Posted by: MummyTravels | Jun 6, 2012

Travel during pregnancy – lessons learned

When I started this blog, it was at least partly in response to people telling me what I wouldn’t be able to do – pregnancy and motherhood would mark the end of travel as I knew it. So with pregnancy almost over (five weeks and counting) and motherhood on the horizon, were they right?

Unsurprisingly, I’ve got to say no (so far). But there’s no question that things do change if you’re planning pregnant travel – and not always as I expected. So here’s what I’ve discovered so far…

  • Never assume. The trickiest thing about pregnant travel is not being completely certain how you’ll feel at any point. But don’t assume you won’t feel up to it – for months, I carried on almost as normal, although I avoided booking anything more than about four weeks ahead.
  • Learning to pack light. Never a strong skill of mine, I did finally learn to downsize – partly because I didn’t want to be lugging a huge suitcase as well as the bump (when it was just me, I didn’t really care), but also because my wardrobe shrank so dramatically, I was limited to what I could take.
  • It’s not always your decision. However fine you feel, however happy you are to keep enjoying new experiences, it’s not always possible – I’m not talking about people stopping you bungee jumping (fair enough), but I couldn’t even do some relaxed canoeing or go on a boat trip as the operators’ insurance wouldn’t cover me. On the upside, people bend over backwards to make sure you’re OK. And don’t be surprised if your own attitude changes too now it’s no longer all about you.
  • The second trimester is your friend. It’s the advice everyone gives you, but there’s good reasons for travelling while you can during the second trimester. The exhaustion and sickness of the first weeks (not to mention any low-level worry before the 12-week scan) meant I didn’t venture too far at the beginning. And while I’d have been happy to carry on a few weeks after my last overseas flight at 28 weeks, I’ve definitely been reluctant to do much beyond around 32/33 weeks as it just gets too tiring.
  • An obsession with toilets. For the first time since I encountered a squat toilet, these have actually factored in my travel plans, right from choosing an aisle seat on the plane.
  • Keep an eye on paperwork. Some travel insurance won’t cover pregnant women at all, others will only cover you up to 28 weeks (assuming you’ve had no previous complications) even if airlines are happy for you to fly. Even after studying mine, I found sections were distinctly unclear. Check and doublecheck…
  • Don’t watch sad films on planes. One airline survey found we’re more likely to cry at films on planes – throw in hormones and heightened emotions, and it’s best to avoid anything weepy…

Image: TehCbing/Flickr


  1. My one is to learn the local language for having your meat well done. It was hard to get the message across, and at dinner in Malta I found my dinner was so bloody it was inedible. Apart from the advice given that you shouldn’t eat rare meat in pregnancy, it made me totally nauseous. I had taken some cereal bars with me, and I ended up spending the weekend on those, and some salad.

    • Good tip – trying to stick with dietary advice in another language is definitely not always easy.

  2. Amen to knowing where the potties are and the quickest ways to get to them!

    • Absolutely – see I’m not alone on this point!

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