In 2016, the Zika virus and it’s spread throughout key tourist destinations was on the news almost daily. Now you hardly hear anything about Zika but the risks are the same. But what is it? What do you need to know about it? Travel & Leisure posted a very helpful article which you can read here. This will give you a bit of background on the virus and some of the precautions to take.
If you are pregnant (or plan to get pregnant within 2 years) and planning to travel to Central/South America, parts of Mexico or to the Caribbean, you need to stay up to date on the Zika virus. You can find the list of countries with Zika at the CDC website here.
In a nutshell:
- If you find out you are pregnant after you have already booked your trip and are planning to travel to a country that is currently on the CDC list, talk to your booking agent to see what options you have to change or cancellation your reservation. As Zika is now being classified with West Nile Virus, Malaria, Dengue and other mosquito born viruses — hotels, resorts and cruise lines are not allowing cancellations across the board without penalty. It is expected that you are aware of the risks prior to making your travel plans.
- If you are planning to take an international babymoon in the next few months, talk to your doctor first. Zika first manifests itself like a common cold and if you are already experiencing issues with your pregnancy or have immune deficiencies, it may be best to plan something local (domestic USA/Canada) or in a non-Zika infected location.
- When you’re ready to plan your babymoon, work with a babymoon specialist (you’re on my website so that is a good start). We are up to date on the destinations currently on the CDC list and will be happy to recommend a location that is not on the Zika travel warning list.
- If you are planning a honeymoon to an area with Zika and want to start a family right away, it is recommended you wait at least 6 months after travel for testing (and potentially longer).
Be an informed traveler
- Even for a destination not yet on the list, it is a good idea to find out what precautions the resort is taking. If you go to the Caribbean as an example, of course you want a beautiful resort in a lush tropical environment. With that lush tropical environment comes bugs. That’s nature. You will find that most hotels & resorts now spray/treat the bushes and plant life around the property and are being more diligent about clearing away any standing water (where possible) which could increase the mosquito population. Find out what your hotel is doing.
- Look for accommodations with screened windows and air-conditioning. This decreases the chances of having mosquitos in your living space. This means it may not be the best time to stay in those open air bungalows on the beach with no window, doors or walls.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. Bring your own bug repellant. Don’t rely on the hotel gift shop to stock repellant with DEET. Pack it in your checked luggage and pay the checked luggage fee instead of going carry-on. It’s worth it. Because your preggers, you need to be even more careful about what you put on your body. Talk to your doctor or local homeopathic shop for additional recommendations. There are many all-natural repellents on the market that have eucalyptus oil that are said to work well.
- Wear light-colored clothing that adequately covers the arms and legs
- Buy travel insurance. Protect yourself and your vacation investment in the event you have to cancel your trip. If you think you may cancel specifically due to the spread of Zika, check with your insurance provider to make sure that they are covering cancellations due to the Zika virus and what they require to provide reimbursement. Where possible, we recommend purchasing enhanced insurance that includes a “cancel for any reason” clause. Yes, it is more expensive but well worth the peace of mind.
You still deserve a romantic getaway be it a honeymoon or babymoon. Let’s work together to pick the right location to make sure it is a relaxing, safe and enjoyable experience for you and your partner. Contact me today for recommendations and assistance.
Disclaimer: This post in no way takes the place of your doctors recommendation nor the information provided by the CDC. It is the responsibility of all travelers to do your own due diligence to research any potential hazards before booking and traveling.