Looking for pregnancy travel tips? I’ve got plenty!
Travelling while pregnant is totally doable and can be exciting and fun. I travelled loads when I was pregnant, both with Nova and Kit. I travelled in my first, second and third trimesters, flying while pregnant, both short and long-haul, sometimes solo and other times with family. I went from the UK to Florida, France, Spain, Cyprus and more. They were such special adventures.
If you’re pregnant and worrying that your love for travel has to stop – despite those naysayers, it doesn’t! Wondering about flying when pregnant? I’ve got you covered with my pregnancy and flying tips. Ready to have some fun with your bump? Let’s go!
30 Super Helpful Pregnancy Travel Tips
1. Choose a Pregnancy-Friendly Destination
Being pregnant isn’t a medical condition, but there are practical things to think about, so this is one of the most important pregnancy travel tips in my opinion.
Avoid the Zika Virus
If you can, minimise your chances of catching the Zika virus. It is a disease that is mainly spread by mosquitoes. There is evidence that it can cause birth defects, so pregnant women are at most risk. Zika outbreaks have been reported in the Pacific region, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, and parts of south and southeast Asia. You can find specific Zika information for particular countries here.
Avoid Malaria Zones
Malaria is a serious illness that can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated quickly. Pregnant women are particularly at risk. Some anti-malaria tablets aren’t safe to take in pregnancy, so ask your GP for advice if you can’t avoid it. You can find the specific malaria zones here.
Consider the Proximity to Hospital
Even the smoothest pregnancy can suddenly change course, so consider how far away you’ll be from the nearest hospital should you go into labour or need medical help. Think about you’d get there and the state of the facilities. A remote retreat sounds lovely, but try to think with your practical head too.
Recommended Reading: Airline Pregnancy Policy Guide
2. Avoid the Hanger!
Make sure you have a loose plan of where you’ll eat. There’s nothing worse than being hungry and finding all the restaurants don’t open for dinner until much later. Oh wait, yes there is. You could be pregnant and hungry.
Use an app, like Sygic Travel Trip Planner which allows you to plot your travel plans and has information like walking distances and opening times of over 20 million places. Prefer something a bit more basic? Scribble some researched ideas on a scrap of paper.
3. Check Your Airline Rules for Flying When Pregnant
Wondering if it’s safe to fly when pregnant? Depending on how far along you are, or even how big your bump is, airlines may ask you for a note from your doctor to prove that it’s safe for your pregnancy travel. I’m quite slim and had a big bump with both my pregnancies – so big that on at least two flights they asked to see my notes as they didn’t believe I wasn’t over the threshold!
Airline rules for flying while pregnant vary, but you can find a few extracts of policies and links to the full details for some of the major airlines here.
4. Choose an Aisle Seat
And when you book your seat opt for an aisle seat to accommodate those delightful pregnancy pee breaks that you seem to need every 10 minutes!
Recommended Reading: 11 Lovely Babymoon Ideas and Handy Tips
5. Keep the Flow if Flying When Pregnant
Keep the blood flowing and swelling down during flights, especially if your flight is longer than four hours. You can do this by wearing compression socks, drinking lots of water and moving a lot. Rotate your ankles, do a few laps of the cabin – whatever you can manage.
For every half day activity allow a half day of chill time. If you feel okay then you can be spontaneous and fill it. It’s better to underplan than overplan and feel awful.
It can feel like your travel life is over and so you need to do everything, see everything and be everywhere, but the reality is you’ll only end up knackered and family travel can still be exciting, fun, stylish and plentiful!
7. Book Accommodation With Air Con
It’s said that your blood has to work 40% harder when you’re pregnant so you really do feel the heat. If you’re planning on going somewhere remotely warm, book a room with air con or at the very least, take a portable fan with you. I used this fan when I travelled as it’s super lightweight and you don’t have to worry about batteries running out.
Recommended Reading: Pregnancy Holiday Packing List (With Free Printable List)
8. Make It Special With A Babymoon
Although being pregnant can seem like it goes on forever, before you know it it’ll pass by in a flash. Make it special, by booking a babymoon. Hotels often have special babymoon deals that include spa treatments or cute baby-themed treats. This is especially true in the USA. You can find some really cool babymoon ideas and tips in this post. At the very least, mention it on your booking as you may get a free upgrade.
