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.

Visiting the Cranberry Islands

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Looking at Mt Desert Island from Great Cranberry Island

Visiting the Cranberry Islands is a great way to spend a day when you’re on Mt Desert Island, especially if you like laid back small towns with friendly people.

There are ferries that will take you from either the Northeast Harbor or the Southwest Harbor to each of the islands and back. Day passes start at around $30 for an adult, less for children, and pets are free.

You can stay on the islands for the night as well, but they are small islands, so you can do most of the island in a few hours. There are a few lighthouses you can see using certain ferries.

Great Cranberry Island has a great restaurant called Seawich Café. It’s expensive but they have amazing clam chowder. You can take a bike and ride the whole island, or there’s a free tour called the Cranberry Explorer. We just walked around for most the day talking to locals and exploring a yard sale we came across. Everyone was super friendly and used to visitors to the island.

On Little Cranberry we did more walking but we came across an ice cream shop with a trail in back leading to a rocky beach and the ocean. It was a great walk over log trails through a forest, watching our dog chase seaweed in the surf, then homemade ice cream for the walk back to the ferry.

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Little Cranberry Island

Daily schedules

http://www.cranberryisles.com/ferries.html

Information

http://www.cranberryisles.com/visiting.html

Babymoon in Acadia National Park, Maine

me at Acadia National Park, 2013
me at Acadia National Park, 2013

My husband and I went to Mt Desert Island, where Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are, twice for a week. There are plenty of hotels that you can stay in, some book faster and cost more than others. We chose to stay at the Blackwoods Campground. I recommend booking in advance though there are walk in sites available. Here is my review and details about the campground. If you are babymooning, it may be easier to get a hotel room unless you are comfy in a sleeping bag.

We always have an amazing time hiking and eating, and walking around Bar Harbor. Here are some ideas on what you can do while you’re there:

  • Drive up to the top of Cadillac Mountain and watch the sun rise. It is the first place the sun touches in the United States during the winter months, but in the summer it’s still a huge draw.
  • Hike up Cadillac Mountain from a trail that starts at Blackwoods Campground. The view is spectacular and you can see all the islands surrounding Mt Desert Island.
Maine 2013
View from Cadillac Mountain, Maine 2013
  • Hike over to Bar Island when the tide is low and look through the tide pools for sea urchins and star fish.
  • There are so many carriage roads, walking paths, and hiking trails all around the island to take advantage of.
  • See Thunder hole at high tide
  • Take a whale watching tour  or nature tour
  • There are also lighthouse tours and puffin tours by boat around the islands
  • Take a horse drawn carriage around the island
  • Bike around the park
  • Paddleboard or kayak around the island or go fishing in the lakes
  • And eat lobster and blueberries. You can get the best lobster rolls, clam chowder, and blueberry anything in Bar Harbor. A good place to go is Cherrystones, so yummy.

There is so much to do, if there’s anything I’ve missed please let me know if the comments below!

 

Babymoon Travel Ideas

Jamaica Inn

You could choose anywhere in the world to go for your babymoon, but more recently, hotels and resorts are catering specifically to babymoon vacations. Places like New York, Arizona, and Massachusettes to Jamaica, St Lucia, and Hawaii all over special babymoon packages with perks like maternity massages and a “cravings basket.” This is the ultimate in pampering for a couple ready to become a family.

Fodor’s 10 Best Resorts for a Babymoon Vacation

Pay one lease and live all over the world!

Ubud, Bali/ www.Roam.co

There’s a new company called Roam which has a pretty cool idea for those who want to experience living abroad.

For $500 a month (all utilities included, including “battle-tested” wifi), you sign a lease that gives you access to a private suite in either Madrid, Miami, or Ubud, Bali. They plan on making more countries available in the future, like London and Buenos Aires.

They will also have a support network, local language classes, and organized events that will help you adjust to a new country easier.

It’s technically co-living, so you have your complete private suite, but the property has several communal spaces for gathering together to work, eat, or hang out.

Sounds fun to me!

 

https://www.roam.co/

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/with-this-company-sign-one-lease-live-all-over-the-world-231067

A Unique Babymoon Experience in Iceland

Iceland is amazing, beautiful, and perfect for adventuring. It was perfect for a honeymoon, babymoon, or reconnecting as a couple because there is almost no one around outside Reykjavik. This is a recap of what my husband I did for our Honeymoon. There is so much to do we could not get to in all in the short times we had. We also stayed toward the southwest, if you go to the north, it’s a totally different experience.

