Pregnant? Trying to conceive? Maybe you have baby-making on your potential roadmap for the next year? If you’re planning on taking a vacation anytime soon, beware.
Maybe you want to find a tropical honeymoon hot spot or a warm destination for a babymoon. Or just want to get that last trip in before the life-altering event that is parenting lands in your lap.
Unfortunately, the most common tropical countries and places are hot spots for the Zika virus, an illness pregnant women or anybody wanting to try for a baby want to avoid at all costs.
Let’s take a look at what the Zika virus is, how it can affect pregnant women or those planning on considering a family some timesoon, and ten Zika-free destinations to put on your list of possibilities.
What is Zika?
Zika is a virus carried by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. You can get infected if you’re bitten or stung by this variety of mosquito. Since many tropical locations tend to have a lot of mosquitoes, the risk for Zika is greater.
Since Zika is a bloodborne pathogen, it can be transmitted through sex, a blood transfusion, and insect bites.
It can also be passed to the unborn baby during pregnancy. Since there’s no vaccine or medicine for Zika, you want to avoid getting it.
Zika Dangers to Pregnant Women
The Zika virus is dangerous for anyone who gets it, but it’s especially dangerous to pregnant women and unborn babies. If a pregnant woman is infected she’s at a higher risk for a miscarriage or a stillbirth.
There are also severe birth defects associated with Zika that can affect the baby’s brain.
Since pregnant women want to avoid all of those things, it’s crucial to only choose babymoon destinations that are Zika-free. Here’s our top ten list:
The Top 10 Zika-Free Destinations of 2020
If you want to run your toes through the sand of beautiful beaches, Bermuda is your babymoon destination. Bermuda gives you the tropical feeling minus the Zika-threat that many other warm places have.
May through October is the busiest time of year in Bermuda, so you’ll pay more to go. March and April are better. The weather is getting warmer then so you’ll be able to enjoy the beach even if the water is still on the cold side.
Elbow Beach is a must-visit while you’re there as well as the Crystal and Fantasy Caves. Bermuda is also known to have some luxurious spas, so be sure to treat yourself.
If you’re dying to get to South America before your baby is born, Uruguay is only one of two South American countries known to be Zika-free.
While the best time to visit is between October and March, that time will be packed. If you want to avoid the crowds and still have good weather, opt for late April to early June.
While you’ll want to spend time at Uruguay’s beautiful beaches, you’ll also want to check out the capital city of Montevideo. There are historic buildings to see and plenty of authentic South American food. Baby’s got to eat, right?
The only other Zika-free South American country is Chile.
There’s a lot going on there so the best time to visit will depend on what part of the country you’re going to and what you want to do. If you want to check out some festivals, go in January or February. For a visit to Santiago, March-May is best.
Remember that since Chile is in South America, their seasons are opposite ours. If beaches are on your list go during December-February, which is their summer. It’s going to be crowded, but that’s the best weather time if it fits into your babymoon schedule.
Malta is such a hidden gem. A small, beautiful country with a lot to do, it’s a safe romantic hot spot off of the coast of Italy with plenty of European charm.
I spent a few weeks in Malta pre-baby and absolutely loved it. It also some awesomely beautiful attractions like the Blue Grotto.
You can arrive via boat or plane. There are also some cool places to hike if you get the ok from your doctor before you go.
Summer has the best weather and is the preferred time to visit, but also the most crowded. If you want decent weather, but not exactly beach weather, go any other time except November and December. Those are the rainiest months which means no fun for you.
#5: The Bahamas
The Bahamas are probably one of the most sought-after tropical vacation destinations and, bonus, it’s known to be a low risk for zika.
It’s a tropical paradise where relaxation is on the agenda 24/7. It’s a sold beach babymoon.
Explore Paradise Island (that’s the picture above!) where it’s white sand and clear, blue water everywhere you look. There are also boat tours and some cool places to hike too if you can.
