2 great babymoon itineraries to Arizona and New York that you can book on points and miles
You've likely heard the term "babymoon." It refers to a vacation ahead of your new bundle of joy's arrival, and these days babymoons are increasingly becoming a must-do for expectant parents. With good reason; it will likely be the last time for a while that you'll spend some quality alone time with your significant other - other than bonding over diapers and nap times, that is.
What's even better than booking a babymoon in advance of your little one's impending arrival? Doing so for free or at a discount, thanks to your points and miles from rewards credit cards. Read on for two very different, yet equally relaxing babymoon itineraries - and how to do both on points.Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any points or miles. It's important to practice financial discipline when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month, making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to pay back.
Now could be the perfect time to earn a sign-up bonus
Before you begin planning your last pre-baby jaunt, be sure you're taking advantage of all that travel rewards cards have to offer. This could be a perfect time to open a new card and earn its sign-up bonus.
For example, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers an introductory bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening the card, which shouldn't be too hard given that you're likely building a nursery and a tiny person's wardrobe from scratch. That bonus should more than cover a $400 flight to, say, Phoenix, Arizona, which is a two-hour drive to beautiful Sedona.
Babymoon option 1: Scottsdale or Sedona, Arizona
My husband and I are currently planning a babymoon to the Sedona area before our second baby's arrival in the spring. We booked a nonstop American Airlines flight from Orlando International Airport to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for 25,000 miles each, plus carrier-imposed taxes and fees.
50,000 miles for two nonstop flights nearly across the country? Not bad. And the Phoenix airport is just a short 25-minute drive to Scottsdale. (Really, who wants to have a connecting flight or a long drive from the airport to your destination while pregnant? Getting the compression socks on is hard enough.)
Once you're in Scottsdale, check into the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. This hotel, which costs just 12,000 Hyatt points a night, has a spa, three on-site eateries ranging from casual poolside service to farm-to-table, and beautifully appointed grounds. If you're feeling active, they'll even organize a desert hike in the Sonoran Desert for you.If you're a Hyatt loyalist, you just may be able to book the entire length of your stay on points you've earned through stays and/or from using the World of Hyatt Credit Card. And if you have a Chase card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can transfer your Chase pointsover to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio to book hotel stays.
If you have your heart set on a stay in the heart of Sedona, consider the renowned Enchantment Resort, surrounded by the stunning topography of Boynton Canyon. Though pricier, this hotel is nothing if not swanky, boasting an inviting pool, an on-site spa, and even early check-in and late checkout. The view doesn't hurt either. And if you're into that sort of thing, connect with your inner self with morning ritual, evening meditation, and chanting at the hotel's very own grotto.
The Enchantment Resort participates in the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program, so if you have the Platinum Card® from American Express or the Business Platinum® Card from American Express and book through the program, you'll enjoy free daily breakfast for two, late checkout, a possible room upgrade, and a $100 property credit. Room rates run just south of $500 per night, but you can cash in your Amex points to cover all or part of the stay - 1 point equals 1 cent for this redemption, so a $460 nightly rate would require 46,000 points.
Once you're checked in - and probably taken a nap -don't forget to schedule some time to take in the surrounding scenery, such as Red Rocks or the iconic Devil's Bridge. Though the latter hike may be too strenuous for some mamas-to-be, you'll at least be able to get close enough to take in its beauty and take some bump photos, of course.
As far as eateries, Che Ah Chi back at the Enchantment Resort, Casa Sedona Restaurant, and Timo all come highly recommended. Just don't forget to pay with your rewards card of choice - preferably one that earns bonus points or cash back at restaurants, like the American Express® Gold Card.
Babymoon option 2: New York City
If you're craving a getaway with a bit more excitement, consider booking a long weekend to New York. There are countless flight options, especially if you fly in off-peak times. My husband and I went to New York City in February for our first babymoon, and it was ideal. Airfare and hotels were dirt cheap, and the crowds were minimal.
To give you a sense of the award flight costs, traveling on Southwest from Atlanta to New York's LaGuardia airport could require just 10,063 points per person - a total of just over 20,000 points, a spectacular deal by any means. This is for travel dates in February, though, so it's only a good option for those who don't mind getting a bit bundled up.
If you're a Southwest devotee, you may be able to cash in the airline's famous Companion Pass for your babymoon. If you're not familiar, this is a perk offered by the low-cost carrier that allows a flyer to bring one companion on any Southwest flight booked either with cash or with Southwest Rapid Rewards points.
Don't get excited just yet, though, because the Companion Pass isn't easy to earn by any means. Southwest flyers have to fly either 110,000 qualifying points or fly 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar to earn the pass for the remainder of that year and the next year. And starting in 2020, the Companion Pass requirements will increase to 125,000 points.
While Wall Street may seem a bit off the beaten path, it can actually be a great choice for a babymoon getaway. It's quiet, a short walking distance to the subway, and offers both parking and breakfast on-site. Trust me, the less walking you can do as a pregnant city-goer, the better.
While in the midst of your metropolitan babymoon, don't miss must-dos like Central Park, the Highline, Chelsea Market, and a trip to Bloomingdale's. (Push presents are a thing, too, you know.) And you're pregnant, so don't forget to eat. Indulge in a classic diner breakfast, or at least enjoy a real New York bagel. For dinner, hit up the unlimited pasta entree at Becco in Hell's Kitchen or try the trendy Loring Place in Greenwich Village. And earn points while you eat - paying with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card will get you 3x points on all dining and restaurant spending.
Lastly, it may be wise to break up the sightseeing with a prenatal massage. Trust me, your aching back will thank you. Enjoy some much-needed relaxation, then charge the cost of your treatment to your hotel room. That way, it will be added to your total room charge and will count toward your points earnings. Or, you can your rewards credit card to pay for your visit to the spa, banking the points for the next trip.
Don't forget trip protection
Don't forget about travel protection. After all, babies are notoriously unpredictable, and you'll want coverage if your little bundle of joy decides to arrive early or if you have any pregnancy-related health issues that require you to change your plans. The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve both offer up to $10,000 per covered trip.
If you can't use points to book travel costs like airfare, hotel stays, or sightseeing, be sure to use your favorite rewards card to pay for these expenses. Many cards offer great points bonuses for using your cards when you travel, like 2x miles on every purchase with the Capital One Venture Rewards card, 1.5% cash back on every purchase with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, or 2x points for travel and dining with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
And one final note: While planning a babymoon, it can be tempting to try to get the most out of your last pre-baby trip. But don't forget to schedule in some time for relaxation, as well. After all, it might be your last chance for that for a while.
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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.