9. Bring Your Pregnancy Notes
Make sure you bring your pregnancy/medical notes with you and keep them in your hand luggage during the flight. If you’re worried about losing them, take some snaps or copies beforehand and leave them at home. And this can be handy in the event that you lose them while you’re away – someone back home can always ping you a copy. Even the smoothest of pregnancies can change course, so have all your important information with you.
10. Pack a Hat
If it’s a sunny destination bring a loose-fitting hat, like a big straw one or a Panama hat. It’ll help to keep you cool. Don’t bother with a tight cap, as it’s not just your feet and legs that can swell.
11. Plan to Your Trimester (and YOU)
Most mamas feel their best in the second trimester (week 13-28), so this can be an optimal time to travel while you’re pregnant. Energy levels usually spike and any tiredness and sickness can often ease. This isn’t the case for everyone, so listen to your body and midwife.
12. Don’t Book Too Far in Advance
When you first find out you’re pregnant it can be tempting to book all your pregnancy trips in advance. However, I’d suggest planning your ideas, but only booking close to your departure date. If you can’t fend off the excitement at least double check your last minute cancellation options with the agent or insurer.
During pregnancy things can change pace fairly quickly; how you feel, complications, priorities etc.
13. Overseas Pregnancy Nutrition
Guidelines on what you should eat (or not eat) during pregnancy varies from country to country, with some things posing more of a risk than others. Here in the UK this is the NHS ‘Foods to Avoid in Pregnancy’ list and for US readers, this is the American Pregnancy Association ‘Food to Avoid in Pregnancy’ list.. If you’re travelling to a country where they speak another language that you aren’t fluent in create a super simple translated food list ahead of your trip.
Trust your own instinct. Don’t feel peer-pressured by the waiter, particularly as they may not be familiar with pregnancy diets.
Also consider things that may have not so obvious ingredients, like egg in some gelato. And if you’re unsure go for familiar items or brands, like a wrapped branded ice lolly. Of course, if you have other dietary needs or are really worried you may want to stay in an apartment or house so that you can make your own meals in a kitchen.
14. Wear a Higher SPF
Your skin is more sensitive when you’re pregnant, so go for a higher SPF. Mineral or physical sunscreens (where the active ingredient is zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide) are said to be a good choice, as they’re hypoallergenic and sit on the skin instead of being absorbed by it.
15. Download Hypno Tracks
Whether you’re trying hypnobirthing or not, I’d recommend downloading some music or hypno tracks that you think may calm you down. If you go into early labour on your trip at least you’ll have something to help. You can find loads of free ones on Spotify. Just create your playlist and download in case of no wifi.
As a side note, I’d highly recommend hypnobirthing. I used it with both my babies – Nova was born using gas and air, and Kit was born at home with no medical pain relief. You’ve nothing to lose by trying it!
16. Splurge If Flying While Pregnant
Trade in airmiles or pay extra for the next class if you can. Go for anything to make it more comfortable, especially if you’re going long-haul.
Whilst I couldn’t afford business class when I went to Orlando, I travelled in Premium Economy. The extra legroom and less crowded cabin made all the difference and was worth its weight in gold.
Whilst you have the backdrop of a new location take loads of bump photos, even if you don’t feel you’re best. It’s a special time and you may feel differently about the experience once you look back. You don’t have to share them with anyone, but it’s a nice memento. I treasure mine and wish I took more, especially with my second, Kit, as I know we won’t be having any more children.
You’ll find lots of overseas pregnancy photo shoots available, so if you’re keen, consider booking a local photographer.
18. Book Accommodation With a Pool
With the extra blood pumping through your body, you may find that you suffer with swollen, puffy ankles and lower legs. Add in a hot climate and you’ll be grateful for booking a pool. Even if you don’t go for a swim, sitting on the edge with your legs in the water will be a welcomed relief. Can’t stretch your budget that far? Aim for a room with a bath.
19. Pack Snacks
If you’re pregnant no doubt you’re already taking snacks everywhere you go. The same applies for travelling when you’re pregnant. Pack as many as you can in your hand luggage. Your flight might get delayed while you’re on the tarmac or you might get stuck in a big queue. Don’t get caught out.
