Nothing gets in the way of the elation that accompanies new pregnancy more than news of a fierce mosquito-borne illness that endangers women who are pregnant or looking to become pregnant. While the threat of Zika was firmly planted in 2015 and 2016, the virus has continued to linger in a few too many locations (some of which are U.S. territories) typically deemed ideal for say, a picture-perfect celebratory babymoon vacation. It can be hard to start planning a babymoon when so many popular getaways have been tainted, as it were, by the virus. However, while there are a handful of locales that remain off-limits for pregnant women or women hoping to become pregnant soon, there are still plenty of destinations worthy of your celebratory babymoon.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is the best source to consult for updates in terms of Zika development in affected countries (you can even check out a world map that reflects high-risk areas), but in the meantime, we’ve got a handful of recommendations for easy, breezy, and all around breathtaking spots dotted across the globe that are ideal locations for getting your sea legs ready for the road ahead—worry-free.
Life is seemingly worry-free in Bermuda. This spit of land in the north Atlantic British Isles is known for pink-sand beaches, beautiful resorts, a whole lot of sun, AND—most notably here—no Zika. Secluded beaches abound (check out the South Shore’s Jobson’s Cove), the local cuisine is mouth-wateringly unforgettable, and the opportunity for a well-deserved spa day is around every corner. Take look at resort offerings from the Rosewood, Royal Palms, and the Fairmont Southampton.
The best part about traveling to South Africa is the plethora of options you have in terms of the type of travel you’d like to do: sand or safari—or even better, both. Resorts like Singita Sabi Sand and Marataba Safari Lodge offer romantic vacation opportunities that are perfect for couples looking to get out and explore. However, for those who are in search of some of the world’s prettiest stretches of sand (and a good dose of city culture and vineyards, too) Cape Town and its surrounding areas are chock full of boutique hotels like the waterfront Silo. Either way, there is no threat of Zika in the country so the options are bountiful.
Wedding stunning natural beauty, ancient culture, and luxury accommodations, Sri Lanka is guaranteed to be the perfect combination for an unforgettable babymoon. Waste no time booking a room at the recently-opened Shangri-La Hambantota (now the largest resort in the nation), the epitome of luxury on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, located right along the Spice Route. Guests can look forward to activities of the golf-and-spa variety, in addition to sweeping coastal views, delicious local cuisine, and top-tier accommodations, as per usual with the brand.
It’s close to impossible to write about beachy babymoon-worthy getaways without mentioning Greece, and more specifically, the vacation gem that is Santorini. Whitewashed buildings, winding staircases, and shimmery, cerulean water: Santorini is arguably one of the best beach getaways for any occasion, but it’s specifically special for couples looking to enjoy those final “just us” moments before two becomes three.
When thinking of Spain’s Balearic Islands, many people instantly summon images of Ibiza, quite a party central, and, while beautiful, not necessarily the number one destination for a relaxing and luxurious babymoon. However, just a hop, skip, and jump away is Mallorca, perhaps one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful and accessible destinations. Between the bustling hub of Palma, the north’s craggy, windblown coastline, and the turquoise blue waters surrounding the entire island, there is no shortage of beauty and opportunities to relax and celebrate new life.
Diving and snorkeling opportunities abound in the gorgeous and windswept—and perhaps underrated—Caribbean gem that is Martinique. Post up here for a week and drink in the stunning aqua-blue water views, a stunning rainforest, and the delightful Creole cuisine. Take your pick from a handful of sweet yet elegant accommodations, like Le Cap Est Resort and Spa—or maybe snuggle up and enjoy the chic interiors of a private cottage at Domaine Saint Aubin.
While there is plenty to see and do in all Mediterranean destinations, Malta is perhaps a departure from the norm in that it offers an even slower, quieter pace of life. The breathtaking beaches are a draw enough on their own (hop over to Malta’s smaller island sister Gozo for that bright blue water)—but factor in the quaint capital city of Valletta, truly salt-of-the-earth local restaurants offering delicious cuisine, and the incredible architecture, and you’ll learn that there is ample opportunity for a restorative yet culturally invigorating trip. And: not even the slightest threat of that pesky Zika.
The Florida Keys
You can’t really go wrong with the Florida Keys. Not only is the destination totally Zika-free, but it’s just a quick flight away from those traveling from the east coast or the south (and not terribly far for midwesterners / west-coasters). It’s got all the relaxation vibes necessary to yield the type of vacation you may want your babymoon to resemble: beachside mocktails, Instagram-worthy cabanas, boutique hotels, high-end resorts, and amazing cuisine. Keep in mind resort names like Ocean Key Resort & Spa, or the West-Indies-style cottages of the luxury Moorings Village in Islamorada.
Yes, it IS still possible to have a Zika-free Caribbean vacation. While the majority of nations in the Caribbean are still experiencing new cases of the mosquito-borne virus, there are a handful of islands that offer a worry-free retreat. In addition to Martinique, travelers can head to The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Guadeloupe, and Saint Barth's for a relaxing trip—all are on the CDC's list of Zika-free countries.