Aug. 21, 2008 -- Congratulations! A new member of the family is headed your way, but before you get buried in diapers and midnight feedings it's time for one last travel fling, a "babymoon."
The idea behind this popular new travel trend is for expectant parents to get in some last-minute pampering before the baby arrives. Some top resorts are jumping on the babymoon bandwagon, offering fantastic package deals that include everything from massages for mom and dad, to baby gifts and even special "craving" chefs. Oh baby!
Arawak Beach Inn -- Anguilla, Caribbean
This Caribbean beauty is going all out, offering two affordable babymoon packages. "The Last Hurrah Getaway" package at the Arawak Beach Inn in Anguilla is fantastic because not only do you get an unlimited amount of pickles and ice cream for mom, but the Arawak bar runs on the honor system so dad can grab a beer anytime he wants. The four-night package (under $500) combines value with romance by offering oceanfront accommodations and a daily breakfast. Also part of this babymoon deal: a couple's massage, a gourmet picnic lunch and a candlelight lobster dinner.
For a little more money you can go for the "Isolation Vacation," where active parents-to-be are spoiled with a daily breakfast, four dinners, three days of a rental car and snorkeling and a deep sea fishing trip. For more: www.arawakbeach.com.
Triple Creek Ranch -- Darby, Mont.
If the call of the wild is something you're searching for, the world-class Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Mont., has a luxury babymoon that's truly unique. The six-night "Something's Cooking" package allows parents-to-be to completely relax and rejuvenate so you're rearing to go once the baby arrives.
Set on a ranch in the Montana Rockies, your deluxe cabin has everything you need for a sensational vacation. This babymoon package is all about giving parents a little Western TLC and includes a six-night stay for the price of five nights, all meals, a couple's massage en suite and Triple Creek Ranch shirts for mom, dad and baby. For more: www.triplecreekranch.com.
Westin New York at Times Square -- New York, New York
One of the hardest things about having a baby is picking a name, so the Westin New York at Times Square has come up with the perfect babymoon package to help you out. The "Baby Naming Weekend" package includes a list of popular names based on New York City neighborhoods and a $100 gift certificate for baby's first present at Tiffany & Co Jewelers.
Because picking a name can stress you out, this package also includes accommodations in a spa-inspired guest room complete with your own Kinjoy massage chair. To get the special price when you're booking the package, just ask for the rate plan under "babymoon." For more: www.westinny.com.
Planters Inn -- Charleston, S.C.
The "Baby's on the Way" package at the historical Planters Inn, in Charleston, S.C., is set up so expectant parents can have one last romantic escape before the newest family member starts demanding most of the attention.
This babymoon includes three nights in one of the inn's oversized bedrooms featuring cozy four-poster beds and fireplaces. Mom gets a jar of pickles when she checks in, dad gets a cigar and cognac. If that doesn't seem quite fair, mom also gets a cuddly teddy bear along with a baby backpack full of information about infant care.
The spoiling continues with mom getting extra pillows to make sure she sleeps in style along with ice cream and a slice of the inn's famous coconut cake. Also on the agenda, a list of movies you can watch in your room, massages for mom and dad and a guided carriage ride through historic Charleston. For more: www.relaischateaux.com.
Reynold's Plantation -- Near Atlanta
There's nothing like good old-fashioned Southern hospitality to get you ready for a new baby. The Ritz-Carlton Lodge at the Reynolds Plantation, 75 miles east of Atlanta, is offering expectant parents the peaceful "Lake Moons, Baby Swoons" package that includes a lakeside room, private dinner for two with "virgin-tini" cocktails, a maternity massage for mom and a round of golf for dad ( mom, you can golf too, if you want). You'll also get a butler-drawn bath and breakfast in bed. One of the other fun babymoon touches includes a peanut butter and pickles turndown service to help chase any last-minute cravings away. For more: www.ritzcarlton.com.
The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, Near Florida
Here's an islands escape you can take without leaving the United States. For a splurge, the award-winning Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, just off the coast of Northeast Florida, is offering a spectacular babymoon package that includes a two-night stay in an oceanfront suite.
To spice things up a bit, you'll have a romantic three-course dinner for two served by candlelight on a private balcony. To help ease any stress or pre-baby jitters this package includes a couple's massage where mom gets a soothing prenatal treatment and dad gets all the kinks worked out in a sports massage.
This exclusive property is known for catering to your every need, so it's no surprise that for the babymoon package there's a 24-hour "Cravings chef" on hand with a special "Late-Night Craving Menu." If that's not enough, there's also a fabulous gift, a baby Bulgari bath set filled with luxurious products that are just perfect for a newborn's delicate skin. For more: www.ritzcarlton.com/ameliaisland.
Before you sign up for any babymoon, be sure to check with your doctor first to make sure you're at a place in your pregnancy were it's safe to travel. Then you're good to go!
For more unique travel destinations check out Karen Schaler's Travel Therapy Web site at www.traveltherapytrips.com