo courtesy of Travel Weekly
  • Go to an old restored Turkish Bath at Omeriye Hamam in Nicosia. hamambaths.com
Photo courtesy of About Travel
Photo courtesy of About Travel

Photo courtesy of About Travel

Make sure you try the Mezé, which is the traditional meal of Cyprus. It starts with a salad, dips and bread, then seasonal veggies, seafood, and then a meat and pasta dish, a meat dish, and for dessert, a bowl of chilled fruit.

Also try the wine. Cyprus was the first country in Europe to produce wine, since 3500 BC, and has several family-run wineries.

Photo courtesy of Cozy Cyprus Real Estate
Photo courtesy of Cozy Cyprus Real Estate

If you’ve been to Cyprus, let us know how it was in the comments!

 

Sources:

The 10 Favorite ‘Must Dos’ in Cyprus

Cyprus

Six Things You Must do in Cyprus

Babymoon in Cambodia

For the truly adventurous, Cambodia is a beautiful country with a terrible history. If you’re planning on taking a trip here, it’s a good idea to hire a tour guide or have an itinerary so you know how to get around and where to go. Then you’ll see some spectacular things.

Photo courtesy of gapyear.com
Photo courtesy of gapyear.com

 

Some history for a moment: from 802 AD until the mid-15th century, Cambodia was ruled by a succession of kings. When Angkor fell to Ayutthaya, it was ruled as a vassal state. Then in the 1863 it became a protectorate of France which helped the country grow in land area and Cambodia gained independence in 1953. The US bombed Cambodia during the Vietnam War from 1969 to 1973, and in 1970 there was a coup and the deposed king gave his support to the Khmer Rouge. They took Phnom Penh and carried out the Cambodian Genocide from 1975-1979 until they were ousted in the Cambodian-Vietnamese War, which lasted until 1991. After the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, a United Nations mission governed Cambodia from 1991 to 1992, and then they withdrew. In 1997, there was a coup in which the Cambodian People’s Party took over and remain in power.

Things to do in Cambodia:

-The Cambodia Landmine Museum and Relief Center where people can learn about landmines and the continuing threat in the Cambodia and the world. They also provide care and education for at-risk children on the property.

Photo courtesy of Visit Cambodia
Photo courtesy of Visit Cambodia

-The Angkor National Museum which covers the Golden Era of the Khmer Kingdom.

Photo courtesy of UNESCO
Photo courtesy of UNESCO

-The Psah Chas market which features souvenirs and street food.

Photo courtesy of Tourism of Cambodia
Photo courtesy of Tourism of Cambodia

-The Made in Cambodia Market where all products are made in Cambodia.

Photo courtesy of King's Road Angkor
Photo courtesy of King’s Road Angkor

– Phsar Leu which is the biggest market meant for locals.

Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor
Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor

-Artisans Angkor where you can watch artisans work.

Photo courtesy of Artisans d'Angkor
Photo courtesy of Artisans d’Angkor

-New Hope Restaurant which has great food, is a trade school for former sex workers, an elementary school for at-risk kids, and a local free medical clinic. You can take a tour and meet the kids too.

Photo courtesy of Planterra Foundation
Photo courtesy of Planterra Foundation

– The Floating Villages on Tonle Sap Lake. Take food or school supplies for the kids who will rush you in hopes that you will give them something. This is a very poor part of Cambodia but something to see for a realistic view of the country.

Photo courtesy of Voia Tours
Photo courtesy of Voia Tours

-The Banteay Srei temple which is notable for its intricate carvings on rose pink sandstone.

Photo courtesy of CN Travel
Photo courtesy of CN Travel

– Drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap or vice versa. You’ll see rice paddies, ox-driven carts, and old French colonial towns.

Photo courtesy of Local Adventures
Photo courtesy of Local Adventures

-The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum which was originally a high school, turned into a torture center, and now a museum for people to learn the history of the Khmer Rouge.

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post
Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

-The Killing Fields which is full of mass graves from the Khmer Rouge era.

Photo courtesy of Tourism of Cambodia
Photo courtesy of Tourism of Cambodia

-And the Royal Palace where the kings of Cambodia have lived since the 1860s and the Silver Pagoda which is located on the property.

