With our first pregnancy, Hank and I went to Taiwan during our the second trimester. It was an amazing trip, especially food wise! But going to a busy city and completely changing time zones was really tough on me - I ended every night in the bath tub to soak the day away trying not to get sick.
This time around I really felt it was necessary to go somewhere very relaxing with no itinerary, especially with a toddler in tow. We gave up the idea of an island vacation due to Zika, but thanks to my friend Jen we learned that Bermuda is currently safe!
TIME OF YEAR: The earliest my husband could take off was in early November so I'd say we jussst made the nicer weather. This is because Bermuda is not in the Caribbean and much more north of the equator - along the same latitude as South Carolina. We were able to go in the water to about our waist and anything more than that felt too cold. My husband snorkeled quickly to look at some fish up close and lasted I'd say less than 10 mins. Closer to sunset we wore long pants and sweaters, so do pack layers! Fortunately we had sunny days but we also had rain on and off. If you are reading this soon after I post, I suggest booking for the spring time! Overall I was really happy to go when we did because I find it hard to play in the sand all day when it is too hot (I don't enjoy sand sticking to my sweaty body and usually I just want to crawl under the shade). It was pleasant to play in the sand in the cooler weather. Another perk was going off peak was that there were barely any crowds. A cruise ship was in the area one day so there were many tourists, but it felt very private and I felt secure enough to leave our belongings on the beach while we were in the water.
FLIGHT (WITH TODDLER): Flying from NY was amazing at just over 2 hours! We traveled earlier in the morning both times and we were so lucky that Chase fell asleep both ways. During the ascent and descent I can pop my own ears by swallowing and yawning, but Chase is too young. As soon as we took off I gave him a bottle of water (doesn't last long) and then a lollipop or gummy bears so he would continue swallowing the entire time. And the same for landing as soon as we started changing altitude. It worked like a charm because he didn't complain or cry. I was really glad I packed Chase a stuffed animal backpack because it doubled as a comfy pillow during the flight. Chase watched a bit of cartoons on Jetblue, and we packed him some books as well. Remember, kids older than 2 years need their own ticket and Bermuda is an international flight.
HOTEL/BEACH: We decided to stay at a hotel right on the beach which happened to be the Fairmont Southampton. There is a very short shuttle ride to the beach that runs very often. The hotel was great and I do recommend it! They have their own private beach and its equally close to the famous Horseshoe Bay Beach. We spent our time 50/50 on both beaches. Horseshoe Bay has pinker sand and a little cove on the right side with many fish (even large parrot fish) right in the shallowest part of the water. Their food is also delicious and cheaper. The hotel's frozen drinks are yummier though (in particular the strawberry one). The hotel's beach was nice because they have towels, beach chairs and umbrellas. If you go to the right side of the hotel's beach by the large rocks, there were the largest fish I've seen on the island - almost scary big~ If you stay there, go check it out! The hotel is great for families because there were days with rain/showers and they have an "Explorer's camp" downstairs where toddlers can even rent toys to bring to their hotel rooms. At night we went to the outdoor hot tub (it wasn't on so it was warm enough to hang out and cool enough for my pregnancy). The best part was kids under 6 years eat for free at the hotel. Many days we were exhausted and got room service but for dinner I do recommend the Newport Gastropub inside the hotel.
ISLAND: We originally planned a day to go to town, Hamilton, a 30 minute ride on the ferry or taxi. We were going to explore colorful pastel architecture, shopping, museums and restaurants. But with Chase getting motion sickness easily and everyone simply enjoying the beach so much, we didn't end up making it this trip. Just another reason to come back again soon - since it's so close! At the airport, we met another family who had older kids - 5 and 7. They shared with us that they went exploring in some caves, though not all the ones Bermuda has to offer. She said they were still on the younger side and went to an easier cave which took about 30 mins to explore inside. I look forward to going back with my boys when they are older and looking into that adventure!