Everyone wants to enjoy that one last babymoon vaca before becoming a family of three. Of course, this means taking that cute little bump of yours across town or maybe a few towns, lakes, or even the ocean. Eek! Although most doctors approve traveling while pregnant until the middle of your third trimester, you still need to be careful so that you don’t get sick or do anything that may harm the baby.
My name is Sarah. I’m the owner of sarahctravels.com, a family travel blog. Before we had kids, my husband Matt, and I got addicted to traveling. We were on the “five year plan” and decided that we would see as many places as we could before having a baby. When I got pregnant with our first, we traveled to Mexico, Quebec City, Spain, Morocco, and Dubai toting my little bump across the globe. After our son, Dylan, was born, we realized that kids shouldn’t dictate what we do, lol, so we continued traveling! I got pregnant with baby #2 while in Australia and continued traveling while pregnant to Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Ottawa, and California. I wouldn’t say that I’m a pregnancy traveling expert, but I have done quite a bit of it, and here’s what’s worked for me.
- Wear Comfortable Clothes and Shoes
Being comfortable is key to traveling while pregnant… trust me, I’ve learned that lesson the hard way multiple times! Haha! I remember wanting to wear these super cute knee high boots on a plane to Madrid, not realizing that they were cutting off my circulation the entire flight, plus, all the blood was rushing to my feet and they got SO SWOLLEN! I was literally limping when we got off the plane and had to lay on the hotel bed with my feet up against the bed frame with my husband massaging them to get the swelling down. It was horrible! I’ve also made the mistake of wearing pants that are too tight when I sit or a bra that digs into my bump and been SO uncomfortable all day. It is so not worth being uncomfortable, so wear stretchy clothes, good walking shoes and throw on a nice necklace or scarf for some added style, but don’t compromise comfort for fashion.
- Eat Healthy on Vacation
It is SO important to stay healthy and avoid foods that could get you sick while traveling. My stomach is super sensitive to different foods so I am careful to not eat anything too different while we are traveling. I like bringing some of my own food from home too. Right before we hop on a plane, I go through all of the produce left in our fridge, cut and bag them to snack on for the flight. Generally, the produce I bring for the airport and flight are: carrots, celery, zucchini, apples, bananas and mandarin oranges. I also pack a big salad in a throw away container to eat if I know I will miss a meal during the travel time. We almost never eat at the airport; there are too many unhealthy options and I wouldn’t want to chance getting sick from something I ate right before hopping on the plane. Most importantly, I pack two empty water bottles. Security will take full water bottles at checkpoint but you can fill them up at a drinking fountain once you’re at your gate before getting on the plane. Staying hydrated is super important and they never give you enough water on the flights, so I always make sure to fill up both water bottles right before we enter the plane! It is very important to stay hydrated when you fly because of the dry air on the plane, so try to drink more water than you normally would.
Once you are at your destination, make sure every morning you eat a big breakfast!!! We make a point to book boutique hotels with breakfast included with our stay. It is so much easier to wake up and eat first thing in the morning, instead of getting all ready and then trying to find somewhere to eat. I find that if I wait too long to eat breakfast, that’s when I will most likely throw up. Also, if you eat breakfast at your hotel, it is usually buffet style so you can eat as much as your want! I try to “front load” my calories for the day because I know that I’ll need the energy for everything I want to accomplish. Also, breakfast foods are generally very healthy: eggs, fresh fruit, yogurt and cheeses, so eat up! Because I am so full from breakfast, I pretty much just snack the rest of the day and don’t eat any other formal meals. Instead, I’ll buy a smoothie or fresh juice, pick up carrots and hummus, and yogurt at the local grocery store, and maybe grab a salad or sandwich “to go” at a café. I’m always a little more careful (especially when pregnant) about ordering meals when we travel because I don’t want to get sick from anything undercooked or raw. We tend to buy mostly packaged store bought items, or meals from clean, nicer cafes.
- Stay Active
It’s important to stay active every day while pregnant so I try to move as much as possible when we are away… and really make a point to move as much as possible on our travel days! Whether you are on a road trip or flying, make sure to get up and walk around at least every hour so that your feet and ankles don’t get too swollen. When you get there, don’t lay around all day, but get moving and stay active! When we are away, from the moment we wake up in the morning until the moment our heads rest on our pillows at night, we are walking. We will walk instead of taking the underground subway (it’s so much more interesting that way!), or grabbing a cab or Uber to get some place. I love walking because it’s low impact on my body and helps to get the blood flowing each day so that I can keep in shape for the big D-day! Make a point when you are on vacation to walk as much as possible, but don’t forget to wear the right kind of shoes (see point #1) and practice good posture so that you don’t put pressure your lower back!
- Bring All Your Medical Records
Fortunately, I have never needed to visit the ER or hospital while traveling pregnant, however I have needed my paperwork for the flight! It was actually a funny story, because we were in Morocco and taking a flight to Barcelona. My husband was trying to get us bumped up to first class and told the airline check in attendant that I was pregnant and asked if they could do anything for me. Well, the attendant’s English was VERY poor and I think she thought that Matt was trying to say I was going into labor or something, so she didn’t want to let us on the plane! Our plan big time back fired!! LOL! Fortunately we were able to show her my medical record and note from my doctor saying I was fit for travel… although the note really could have said anything because I’m pretty sure she didn’t understand it anyway! HA! So it is always good to have an extra copy of your medical records just in case something happens… or your airline doesn’t want to let you on the plane! Haha!
- Change Your Attitude
Most importantly, change your attitude about yourself and pregnancy!! It’s really easy to use my pregnancy as an excuse for a bad mood. Complaining I can’t have a drink, or fit in my clothes, have enough energy, etc. Try to stay positive and feel good about yourself while you are away so that the trip can be enjoyable for you. The more positive you are, the more you will associate the trip with positive feelings after you get home. Enjoy yourself away, embrace your pregnancy and cherish your last few months before your new arrival!
BONUS TIP: Never ride a camel in a dessert safari while pregnant!!! #humpinmybump LOL!!!
If you want to read more about Sarah, her husband and two boys, Dylan (3 years) and Christopher (1 year) traveling all around the world, you can find her blog at www.sarahctravels.com or follow her on Instagram @sarahctravels.