With the wedding season just starting to kick off, I’m currently seeing a growing trend amongst my beautiful brides. Honeymoons tend to be one of the last things brides and grooms book and one of the first things they start looking at once they get engaged! There is a terrible reason affecting a lot of my bride and grooms’ honeymoon destinations currently and you’ve surely heard of it: the Zika virus.
This awful virus causes red eyes, headaches, fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. It can be transmitted through mosquito bites and even sexual intercourse. Pregnant women who contract the virus risk spreading it to their unborn child resulting in birth defects, particularly microcephaly where the brain is smaller than a typical baby’s.
If you’ve already booked your exotic honeymoon abroad and you’re worried it is in an area where the Zika virus has been recorded then don’t worry! There are ways that you can stay safe on your honeymoon in a tropical paradise.
1) Pack plenty of insect repellant. DEET insect repellant is safe for pregnant women so if you are already expecting by your honeymoon (or think you might be) then cover yourself from head to toe in DEET and stay topped up. Make sure you pack plenty to take with you as it’s often very expensive to buy abroad.
2) Cover any exposed skin.
3) Buy and use a mosquito net at night. You can easily put one up over your bed, or ask the hotel if they have one you can borrow.
4) Try to stay as indoors as possible – despite how tempting the golden sandy beaches look!
5) Use the air con! If you’ve booked somewhere without it, try to change rooms, or hotels and explain the issue.
If you’re not in a hurry to start your family then it is recommended that you wait 8-12 weeks after visiting a country with Zika virus recordings before trying to conceive. Of course, if you’re particularly worried then you can slather yourself in DEET throughout your honeymoon. The recommendation to people diagnosed with the virus is to wait at least six months before trying to start a family. Don’t forget your groom can pass it to you so if you’re fine but he isn’t, then make sure you use precautions! If either of you present any symptoms (see above) then go straight to your doctor for the assistance you need as well as to make sure that the Zika virus is recorded for the area you were in.
Alternatively, if you’ve not booked a tropical honeymoon yet and if this is all sounds too stressful, then you might be interested in going somewhere more alternative than the usual exotic beach retreat. If you still want the heat then large sections of Europe are still unaffected by the Zika virus but for more up to date recordings of the Zika virus check this website https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/world-map-areas-with-zika. The risk in a lot of countries has now radically reduced compared to a few months, even weeks ago, however Florida and Texas are still affected. But if you want complete peace of mind, I would recommend a frosty, snowy, crisp and cold honeymoon!
How romantic does this sound; a carriage ride drawn by reindeer all snuggled up next to your new spouse as you watch the snowflakes gently settling together drinking mulled wine. To me that sounds close to heavenly!
There are some gorgeous ‘cold’ countries you can visit together too. How about visiting Iceland where you can see the Northern Lights, swim in the Blue Lagoon as the snow settles and learn about their ancient Icelandic myths of elves and goblins? Or maybe Russia where you can check out the stunning city of St Petersburg, see the Red Square, discover Moscow and learn all about the fascinating Romanovs whilst sampling artisan vodkas. You will be enchanted with the story of Anastasia Romanov and all of the pretenders who tried to claim her fortune over the years. Or maybe the two of you are adrenalin junkies so how about going skiing in the Alps? You could spend all day on the piste before letting your hair down with some well deserved après-ski and an oozing, cheesy fondue. Other nights you might decide to to relax in a sauna or jacuzzi to stretch out those tired legs.
If you want a more unique experience you could hop onboard a luxurious Antarctic cruise to Canada where you can go whale watching or hike to see Grizzly Bears and moose. Another unique idea is to spend the night in the world famous ice hotel all snuggled up with your new spouse and a boozy hot chocolate. If you prefer to explore and backpack then how about buying a ticket for the Trans-Siberian Express where you can steam off to Russia and China stopping in Mongolia on the way? If money is no object then you could really blow the boat out by stepping onboard the Orient Express. Get dressed up murder mystery style if you’ve both got a taste for fun and a sense of humour and enjoy the opulent surroundings and haute cuisine food.
There are plenty of amazing places to see in the world that you won’t mind not topping up your tan!