Photo courtesy of Global Travel and Tours
Photo courtesy of Global Travel and Tours

-Wat Phnom which is the highest temple in the city of Phnom Penh

Photo courtesy of Phnom Penh Info
Photo courtesy of Phnom Penh Info

But the temples are why most people come to Cambodia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Near the town of Siem Reap, Angkor is a temple complex with several temples located there including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm as well as several others that you can visit. Make sure you go early because it gets very crowded, but seeing the sun rise is stunning. It was built between mid-12th century and the late 16th century. Over that time, it went from a king’s state temple to Vishnu, capital city, and Hindu center of worship to Buddhist center of worship which is has stayed to today. In the 20th century, work was started restoring it and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Researchers are still finding buildings and pieces that were previously undiscovered. The monkeys are a force to be reckoned with though, they will grab stuff right out of your hands!

While you’re in Cambodia, make sure you try the rice wine (maybe not too much if you’re pregnant), sticky rice from the roadside snack stands, and the Cambodian Red Curry. If you’re really adventurous, try the fried spiders.

Photo courtesy of Where and What in the World
Photo courtesy of Where and What in the World

Have you ever traveled to Cambodia? Let us know how it was in the comments!

Sources:

Things to do in Phnom Penh

15 Most Memorable Attractions in Cambodia

Wikipedia Angkor Wat

Wikipedia Cambodia

 

Romantic Babymoon with a Private Plunge Pool Part 2

Here is the link to Part 1 where I talk about 4 less expensive options than the ones on this page.

Below, cover the more expensive options. Definitely once in a lifetime getaways for reconnecting on an ideal babymoon adventure.

Sofitel Luang Prabang, Ban Mano, Laos

Photo courtesy of Refinery 29 and Sofitel Luang Prabang
Photo courtesy of Refinery 29 and Sofitel Luang Prabang

Pool rooms starting at $274 a night.

From Washington, DC, round trip tickets cost between $1100 and $1300 to get to the capital Vientiane. There are so many places to explore: the parks, the temples, and the city itself!

Things to do in Vientiane, Laos

 

Capella Ixtapa, Mexico

Photo courtesy of theadventuresoflesalinda.com

Rooms start at $240 a night.

From Washington, DC, round trip tickets cost between $480 and $600. More affordable place to travel to than others on this list, and though the rooms are more expensive, the benefits are that all the rooms are ocean front and have a personal plunge pool, and you have access to a personal assistant! This is also the beach

Things to do in Ixtapa, Mexico

 

An Lam Villas, Vietnam

Photo courtesy of An Lam Villas
Photo courtesy of An Lam Villas

Starting at $340 a night.

From Washington, DC, round trip tickets cost between $900 and $1700. This place also has complementary butler service. This resort is pretty private, as in, you can only access it by boat. Pretty expensive but a once in a lifetime trip.

Things to do in Vietnam

Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, Thailand

Photo courtesy of Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas
Photo courtesy of Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas

Rooms starting at $338 a night.

From Washington, DC, round trip tickets cost between $900 and $1050 round trip. The Villas are between the beautiful beach of Mai Khao and the Sirinath National Park. And although it’s in Phuket, the villas are in a quiet spot.

Things to do in Phuket, Thailand

 

Royal Isabela, Puerto Rica

Photo courtesy of Oyster.com
Photo courtesy of Oyster.com

Rates vary but can go as low as $399 from August to November.

From Washington, DC, round trip tickets cost between $250 and $350. The villas’ draw is the golf course, but it’s a beautiful place. And of course there is so much to do in Puerto Rico.

Things to do in Puerto Rico

 

Ladera St. Lucia

Photo courtesy of Ladrea St. Lucia
Photo courtesy of Ladrea St. Lucia

Rooms at the resort start at $460 a night.

From Washington, DC, round trip tickets cost between $550 and $1600 depending on the time of year you want to go. St Lucia is known for beaches and outdoor activities like hiking and exploring the parks.

Things to do in St Lucia

 

Airfare found with Hopper on the itunes store.

 

Have you been to any of these? Tell us below!

Romantic Babymoon with a Private Plunge Pool Part 1

Something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do was take a vacation at an all inclusive resort in a room with a private plunge pool. And even though I’m not the romantic in the relationship, it still sounds so amazing to basically never have to leave your room. Many of these places offer all inclusive options, some have optional butlers or personal assistants. So what better way to reconnect then staying somewhere with a private pool for your babymoon!

Usually staying in a room with a private pool is EXPENSIVE, but I found a list of places you can stay in a room with a plunge pool for different price ranges, and while the rooms may be less expensive, your money will be spent getting to some of these exotic locations. But sometimes, that’s the way I prefer it.

10 Sexy & Affordable Hotels with Private Plunge Pools

 

Blue Lime, Cambodia in Phnom Penh

Photo Courtesy of Blue Lime
Photo Courtesy of Blue Lime

Rooms starting at $85 a night!

From Washington, DC, round trip tickets cost between $800 and $1000 to get there but going to visit the “Paris of the East” is totally worth it. Through the website

Things to do in Cambodia

 

Palm Villas, Cyprus

Photo courtesy of Refinery 29 and Palm Villas
Photo courtesy of Refinery 29 and Palm Villas

Good for a family or group of friends. 3 bedroom villas start at $82 during the off season.

From Washington, DC, round trip tickets cost between $700 and $1000. A great place to stay to explore the Mediterranean.

Things to do in Cyprus

 

Las Brisas, Acapulco in Mexico

Photo courtesy of Las Brisas
Photo courtesy of Las Brisas

Rooms with a private pool start at $154

From Washington, DC, round trip tickets cost between $500 and $700. Acapulco has had some rough years and some drug violence that has continued in the surrounding hills and neighborhoods. If you decide to go, be prepared to spend your time on the resort rather than exploring the city.

Twin Island Villas, Bali

Photo Courtesy of Twin Island Villas
Photo Courtesy of Twin Island Villas

As low as $110 a night

From Washington, DC, round trip tickets cost between $1000 and $1200, but its Bali! So worth it!

Things to do in Bali

 

Here is Part 2 with 6 more options for a remarkable vacation.

Have you been to any of these? Tell us below!

 

Airfare found through the Hopper app on the itunes store.

Using Airbnb for Babymoon Accommodations

Choosing an Airbnb is an intimidating process, especially to start. But it makes for a different travel experience. You can find a private room for so much cheaper than a hotel in New York City. Or even a whole house for less than a hotel room at some beaches in the summer! You have to up for adventure though because you could find the perfect house with the perfect host and it still could be not quite what you’re looking for. These aren’t hotels, these are mostly run by regular people, and you’re staying in their space. So you never really know what you’ll find.

Tiny House in Asheville, NC
Tiny House in Asheville, NC

We’ve stayed at a hobby farm on Gwynn’s Island, VA with fainting goats, alpacas, and chickens hatching in the downstairs bathroom; we tried out the tiny house experience in Asheville, NC and decided that we needed more space; and we stayed in the bright pink Flamingo house in Marathon, FL that lit up like it was Christmas every night. All these places have been great, and for us, the unpredictability has been worth the memories.

So take a minute and think about what you want:

A shared room, private room, or a whole house

What location

What amenities: wi-fi, kitchen, gym, pet-friendly, pool, etc

Airbnb has a good filter system so use it to find what you’re looking for faster.

Read ALL the reviews. You could have 4 good ones and then one that says that no one cleaned after the last guest and there was hair on the soap and dirty sheets. Also, if there’s no reviews, it’s more of a gamble, but Airbnb has a link to the host and to reviews for other listings they have if any. In that case, read those reviews because that will tell what kind of host they are in general. You could also find some good information like if the listing says walking distance to downtown but it’s still 2 miles away. Technically I could walk that, but I don’t really want to on a regular basis.

Always look at all the pictures. Although be aware that they may be misleading, like having a picture of a beach when the location has no beach access, or having a dog in the picture when the place isn’t pet-friendly. But you can see a lot about the place and about the host by the pictures they take. Are they good quality? Is the place dimly lit and cluttered?

Make sure you read the house rules and everything listed on the page. Sometimes there’s a bit of a trade, like watering the plants or feeding the chickens. Sometimes you need to supply your own sheets and towels. Sometimes there’s a long and involved contract that you need to sign stating everything from what to do with the recyclables to explaining the fee for moving furniture.

Always communicate with the host first. Airbnb makes it really east to contact the host and ask questions. We usually travel with our toddler and our two dogs, so we make sure to ask, even if the listing says “pet-friendly” and “child-friendly,” if it’s ok to bring the dogs and the kid. 99% of the time the hosts you contact will answer all your questions promptly and will be polite and friendly. I’ve only ever contacted one host who was rude and consequently we did not stay at that house.

If you have a bad feeling or any red flags are raised, don’t stay there. Airbnb has a very good refund policy and although you pay up front, the host does not get paid until after you check in so you have a chance to notify them if there’s anything wrong with the place or with the host.

Make sure you read the Topics under the Help Center as well, how they process payments, etc. It’s all very good information. One thing they stress is to always do all your money handling through Airbnb. If the host asks to do a cash exchange or something, always say no. Every transaction handled through Airbnb they can help you with if there’s a problem, but If you don’t go through them, you’re on your own.

Even though we’ve had some interesting experiences staying at an Airbnb, it’s something that we find rewarding and will keep doing it.

Fainting goats on Gwynn's Island, VA
Fainting goats on Gwynn’s Island, VA

Let us know about your experiences in the comments section.