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  • 5 Skincare Tips for Pregnancy Travel

    What to pack in your carry-on to save your pregnancy glow from traveling.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    I’m a firm believer in the importance of self-care. Pregnancy can be a difficult time to remember to take care of you, between all the preparation, the doctor’s appointments, the anxiety and fatigue. And when you travel, it’s easy to forget to be extra good to ourselves. But be careful, when you combine travel and pregnancy, you have a double-whammy of not great self-care waiting for you at your destination.

    Fear not, that’s pretty easy to fix. Here are 5 easy steps to take better care of your pregnant body while traveling.

    1. Start as you travel. As they say, it’s the journey, not the destination. Whether you are flying, driving, or taking the train, travel is hard on your body. So don’t wait till you arrive at the hotel or at your parents’ house to start taking care of yourself — your mode of transportation is where good self-care should begin. Since dehydration is common during travels, drink more water than you usually do. It’s not only good for your skin, it’s also good for your body and baby!

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  • Advice for Traveling with Baby

    Experts weigh in on the best ways to ease traveling with baby.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Whether you’re planning on visiting your far-flung relatives or closing the year with a tropical getaway, if baby’s coming along, this post is for you. Infants and toddlers can travel well – that is, as long as their travel buddies (we’re looking at you, mom and dad) are well prepared. And even if they have a meltdown on the plane or develop a fever in a far-away country, fear not: chances are, you will make it back safe, and your holiday travels can still be merry for everyone.

    To help get you on your way, we’ve reached out to the pros to give you the lowdown on traveling with baby. Bookmark their recommendations, then pack up, and make your time away with baby count!

    On navigating the airport with baby:
    Lisa B., former flight attendant at United and mom of 2
    “Check your bags. If you want to avoid the check-in line, you can check in with the skycap at the curbside. Carry on only what you need for you and your little one. Stressing about getting your bags through the security screening and finding overhead bin space, while carrying a baby, is overwhelming. This allows you to go through security with limited items..."

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  • Zika-Free Babymoon Destinations

    Your baby is on the way, but before he arrives, you and your partner are planning a celebratory babymoon to a dazzling tropical locale. Until recently, your list of vacation spots was long and full of nearby destinations. But with the appearance and spread of the Zika virus, those travel plans need to be reconsidered - many warm-weather travel spots have reported cases of Zika. That doesn’t mean you need to stay home to wait for the new arrival. There are plenty of gorgeously sunny and peaceful destinations for you to jet off to, pre-baby.

    What’s the Zika virus, and what does it mean for me? Zika is a virus that is spread primarily through mosquito bites. For most people, an infection of the Zika virus results in minor symptoms which pass within a week. But for pregnant woman, Zika is not to be taken lightly. An infection during pregnancy can lead to severe brain defects in the baby, including the condition called microcephaly. The Center for Disease Control strongly recommends that women who are pregnant do not travel to any area with Zika. It’s recently been discovered that Zika can be sexually transmitted, so the same travel rules apply for sexual partners, as well. The CDC also recommends you check their website before making final plans, for the most up-to-date info. So where can you travel with peace of mind?

    Croatia is a Mediterranean gem. Not only does Croatia boast stunning beaches and glittering sapphire sea, it’s also home to breathtaking national reserves. Plitvice Lakes National Parks is one must-see for a walk amongst woods and waterfalls. If the beach is your primary destination though, there are plenty of shores to choose from. The scenery here will be more than enough to cultivate your inner-calm before baby arrives. 

    Experience Chile’s varied landscape. There’s a diverse range of experiences to be had in Chile, ranging from urban excitement to natural tranquility. Santiago, the capital, is strikingly nestled between the Andes and the Chilean Coast Range mountains, and has a bustling metropolitan vibe. Another destination is Valparaiso, a colorful, architecturally striking seaside town with an artistic history. For the truly memorable babymoon, take an adventure to Easter Island, one of the most isolated islands in the world. Enjoy the quiet before baby arrives!

