Being pregnant has never been a reason for me to slow down too much on my travel plans (although it has meant we’ve had to cancel trips). In my mind, booking a holiday or mini break before baby arrives is essential. Getting away for your last trip as a couple or a family with one less child is an opportunity which shouldn’t be missed – assuming you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy. But, if you are unsure where to go or when to travel, here are some tips and ideas for travelling when pregnant along with details of some of my own personal experiences.
The Best Time To Travel
Ideally, if you are planning a big trip or relaxing holiday in the sun, you want to go in your second trimester when the sickness and nausea should have subsided. During my first pregnancy we went to Barbados when I was in the early stages of pregnancy (7 weeks) with my husband and his family. Despite the picturesque location, I felt pretty sick and very tired for much of it and sitting watching everyone else drinking in the evenings was not a great deal of fun! Since then, we have stuck to short city breaks during the first trimester and then bigger trips to hot locations in the second trimester. If you are want to do something in your third trimester, how about a UK spa break (although steer clear of the sauna and jacuzzzi). I wouldn’t recommend going too far afield after 32 weeks.
Where To Go?
It is totally up to you but here are some points to consider.
– You may not want to undergo a long-haul flight, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy. We went to Sri Lanka when I was 18 weeks (12 hour flight) it was manageable but I know if I was over 24 weeks it would have been far more uncomfortable
– Long distance travel also carries the risk of blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) so make sure you are moving around and drinking lots of fluids
– Consider flying premium economy or business as a treat. If that isn’t financially possible, it’s worth checking whether there is any chance of an upgrade when you check in.
– Avoid very hot and humid countries if you aren’t used to the heat. Your body temperature is already higher than normal in pregnancy and with the extra weight can be exhausting and rather unbearable
– If doing a road trip take regular stops as sitting in one position for too long can be very uncomfortable
– Avoid going anywhere which requires vaccinations
– Check with your doctor if going somewhere exotic and there is the risk of Mosquito-bourne diseases. For example, due to the Zika virus pregnant women are being advised not to travel to parts of south and central America and some areas of the Caribbean.
What To Do?
Many people just want to relax and have some time to read and sit by the pool in peace so opt for a beach holiday or luxury hotel – which is fab. But don’t be afraid to mix things up. A city break or walks out in the countryside are great for keeping kit and reducing those swollen ankles and easing water retention. First time around we had a lovely week in Sicilly when I was around 28 weeks which had a mix of sightseeing and sitting by the pool. During my most recent pregnancy, our Sri Lanka trip involved a mix of hill walking and time by the beach and we did lot of city travel (probably a bit too much) when I was 30 weeks pregnant. It did involve a lot of walking so a couple of days of relaxation at the end would have been ideal.
Don’t Forget To Take…
– Anti-bacterial gel – always handy to have but good to have an extra layer of hygiene when pregnant
– If doing lots of travelling by car (like we did in Sri Lanka and France/Italy) or have a long flight, then take a headrest with you so can get a bit of shut eye.
– Pack loose fitting, stretchable clothes to accommodate your growing bump
– Comfy, flat shoes and trainers if you are likely to do a lot of walking. I took two pairs of heels to Sicilly and wore one – once!
– Healthy snacks to keep your energy up on a long journey
– Make sure you always carry around some water
– Doctor’s notes – just in case you need medical attention
Need To Know
– Check your airline. Some require a doctor’s note after 28 weeks. Many don’t allow you to fly after 36 weeks or, if pregnant with twins, at 32 weeks
– Check the country you are travelling to has good medical facilities
– Make sure your travel insurance covers pregnancy
– Keep it to you and your partner (and children if you already have them and can’t get away without them). Being pregnant can be exhausting and being around a lot of people can make it worse. Plus, your hormones can affect your mood so you might not be as easy going or sociable in a group as you normally are (or is that just me?)
– Book a mum-to-be spa treatment. How about a pedicure…painting toenails gets a bit trickier the bigger you get.
– If staying in one hotel, check the location. You don’t want to be stuck on a hotel at the top of a hill or (as we did in Sicilly) have to walk up several flights of stairs to get to the main town
-Make sure you factor in lots of breaks and don’t try to do too much
– Be careful what you eat and be wary of drinking tap water. If in doubt, drink bottled water only! The last thing you want is to get ill and many medication is not suitable when pregnant
-If you are prone to hay fever or any such ailments, take medication suitable to take during pregnancy with you
– Check out the NHS guidelines before you go
Whatever you do, enjoy your baby moon and some time together as a couple or family before the new arrival comes along.
How about pinning for later?