Youâ€™ve heard of a â€œbabymoonâ€ â€“ itâ€™s like a honeymoon, only instead of taking place after one of the most important days of your life (your wedding), it takes place before one of the most important days of your life – the arrival of your child.
These days, it can feel like taking a babymoon is almost a prerequisite to bringing home baby. Your family members, friends and coworkers relay tales of their own blissful time spent in paradise: sipping mocktails, feeling baby kicks and savoring their final days as a duo. Or simply staying home to relax before your life changes forever. You have to admit, it sounds pretty nice.
A babymoon can be a wonderful way to unwind and connect with your partner before an 8-lb bundle of joy wreaks (temporary) havoc on your peaceful home life. But babies are expensive. And so is traveling. Is a babymoon really a wise choice, financially?
Thatâ€™s a question only you and your partner can answer â€“ one that depends on a variety of financial factors, lifestyle aspects, and personality traits. But if you have some extra money set aside, numerous studies show experiences make you happier than things, so jetting off to get pampered (or go adventuring) is scientifically a good move.
Still, when you make the decision to go on an extravagant babymoon, youâ€™re committing a substantial amount of money to an experience at a time when youâ€™re probably already a little on edge about finances.
Hereâ€™s how to make sure your pre-pink-or-blue trip doesnâ€™t put you in the red.
- Purchase trip insurance. Doing so is always a good idea, but especially during pregnancy. While itâ€™s perfectly safe to travel â€“ even on a long flight to a foreign country â€“ until the third trimester in most healthy pregnancies, thereâ€™s always a chance complications could arise. Clear the trip with your doctor, and listen to any advice if they recommend you stay put for any reason.
- Pay for the travel with cash, points or a debit card. Taking on unnecessary debt right before having a baby could undo any stress relief brought on by your babymoon. Having a child is costly at any income level. For reference, middle-income, married-couple parents of a child born in 2015 may expect to spend $233,610 ($284,570 if projected inflation costs are factored in) for food, shelter and other necessities to raise a child through age 17, according to the USDA.
- Choose a destination with a variety of things to do, and donâ€™t book any non-refundable activities. Pregnancy is unpredictable. Just because you feel great when you booked the trip doesnâ€™t mean you wonâ€™t be struck down by sciatic nerve pain or persistent nausea when your departure date finally arrives.
If youâ€™ve planned a trip where the primary activities involve a lot of movement, such as hiking or walking around museums, you could end up disappointed when youâ€™re no longer physically up for the activities youâ€™d been looking forward to. And vice versa â€“ just because youâ€™re feeling terrible when you plan a trip doesnâ€™t mean you wonâ€™t be bursting with that mythical second-trimester energy â€“ ready to spend all day touring art galleries or hiking to waterfalls.
- Ensure your life insurance, will, and other financial obligations are sorted before you depart. A licensed SelectQuote life insurance agent is a great source of advice to new or soon-to-be parents. Of course, nobody wants to think of worse case scenarios. But accidents happen, and making sure your family will be well-taken care of is an important responsibility of parenthood.
- Rest assured that a relaxing, memorable babymoon doesnâ€™t have to mean a week in a Hawaiian all-inclusive or a Parisian pied-de-terre. A weekend at a local spa, a road trip to a country B&B, or a few nights at your cityâ€™s fanciest hotel and restaurants can be just as much of an escape. For the truly cost-conscious, taking a babymoon doesnâ€™t even have to mean going anywhere. For the ultimate budget escape, consider a pre-baby staycation. Unplug from technology, cook meals together, watch movies on the couch, take naps, and just enjoy each otherâ€™s company â€¦ and the relatively clean and quiet of your house.
A babymoon is a wonderful, relaxing and memorable way to bond with your partner and savor the special time waiting for your baby to arrive. With a bit of planning, you can make sure this last hurrah is regret-free, no matter the price tag.
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