    Portugal is full of romance. With golden beaches, vibrant nightlife, and distinctively enticing food, Portugal has a lot to offer. Here, you can be as busy or as relaxed as you’d like. Get your fill of culture by exploring music spots, art galleries, medieval castles, cathedrals, and much more. The quintessential sandy beaches and turquoise water can’t be missed. Praia Grande, Praia da Dona Ana, and Praia dos Pescadores are three of the most popular beaches in the country.

    For an offbeat babymoon, travel to Vancouver Island. With some of the world’s most breathtaking beaches, Vancouver Island in western Canada is perfect for a peaceful, out-of-the-way getaway. While here, go for a whale watching tour or an afternoon of sailing. Be sure to stop by the world-class farmer’s markets for fresh, seasonal delights to satiate your pregnancy cravings. The pebble beaches here aren’t for sunbathing, but are spectacular to walk while searching for the perfect rock to take home as a memento.

    Montreal has a worlds-away ambiance. Montreal isn’t far, but once you arrive, you’ll feel like you traveled halfway around the world - an ideal choice if you want to stay close to home as your due date nears. The food here is fantastic, and you might as well eat those decadent pastries while you can justify eating for two! And the cultural experience in Montreal is stellar, including unique festivals, dance, theater, opera, and so much more.

    Leave your passport at home and travel to Maui. Maui, the second-largest Hawaiian Island is a sun-kissed treasure, not too far from home. Swim in the clear, warm ocean and then satisfy your pregnancy cravings at the evening luaus or fine restaurants dotting the island. The beaches here are world-class, and when you need an alternative adventure, Maui has many. Drive to the summit of Haleakalā to watch the sunrise or take a trip on the breathtaking road to Hana.

    Eat and explore the ruins of Cyprus. Cyprus sits in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and boasts fascinating ruins and archeological sites full of relics, mosaics, tombs, and more. Soak up the rich history while also enjoying the legendary cuisine. The island’s culinary scene is well-cherished, with food heavily influenced by Greek, Middle Eastern, and Turkish flavors. If you’re still hoping for gorgeous walks on the beach, Cyprus will deliver those, too.

    Jet to San Diego for an urban babymoon. It’s warm, luminous weather is perfectly Southern California. Being local, it’s a good low-stress choice for a sunny, soothing destination. Aside from beach strolls and long afternoons of sunbathing, there’s plenty to keep you busy.  Explore art galleries, museums, gardens, and other well-known attractions, like sprawling Balboa Park and whimsical Seaport Village.

    Keep busy in London. Close enough for a short trip, but far away for it to be special, check out London before the baby arrives. With countless attractions and points of interest, London is great for an action-packed babymoon with plenty of excitement. The must-see landmarks include Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the National Gallery. Of course, there’s no shortage of spas and romantic restaurants to patronize when you need a rest from all the sightseeing.

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  • Traveling with Nanny

    The experts at Adventure Nannies school us on the proper way to compensate your nanny while on vacation.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Traveling with a nanny can enhance any family vacation. For parents traveling with children, an extra set of helping hands can mean more alone time for Mom and Dad, one-on-one Dad and daughter time, or a relaxing nap on the airplane. It is very important, however, that expectations between the family and nanny are clearly defined before the trip to ensure a smooth working relationship and a happy travel experience.

    At Adventure Nannies, our families commonly ask what they are expected to provide for their nanny while traveling. While each family’s budget is different, we recommend a basic list of travel accommodations that every family should provide when traveling with a nanny to ensure that the nanny/family relationship is well-defined, easy, and fun.

    Transportation Expenses

    Families should cover all of the nanny’s transportation costs associated with traveling to and from the vacation destination. If the nanny is traveling with the family and expected to be “on” with the children (which is highly likely if, say, the nanny is sitting next to the children on an airplane) he or she should be paid for travel time. Some families also choose to pay nannies for their travel time, even when not “on the clock,” in consideration for the fact that they are not otherwise available to spend their time freely.

    Examples of transportation costs covered by families are: shuttle to the airport, airfare, train tickets or a subway card.

    Accommodations

    Many families wonder, “Why book a private room for the nanny, when (s)he can simply stay in the same room as the children?” While this may initially seem simpler (and honestly, cheaper) we highly urge our families to book private accommodations for their nanny.

