So you’re pregnant (congratulations!), you want to travel, and you’re full of questions. We’ve got you covered. Traveling can be intimidating when you’re pregnant, but it doesn’t have to be. No doubt, your pregnancy will influence your travel plans — it may determine where you go and when — but it doesn’t mean you need to stop traveling. There are wonderful destinations that are great for pregnant travelers. And, if you plan well, traveling while pregnant can be a great way to unwind and relax. Before you book your next trip, check out these 6 tips that will make traveling while pregnant a breeze.
1. Check your health insurance policy
If you’re traveling domestically, you probably won’t have too many issues with health insurance (other than potential out-of-network costs). But if your trip involves international travel, it’s essential to find out if your insurance will cover pregnancy-related complications. If not, you’ll should look into additional travel insurance to cover healthcare expenses – even if you don’t anticipate needing it.
2. Buy travel insurance
I’ve never purchased travel insurance, but I will definitely buy it for trips I take while I’m pregnant, for both domestic and international trips. Especially if you’re booking a big trip, it’s worth the extra cost to purchase travel insurance. Make sure you do your research because there are different kinds of travel insurance. Some will just cover the cost of your trip if you have to cancel while other travel insurance will cover medical needs, as well. Pregnancy affects each woman differently and you have no idea how you will feel 10 weeks from now. It’s best to be prepared in case you can’t travel — or, frankly, in case you don’t feel like leaving the couch.
3. Be prepared
Be sure to make copies of emergency numbers, medical information, and your insurance information and pack them in your carry-on. Being prepared is a good idea in general, but it’s especially important during pregnancy. Before you book your trip, talk to your doctor or midwife to see if they have any concerns. It’s also a good idea to ask your healthcare provider for a copy of your medical records to bring with you.
4. Pick a pregnancy-friendly location
If you’re in your first trimester and are planning a big trip for later in your pregnancy, it can be easy to overestimate how much energy you’ll have or how (un)comfortable you’ll be. As you think about trips that would be good for pregnancy, think about how much walking you’ll want to do and where you’ll want to stay. While camping may be your first choice typically, you may want to re-think it when you’re 7-months pregnant; a good night’s sleep at that point will be hard enough in a bed, much less in a sleeping bag. A road trip can be a wonderful vacation, but sitting a car for more than a few hours at a time could be really uncomfortable toward the end of your pregnancy. Pregnancy is a great time to stay closer to home and enjoy relaxing vacations. Here are some ideas:
- Plan a spa weekend with the girls. Relax, spend quality time with friends, and find a location that specializes in pre-natal massage.
- Dive into a beach getaway. Pack a good book, spend time lounging outside, and appreciate that you’re not chasing a toddler down the beach — yet.
- Head to the city. This might seem counter-intuitive since it might include a lot of walking, but there are ways to make a city pregnant lady-friendly. Pick a hotel in a central location and spend a little extra on cabs here and there. Enjoy good restaurants and pack comfortable shoes to do some shopping.
5. Check airline and cruise policies
When we were planning a recent vacation, we thought a cruise would be a good option. We were about to book and I checked the policies at the last minute. I’m glad I did because most cruise lines won’t let you travel past 20 weeks. It’s also essential to check your airline’s policy. While many airlines will let you fly domestically well into your third trimester, international flights may have different regulations. Remember, sometimes your flights will be operated by an airline that’s different than what you actually booked through–so check all of their policies. Regardless, it’s a good idea to carry a doctor’s note when you’re in your third trimester.
6. Get comfortable!
Whether you’re driving or flying, you want to be comfortable when you’re traveling while pregnant. While a window seat offers a better view, if you’re like me, you’ll want to stick to the aisle so you can get up and go to the bathroom without asking the people next to you to move. It’s also a good idea to walk around to prevent blood clots, so an aisle seat will make it easier to get up and stretch. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid caffeine.
If you’re traveling by car, be sure to plan for adequate stops. Carry bottled water and healthy snacks. If your feet are prone to swelling, bring slippers or socks to wear as a passenger. In both cases, wear comfortable clothes. It’s a good idea to wear clothes that will make frequent trips to the bathroom easy — like drawstring or elastic pants. While it’s fun to get dressed up on vacation, you’ll be more comfortable if you pack sensible shoes that will accommodate your sometimes swollen feet.
Traveling while pregnant can be a great way to get some rest and relaxation before your bundle of joy arrives! Just be sure to take it easy and talk to your doctor before doing any sort of travel.
Have you traveled while pregnant? Do you have tips for other pregnant travelers?