In order to get the most out of your babymoon, try to visit from November through mid-April. Although that’s peak season, you’ll avoid the sometimes muggy and rainy conditions the summer can bring. You’ll also miss hurricane season which is from July to October.
#6: The Azores
It’s tough to imagine a more unique and underappreciated place than the Portuguese Azores Islands.
Island Life? Check.
Pristine beaches? Check.
Breathtaking views? Check.
The Azores are a group of nine islands off the Portuguese coast, full of European influence, with its own climate and breathtaking views.
If you’re flying from the East Coast, it’s about a five-hour flight, which isn’t too bad… and it’s super affordable. When I visited the Azores in 2015, my flights from Toronto were only around $300 round trip.
The Azores make a great babymoon location because it’s a laid back place to visit with a lot to see and do, if you choose, or you can sit back and enjoy the scenery. There are beaches to chill at, historic sights to see and even an underground lake.
Weatherwise, anytime April-November is a good time to visit. Keep in mind that peak travel season is June-August, so expect big crowds if you choose to go then.
#7: New Zealand
A lot of parents-to-be choose New Zealand as their babymoon destination because of its amazing beaches. If you check out the Bay of Islands you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about.
If you don’t mind hopping a ferry to see some of New Zealand’s history you can also check out some dolphins. But New Zealand isn’t just a tropical all-inclusive vacation type of place. There are so many sights to see, outdoorsy things to do, and cities to soak up.
New Zealand is another of those places where the seasons are opposite ours.
January-March is the best time to go if you want summer weather, although it can get a little crowded. But, January is holiday time in New Zealand, so a lot of businesses shut down which can be a real bummer.
If you’re looking for a babymoon location in that same area, give Australia a shot. It has plenty of breathtaking views, beaches, and spas. There are resorts galore here, so just take your pick.
Again, the seasons flip-flop, so January-March is good if you want warmer weather, but the part of the country you’re visiting will determine the best times to go. Near the Great Barrier Reef, which is up north, temps can get in the 90s. So if you like warm weather, but don’t want to roast, avoid the summertime. The Gold Coast is known to have great weather all summer.
Your best bet is to figure out where you want to visit and plan from there.
#9: Mallorca, Spain
Mallorca is simply breathtaking and a little piece of paradise. It’s a great babymoon destination because there are beaches, fancy 5-star hotels, and one-of-a-kind spas. There are also some cute little areas to shop.
Since Mallorca is known as a popular babymoon destination, some hotels even offer babymoon packages. It’s also super romantic (as is the next pick!) so perfect for a honeymoon.
August is known to be the hottest month so you might want to avoid it since you’re carrying around another human.
September and October are optimal months to go if you want to avoid the crowds and still enjoy great weather. March and May are also good choices for warm weather and fewer people.
#10: Santorini, Greece
Greece is my favorite place in the world, and next to Portugal, the only country I want to visit again and again.
Greece is everything you could ever want in a country, and Santorini is just next-level gorgeous. Full of romance and charm, Santorini is a big babymoon winner. There are plenty of beaches to visit, like Kamari Beach, which is pretty well-known.
There are ancient sites to see and amazing Greek food to eat, so you can’t go wrong. The best time to visit is between April-November. The weather is good and rain is minimal. It gets hotter and more crowded June-September so keep that in mind when you’re planning.
Stay Healthy When You Travel
You won't be surprised when I say that it's absolutely possible to travel with your little ones.
There are just a few extra things to consider, like bringing your baby on a plane, what to pack to cover all of the baby travel essentials, ensuring you're choosing a destination that is kid-friendly, and of course, keeping everyone healthy.
Even when you’re visiting these Zika-free destinations, you’ll still want to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Wear insect repellent and stay away from standing water where mosquitoes tend to hang out.
Always be on the lookout for travel advisories since Zika warnings can change and check with your doctor to make sure that it’s okay for you to travel.
Ensure you're well-equipped with baby sunscreen to ward off those harmful rays, and load up on a travel supplement like FLIGHTFŪD Inflight Elixir to boost your immune system and feel better on your trip.