    Without clear, tangible boundaries between the nanny and the children, it can be nearly impossible to distinguish between time “on” and “off” the clock, which can result in disputes about overtime pay and a possibly disgruntled nanny.

    If it is absolutely essential for the nanny to sleep in the same room as the child (for example, a child who has an illness which requires around-the-clock attention) we recommend clearly outlining exactly what the nanny’s working hours and pay will be for the arrangement, then building in an ample amount of free time for the nanny to rest up–privately.

    Overnight Pay and Overtime

    If a nanny is expected to be available to the children in the middle of the night, this should be reflected in the nanny’s paycheck. Even if the nanny has a private room, and the children are unlikely to wake, some sort of compensation should be made for the “on call” responsibility.

    Some families choose to pay their nanny a flat overnight fee while other families offer a continuous hourly pay, depending on the level of overnight responsibility and number of hours the nanny is expected to be ‘on.’ It is important to note that if a nanny is working overnight, and receives fewer than 5 hours of sleep, the nanny is entitled to continuous overnight pay by law, and minimum wage regulations apply. If a nanny has private accommodations and is not expected to work overnight at all, no overnight compensation is necessary.

    Similarly, a nanny is entitled to overtime pay when traveling, but how much is determined by the nanny’s state of residence. We recommend contacting our partners (and nanny tax experts) at Home Pay by Breedlove to help you organize your nanny’s payroll.

    No matter how you choose to proceed, you should ensure that your nanny is informed of your compensation plan in writing before the trip. Keep a continuous record of your nanny’s working hours and ask your nanny to do the same. Openly address any discrepancies directly with your nanny as they occur.

    Meals

    Meals should be provided for the nanny while he or she is on duty. Many families also offer meal stipends or per diems for the nanny’s days off–particularly when the family is traveling to a location with a higher cost of living or a different currency than the nanny’s hometown.

    Sometimes our families keep what we refer to as an “open fridge” policy. In this policy, the family offers the nanny access to any food in their refrigerator (usually in a vacation home or villa) at all working and non-working times, only picking up the bill at a restaurant when the nanny is dining with the children. In our experience, this policy plays out very fairly for both nannies and parents.

    With whatever meal policy our families choose, we recommend doing extensive currency research beforehand and setting reasonable meal accommodations for the nanny’s days off.

    Time Off

    Although time off is not technically an expense, it is one of the most important considerations for families to make when planning to bring a nanny on vacation. We encourage our families to factor in ample downtime to their nanny’s schedule, particularly while traveling!

    Depending on the length of a trip, a nanny should have 1-2 days off per week, and at least an hour or 2 of “me time” each day. Giving the nanny time to rest, recharge, and enjoy the travel destination will ensure the highest quality of childcare. While nannies are exceptional, talented professionals, they are human and need to recharge their batteries in order to do their best job possible.

    We understand, however, that a traveling schedule can be unpredictable and grueling. If for some reason, the nanny is needed to work a rigorous schedule (for example, 10 or more hours per day without days off) we encourage families to offer a few days off (depending on the length of the trip and the nature of the nanny’s long-term employment) once you return home to give the nanny time to catch up on rest.

    While these aren’t hard and fast rules, following these guidelines will ensure that any vacation or travel experience with your nanny will be as pleasant as possible. Happy nanny, happy family!

    This article is by Adventure Nannies, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

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  • Multi-Gen Getaways

    3 perfect spots for 3 generations of travelers from Offmetro senior writer Allison Tibaldi.

    Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Not so long ago, vacationing with your parents or in-laws might not have been high on your wish list. But along came baby and suddenly, traveling with a few adoring helpers doesn’t seem so bad. If your extended family is spread out across the globe, vacationing together can be a fundamental step towards building strong intergenerational relationships. Even if you see the grandparents frequently, it’s a great way to spend quality time together. The rhythm of a vacation can facilitate memorable moments and encourage meaningful conversations. It’s no wonder multi-generational travel is trending in a big way. Here are three resorts to consider for your next “all-in-the-family” summer beach getaway.

