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3 beach destinations for a Zika-free babymoon

Babymoon destination criteria: easy to reach, no Zika nearby, great hotels and a side of R&R. 

3  beach destinations for a Zika-free babymoon

It seems like every travel publication has rushed to woo the expectant-couple market edged out of their Caribbean babymoon due to Zika. A lot of these recent beach vacation write-ups include destinations that, while technically Zika free, still make pregnant moms nervous due to proximity to Zika (i.e., it’s on a neighboring island) or distance from home (Seychelles sounds great, but not with cankles and heartburn).


Vacations are expensive, and your baby’s health is priceless, so we brainstormed about the recent trips we’ve been planning for clients, as well as the trips we ourselves would want to take. Criteria: easy to reach, no Zika nearby, great hotels and a side of R&R. ✔️

1. Bermuda

Bermuda lacks the endless summer temps of the Caribbean islands, but its location farther north (it’s roughly equal with South Carolina) means it’s also free of Zika-bearing mosquitoes. And even if the weather isn’t blazing hot, there are still blue skies, sunshine and miles of pink-sand beaches to explore, and you’ll probably need just a light sweater at night (at most). Bonus: quick and easy flights for East Coasters.

Where to Stay: Our favorite for a splurge is Rosewood Tucker’s Point, but we also love Elbow Beach, formerly the Mandarin Oriental, for its wide beach and great snorkeling (you can kayak out and see shipwrecks just offshore).

If you’re saving your pennies for one of those Jeremy Scott Cybex strollers, book one of the Fairmonts, both of which have undergone recent room renos. The Hamilton Princess has a slick new infinity pool and a Marcus Samuelsson restaurant, while the Fairmont Southampton overlooks the famous Horseshoe Bay Beach.

2. Hawaii

An easy hop for West Coasters, the Hawaiian islands are so gorgeous and so filled with five-star hotels (but not with Zika) that even East Coast mamas should make the trip. Oahu is home to Honolulu but also the less-developed North Shore, a surfer’s paradise.

If you want to hit the links instead of the waves, there are excellent courses on all the islands, including the exclusive Nanea course on the Big Island. If you can’t get a tee time (you’ll need a member to get you in), no sweat—the island’s huge range of ecosystems and the active volcano make the Big Island a great pick for smarty-pants couples who are interested in science as well as beach time.

Maui has the high-rise luxury brands and shopping, while Kauai, particularly its north shore, boasts some of the state’s lushest scenery and most spectacular hiking trails. Lanai is an under-the-radar island that’s become a must-visit thanks to a new hotel (see below).

Where to Stay: Four Seasons rules the Hawaii hotel scene, from its new Oahu resort to the revamped hideaway on Lanai, as well as the Four Seasons Hualalai on the Big Island, which consistently ranks as one of the top retreats in the world.

In Kauai, we love the St. Regis Princeville in the north and Koa Kea in the south.

Maui also has a great Four Seasons, or you can head off the beaten path to Hana and stay at the ecofriendly Travasaa for yoga, meditation and a more organic approach. If the busier Honolulu shores are more your style, check out the Modern.

3. Southern California

From Santa Barbara’s sunny shores to Santa Monica’s hip restaurants down to the sprawling resorts of Orange County and San Diego, Cali’s got a lock on the poolside-and-chill plan. Take light hikes, eat great meals and do a bit of wine tasting (at least for Dad) between afternoon naps and spa appointments. Pro tip: If you’ve got a business trip coming up to San Francisco or L.A., this is an easy weekend extension that lets you sneak in a babymoon without planning a separate trip.

Where to Stay: In Santa Barbara, check out Belmond El Encanto, where rooms sit in individual bungalows and the location in a leafy residential neighborhood means max peace and quiet.

In Santa Monica, Casa del Mar just emerged from a renovation and is looking fab.

Farther south, check out the Park Hyatt Aviara and the Montage Laguna Beach for the well-known luxury brands, and Auberge del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe for something more intimate.

P.S. We’re super smart (obvi), but we’re nowhere close to medical experts. Be sure to talk to your doctor and stay up-to-date on CDC recommendations and travel warnings.


A version of this article originally appeared on Passported.

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Create a school-ready capsule wardrobe for your kids

Dress for success whether virtual learning or in the classroom!

Tina Meeks

Going "back to school" this year may be less of a literal statement than in years past—but there is just as much reason for your kids to celebrate moving on to new grades. Just like in every new school year, a big part of the fun is refreshing your kids' wardrobe with clothes that allow them to express themselves.

Even if finding back to school clothes this year doesn't include a trip to the mall, you can still make an event of it by shopping H&M's kids collection from your computer. Pull up another chair for your shopping buddy and get the cart started with these fave capsule wardrobe options we've already scouted.

Here are our favorite picks:

A t-shirt made for play

H&M t-shirt

Call them essentials, not basics. A graphic t-shirt aces the test when it comes to being perfect for school. And because your little student will probably want to wear something that expresses their personal style as often as possible, it's great to know the shirts can stand up to school time, playtime, downtime and everything in between!

$4.99

Dressed-up casual shorts for total comfort

H&M boy shorts

Whether pulling up a chair for a virtual meeting with the class or heading back to the school for in-person learning, some comfortable, yet stylish, shorts will help your kid focus on the real tasks at hand: learning—and having fun while doing it!

$19.99

Layers for when seasons change

H&M sweatshirt

When it comes to feeling comfortable at school, layers are the MVPs. Whether the AC is blasting or the day started off cool and is warming up quickly, having a unique sweatshirt to shed or add will help your kid look cool while staying warm.

$9.99

A bit of flair with distressed denim

H&M distressed jeans

A school staple for generations, denim is both classic and continually fashionable with updates like distressing and new wash colors. If you're shopping online for jeans this year, take note of H&M's generous return policy—your kids can try on the orders at home and return anything that doesn't fit without a trip to the store.

$24.99

A fashion statement piece

H&M girls skirt

What's better than expressing yourself through a stylish outfit when school is back in session? Still feeling perfectly comfortable and ready to tackle anything the day holds while looking so good. With so many fashion-forward looks available at budget-friendly prices, H&M's children's collection means every kid can find an outfit that speaks to them.

$14.99

Some comfy kicks

H&M boys shoes

A sure way to put a little pep in your child's step this year, cool and cozy shoes are a staple on all back-to-school shopping lists for good reason. (Plus, it's fun to compare them to last year's shoes to see how much your kid has grown!)

$19.99

Anything-but-basic blouses

H&M girls blouse

Whether in the classroom or showing up for a video call with the class, a styling blouse or button-down shirt is a great way for your student to comfortably dress up the day. Better yet? Style doesn't have to come at the expense of comfort with so many made-to-move tops designed just for kids.

$14.99

A shirt ready to go whatever the day holds

H&M boys shirt

With "going to school" meaning anything from showing up in the classroom to doing a virtual session, it's important to have clothes that are perfect for anything the day holds. A classic, cotton shirt with a fashion-forward design is a great way to keep your student feeling ready to start the year with an A+ attitude.

$9.99

This article was sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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In Montessori schools, parents are periodically invited to observe their children at work in the classroom. I have heard many parents express shock to see their 3- or 4-year-old putting away their own work when they finish—without even being asked!

"You should see his room at home!" or, "I ask him to put his toys away every day, and it's a battle every single time" were frequent comments.

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