20. Slow It Down
Sure, you may still want to go on hikes and do adventurous stuff, but you’ll still probably need to slow down…at least a little bit. I found I got out of breath really easily, so although pre-kids I’d cram in as much as possible, during my pregnancy travels I found I really had to pace my fun. This is a good mindset to get into for family travel anyway!
21. Get Travel Insurance
Sure, you may not normally need it, but when you’re pregnant you’re at a higher risk of needing to claim. Check your existing policy is in date or if you don’t have any, take one out. There are loads of online comparable sites out there who can do the hard work for you.
Look at what you’re covered for, especially last minute cancellation amounts and exclusions (in case you need to cancel because you develop a complication or go into labour etc) and medical amounts and exclusions.
Also, make a quick note of the relevant emergency numbers so that you have them to hand during your travels.
22. Bring a Refillable Bottle
Forget those titchy water cups. You need to drink more during flights as your blood is working extra hard. Bring a reuseable water bottle. Airport staff will fill it up before your flight and on board if you kindly explain your situation to the flight staff they’ll usually fill it up for you.
A few years ago when I travelled to Orlando the flight staff were super sweet and brought me over a 2l water bottle to save me having to keep asking for drinks. Kindness does exist!
Recommended reading: 16 Easy Ways For Plastic-Free Travel
23. Honour the Loo!
Download a toilet app like the Toilet Finder or Flush so that you can easily find a loo when you’re out exploring and the annoying pregnancy pee calls! Also, pop a few coins in your bag in case it’s one of those annoying payable bathrooms.
It’s not a myth! Hormonal changes make your blood flow to your kidneys more quickly, filling your bladder more often. This is what causes more frequent peeing during pregnancy.
24. Go for a 4-Wheeled Suitcase
Make life as easy as possible. You’re already growing and carrying a small human, so let someone or something, carry your stuff.
Go for a 4-wheeled suitcase so you don’t have to drag it. You’ll be able to pull it alongside you with ease and even lean a bit of your weight on it. Pregnant or not, 4-wheelers are so much easier. I love my yellow S’Cure suitcase and four years later it’s still going strong.
25.Pack a Sleep Mask
Sleep is hard enough as it is when you’re pregnant so make it as stress-free as possible. Take a sleep mask to block out any light. Yes. I’m talking about that annoying flickering fire exit sign in your hotel room or paper thin blinds. I find the silky sort the most comfortable.
And as they take up no room, chuck in a set of earplugs and/or earphones to block out any irritating noises.
26. Splash Out…Literally
Planning a lazy break at the beach or pool? Perhaps one of my quirkier pregnancy travel tips, but consider a lilo with a hole!
The NHS says the safest position to go to sleep is on your side, either left or right. After a while, I found my hips and side ached. And as you get bigger laying on your front isn’t really an option anyway, but with the pregnancy lilo you can at least get a short bit of relief!
27. Request Pillows
When you check-in ask for extra pillows. Even if you don’t end up using them it’s easier to get them at a decent hour than when you’re irritably exhausted from not being comfortable.
Use them to prop your feet up or in between your legs to stop the weight of your bump hurting your hips and knees.
28. Use Hand Sanitiser
Pack hand sanitiser and use it. Avoid alcoholic ones if you can because some airport security teams confiscate them from hand luggage or pack them in your cabin bag or buy once you arrive.
We all know germs are more prevalent in busy, touristy areas and you want to minimise the chance of getting ill as your medicine options are limited when you’re pregnant. Use the sanitiser after touching handrails, public loos and so on. Kill those germs!
29. Keep a Stash of Rennie
Perhaps one of my more boring pregnancy travel tips, but always travel with a pack of Rennie, or whatever brand of antacids/heartburn relief that you prefer. Heartburn is really common in pregnancy and can rear its ugly head at any time.
I got caught out during my first pregnancy when we were out in Barcelona and struggled to find a pharmacy that was open. It’s so easy to pop a packet in your hand luggage, so learn from my mistake!
30. Let Your Midwife Know
Let them know in advance so they can tailor your appointments around your trip. Even if your trip falls in between appointments they’ll also obviously give you any specific health advice.
Do you have any pregnancy travel tips to add to this list? Did you try flying whilst pregnant?
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