    Madison Beach Hotel, Madison, Connecticut

    If you’re looking for the perfect cocktail of saltwater, sand and family time, you’ve found it at this Connecticut shoreline hotel. Located a speedy 2-hour drive or train journey from NYC, this property exudes easy elegance and seaside charm. It sits on a peaceful stretch of sand on the shores of the bucolic Long Island Sound. The tiny cove-like beach is completely protected, the waves almost always gentle, making it ideal for families with very young children. The beach is just steps from your hotel room, for speedy feedings, diaper changes or naps. Summer evenings feature family-friendly films screened on the lawn and kid-appropriate live music under the stars.

    Spruce Point Inn, Boothbay Harbor, Maine

    Few towns are as quintessentially New England as Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Its picture-perfect harbor is brimming with lobster boats, schooners and Windjammers, and at the nostalgic Spruce Point Inn, time seems to have stood still. After a day of fun in the great outdoors, kids (and kids at heart) still gather around the fire circle to toast marshmallows. Set on 56-acres of pine-scented woods and glorious waterfront, you can get back-to-nature without missing a single creature comfort. They’ll even crack your lobster for you at the on-site restaurant, leaving you free to enjoy the spectacular view. Accommodations include modern suites, roomy townhouses and cozy cottages, so you’re sure to find the perfect place to rest your heads.

    JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa, Costa Rica

    Don’t come here expecting the cookie-cutter experience that you get at some chain hotels. The JW Marriott Guanacaste is located within a functioning hacienda, so the colonial feel is intact, the sense of place authentic, the food locally sourced. Guest rooms and common spaces utilize luscious, dark-hued wood from the area with authentic regional handicrafts as colorful accents. The rambling grounds are a hotbed for adorable frolicking monkeys and a rainbow of tropical birds. Have a dip in the largest swimming pool in Central America before heading to the breathtaking beach. Active families can horseback ride and golf, and adults can work out post-exercise kinks at the first-rate spa. A free kid’s club for children 4-12 and top-notch private babysitters are available. Non-stop flights from NYC to Liberia make getting here a breeze, so get the passports ready.

    This article is by Allison Tibaldi, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

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  • How to Limit Toxins When You’re Traveling

    During pregnancy, it’s fairly easy to limit your toxin intake at home. You can eat foods (especially those pregnancy superfoods) and use products you’ve researched and know to be safe and healthy.

    Traveling is a different story, since it introduces an unknown factor. However, a commitment to a clean, healthy pregnancy doesn’t stop when you get in a car or on a plane. Here are a few tips for maintaining your standards on the road:

    1. Plan Your Meals: Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, or train, look ahead to see what’s available when it’s time to eat. Search for restaurants ahead of time with menus that offer organic, local produce & grass-fed, hormone-free meat and poultry.
    2. Pack Healthy Snacks: It’s a good idea to pack a few clean snacks, in case travel is delayed and you aren’t able to get to your choices when you’d hoped. Organic fruits or all natural snack bars are easy to pack and can help prevent you from making an unhealthy choice. We love Bundle Organic juices & Credible Craving snack bars!
    3. Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen: No matter where your travels take you, an all-natural sunscreen is a must. When on the go, most people spend more time out and about than they might in normal circumstances. Daily application is the best way to protect your skin (even during the cold winter months!) but many brands include chemicals that aren’t safe, especially during pregnancy. Be sure your sunscreen is made with all-natural, toxin-free ingredients. Nine Naturals Natural Sunscreen SPF 32 is formulated with non-nano zinc oxide and is safe for mom, baby & the entire family!
    4. Take Your Favorite Beauty Products With You. Hotels will offer shampoo, conditioner, soap, and so on, but often the brands they choose include toxins that are unsafe for pregnancy, such as parabens or phthalates.  Nine Naturals Travel Gift Set includes everything you need to pamper yourself without unnecessary artificial chemicals, fragrances, and BPA. The kit comes in a reusable, PVC hemp travel bag that will fit nicely in your carry-on.
    5. Stay Hydrated. It’s easy to get dehydrated on the road, but drinking at least 64 oz. of water will help flush anything unnecessary from your system as quickly as possible. Your energy levels will be higher and your skin will look fresher, so keep a BPA-free water bottle (preferably with a built-in filter) with you and fill it often.

    Safe, happy and healthy travels!

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