We found a fantastic deal where they book you in hotels in different places and it’s your responsibility to get there. You rent a car as part of the package and drive around and explore on your own . More and more of these type of vacations are popping up and can run pretty cheap. In Iceland, get a 4 wheel drive vehicle, because there are several roads that are 4 wheel drive only.

We went in June, which is awesome in some respects but not good in others. It never got dark, ever, so we had no trouble with jet lag; however, it also meant we were getting up at 11am and wanting to eat dinner at 10p,. Fortunately, everyone we met was super friendly, and often would take our order for dinner even after the kitchens had closed.

We landed in Keflavik and drove to Reykjavik to our hotel and slept. The maps are fairly easy to follow and the learning curve isn’t that steep for driving around. While we were there we went to the Botanical gardens, the zoo, and a few museums. There’s is also a huge nightlife here but we decided to forgo that experience.

Go to the Blue Lagoon, it’s a spa, but you can just hang out in the lagoon if you want. It’s a beautiful, cerulean blue, naturally warm geothermal hot spring. And it’s full of silica which they say is good for your skin. So much fun and so romantic.

Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Explore Grindavik, a coastal fishing town. It’s fun to walk around but it’s not big so it won’t take all day. There are several restaurants to choose from for lunch, we ate at Salthusid, and it was wonderful.

We went from there to our next hotel in Vik. On the way we stopped at a few waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss, where you can walk behind it and it’s beautiful. We also stopped at Skógafoss which is huge!

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
Skógafoss, Iceland
Skógafoss, Iceland

While we were exploring around Vik we found a place we can follow a trail under a glacier, we found a black sand beach you can drive on, and a cliff where you can get super close to puffins! This cliff, overlooking the Troll Stacks (based on a local legend) is one of the only places you can see puffins on the southern coast without taking a tour.

Puffins, Vik, Iceland
Puffins, Vik, Iceland
Glacial cave, Iceland
Glacial cave, Iceland

From Vik we drove to FlúÞir (Fluthir), which is near Geysir, where geysers were named for. While we were there exploring we found some mudpots (fun to see but you have to hold your nose), and we stopped at Gulfoss, and Þingvellir (Thingvallir) where you could see where the tectonic plates had moved apart. We also stopped at the geysers and watched them erupt, pretty frequently.

Gulfoss, Iceland
Gulfoss, Iceland
Þingvellir, Iceland
Þingvellir, Iceland
Strokkur Geyser, Geysir, Iceland
Strokkur Geyser, Geysir, Iceland

Then we went back to Reykjavik and ate some amazing street food, they have their own style of dressing a hotdog with crispies underneath.

There are so many different places to explore and several companies to go through to do excursions if you want. You can find the information at any hotel website and, once you’re there, at the hotels themselves.

If you’ve gone to Iceland, let me know what you did while you were there!

Traveling While Pregnant

Me in Acadia National Park, Maine at 7 months pregnant
Me in Acadia National Park, Maine at 7 months pregnant

My last babymoon we went to Maine with friends, driving 14 hours, camping for a week, and hiking all day. I’m not big on going slow or letting anything stop me doing what I want. I had to learn that when you’re pregnant, things are NOT the same.

Usually, the best time to travel is during the 2nd trimester, right after morning sickness ends, or gets tolerable. Depending on how well your pregnancy goes, your doctor may not want you to travel after 32 weeks.

Basics first, make sure you tell your doc what you are planning on doing, where you’re going, and how you’re getting there. Also ask for a copy of your medical records just in case something happens while you’re away.

Pregnant women are more prone to circulation problems including blood clots from sitting in one place for too long, so make sure, no matter how you travel, to get up and walk or move around every hour or so. If you aren’t able to do this, make sure you are keeping your legs moving and your toes wiggling to circulate blood.

Make sure you bring healthy snacks and plenty of fluids because you may not be able to eat meals when you’re used to. Be aware of the water and food quality wherever you’re going in case you can’t drink the tap water or eat the food. Also check out stores in the area in case you need to get anything while you’re there.

Be careful about packing and how much weight you’re lifting in your suitcase.

Be careful of the risks of getting sick where you’re going. For instance, cruises and airplanes are potential places for people to catch a bug. Also what shots if any you need and what native diseases there are where you are going, i.e. Zika.

Know where the nearest hospital is and the phone number in case there’s a problem.

Remember, you may not be able to do the things you’re used to doing. You may be short of breath, your center of gravity changed so you may be off balance, you may not have as strong a grip as you did due to wrist pain, so many changes! Just be aware of how all this has affected you.

Biggest thing is to be prepared.

If you have any tips or helpful advice, please let us know!

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/traveling-while-pregnant

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/air-travel-during-pregnancy/faq-20058087

http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/travel-during-pregnancy.aspx#

Why Take a Babymoon?

Mike and I at the natural hot springs in Arenal, Costa Rica
Mike and I at the natural hot springs in Arenal, Costa Rica

The biggest reason you should go on a babymoon is to reconnect as a couple before you have a baby, because it is hard to balance your baby, your partner, and yourself in the beginning. Just be together, doing things you want to do, and not worry about the world at home for a while.

Here are some other reasons why you may consider taking a babymoon, either before or after you’re pregnant:

-Last big trip before baby

-Long exotic spa days

-Spend money on you before you’re spending it on baby-related items

-Do things you feel you could never do in good conscience after baby due to perceived risk (sky-diving or bungee jumping)

-Do things you won’t be able to do until the kid(s) are much older or you’d feel guilty doing without them (Hang-gliding, zip-lining, para-sailing, or something you want to do with them like swimming with dolphins)

-Or going away for longer than you’d want to leave your kid(s) with anyone else.

-Or at this time, going to an area where Zika is a risk.

You have to be careful about how active you can be if you’re already pregnant. Many companies that offer more active excursions usually have rules or require a doctor’s note saying that’s it’s ok for a pregnant woman to participate.

No matter what you want to do or why you want to do it, the main thing is that you focus on yourself and/or yourselves as a couple and have fun.

 

Concerns about Zika

Update May 16, 2016:

It’s been shown now that Zika can cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and Guillain-Barre syndrome in adults. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. Symptoms start with tingling and weakness in feet, arms, or face, that can quickly progress and evolve into paralysis. There is no known cure but there are several treatments that can reduce the length of the disorder. Most people need to be hospitalized.

 

Update April 14, 2016:

The CDC announced that the Zika virus is linked to the birth defects that they saw a correlation with before.

Click the picture for the New York Times article source:

 

Posted March 29, 2016:

Right now, a very real concern for anyone with a baby in their future is the Zika virus. There are many sources of information out there, and it gets overwhelming and scary at times. I’m an outdoorsy person, and at the time I’m writing this, I’m 16 weeks pregnant and I’m worried about spending time outside during the summer. Especially since Northern VA is about as mosquito ridden as the Amazon it seems. It’s hard to stay sane amidst all the changing and sometimes contradictory information. So I took the information that made me feel better and consolidated it:

Researchers know that pregnant women pass the Zika virus on to their fetuses if they are infected when they are pregnant. They know that there is a link between Zika and microcephaly, impaired growth, and eye, hearing, and brain deficits. They do not know at what point in the pregnancy the fetus is most vulnerable or if Zika specifically can be blamed. Researchers are working on all this now.

We do know that if a woman has been infected by Zika before, and the virus has left the blood (which takes a few weeks), there is no risk to future pregnancies. And they think the reason why there are so few cases of Zika based fatal impairments in countries such as Uganda where it was first identified, is because once you’ve been infected, it’s very unlikely you will get sick a second time. Like the chicken pox. But by no means does this mean you should go get sick just so you won’t get it later.

Also, we know that Zika is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. There are two types, one lives in tropical regions and the only place it lives in the United States is southern FL. The second type is commonly called the Asian Tiger Mosquito and has been found as north as Chicago and New York. They both can carry and transmit the Zika virus but have not been found carrying the virus yet in the US. Here is what they look like:

Aedes Mosquito/ aedesmosquito.com

But, because of all the uncertainty, and the fact that the Aedes mosquito is not just tropical, it’s a “better safe than sorry” scenario.

 

So protect yourself:

  1. Wear EPA-Registered bug repellant. These have been approved for use by pregnant and breastfeeding women: EPA-Registered bug repellants
  2. Always spray the bug repellant OVER your sunscreen and reapply both as directed.
  3. If you’re going on your babymoon to one of the countries identified as having locally acquired Zika transmission, wait until you’re sure you are not infected before trying to conceive.
  4. If you are pregnant, hold off on that vacation or save it for your second babymoon instead.
  5. Also, be aware that Zika can be sexually transmitted by the male partner, and the virus can be transmitted for a few days before symptoms present and a few days after they disappear.
  6. Before you travel, check the CDC for the latest travel advisories: Zika Travel Information
  7. So far, there have been no locally-acquired Zika transmissions in any of the 50 states; however, there have been in the US territories.
  8. The CDC is updating frequently with all the information they learn and researchers are working very hard at providing more definite answers to these uncertainties. I know I’ll be keeping up to date on any new developments. Their resources are all available here.

Is this a concern for anyone else? Leave a comment below.

Sources: