Pregnancy Travel Tips Learned the Hard Way

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I was nearly eight months pregnant when I waddled aboard a long international flight from the U.S. with my two young children to join my husband in England. My only concern was getting clearance from my doctor and approval from the airline to fly. Our move overseas happened so quickly I didn’t have time time to overthink the dynamics of flying pregnant with a toddler and a preschooler. And, miraculously, the flight went seamlessly. Now I’m pregnant with my fourth child and I have multiple trips planned throughout this pregnancy. I asked friends and followers to share their pregnancy travel stories and was inundated with harrowing tales. Here are some pregnancy travel tips you can learn from these moms-to-be.

Pregnancy Travel Tips Learned the Hard Way,

Exploring castles at 37 weeks pregnant (Photo credit: Stacy Jessee)

Pregnancy Travel Tip: Use your big belly and your wallet to get your way.

“We drove to Paris while I was pregnant and I was nauseated the whole trip. We were running late to see a show at Moulin Rouge and we didn’t think we needed to get there early since we pre-bought our tickets. Boy, was I was wrong! There were at least 700 people in the entrance line. I hadn’t had a chance to eat and I had to pee AGAIN. I figured I would be able to pee once we were inside but they said we had to wait in the huge line even though we had our tickets. After walking to the back of the line almost in tears, I asked one of the security guards what it would take to get to the head of the line because I really had to pee. I rubbed my huge pregnant belly and he motioned for me to follow him to the side. Fifty euros later and we were finally inside. I was so happy to finally pee and sit down but learned quickly they don’t serve food or any kind of snacks, only drinks. As the 3-hour show ended I started running – as fast as a pregnant woman in a crowd could run – to the bathroom. Just my luck all the stalls were full so I embarrassingly vomited in the sink in front of a line of people.” – Jasmine C.

Pregnancy Travel Tip: Look for compassionate travelers to help out as needed, but don’t expect special treatment.

“I was about five months pregnant when I flew from Frankfurt to Boston to visit family. Since I was flying by myself, my doctor told me to ask somebody to help me get my suitcase off the belt at baggage claim. I had great conversations with the very nice older gentleman who sat next to me during the flight. But after we landed we went our separate ways. I asked the young German man standing next to me if he could help me get my suitcase off the belt since I was pregnant. The guy turned around, scanned me from top to bottom—I looked nine months pregnant, then rolled his eyes at me and asked me loudly in front of everybody if I had just come to America to deliver my child so he would be an American. Needless to say, the pregnancy hormones, my German temper, plus all the emotions of having my husband deployed didn’t mix well. I snapped. I yelled at him until security came to ask if everything was alright. They took the idiot aside for questioning. I was in tears and so upset that I completely forgot about my suitcase! All of a sudden, somebody tapped my shoulder. It was the gentleman who sat next to me on the plane with my suitcase in his hand. He had watched the whole incident and apologized for the idiot. He accompanied me through customs and brought me to my family waiting outside. It was the most emotional experience I’ve ever had and I’m still very thankful to that gentleman for helping me in a situation where hormones took over my rational thinking.” – Antje D.

Pregnancy Travel Tips Learned the Hard Way

Hiking in the Shenandoah Mountains at 26 weeks pregnant (Photo credit: Stacy Jessee)

Pregnancy Travel Tip: Take steps to prevent motion sickness while pregnant and stay hydrated if you become nauseated.

“I went on my first cruise while about 10 weeks pregnant. It’s the only time I threw up my whole pregnancy. Clinging to a cruise ship toilet in choppy seas is not a fun experience!” – Katelyn J.

“I was 3-months pregnant and my husband and I went with friends to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day. The plane landing was awful and made me feel really sick. I don’t remember much of the taxi ride to the hotel as I was that rough. I lay down for a while and thought I would be ok so we headed out for dinner. All of a sudden I knew I was going to be sick but had no choice but to vomit between two parked cars! They made me a sign for the rest of the night that said ‘If you see her puking she’s pregnant, not drunk.’ I must have been the only person in Dublin sober but puking on St. Patrick’s Day.” – Joy M.

Pregnancy Travel Tip: Think through worst case scenarios and travel prepared.

Being six months pregnant didn’t stop Christina Wagar from exploring Chile’s Valley of the Dead with her husband. Their adventure was off to a rocky start when their truck became hopelessly stuck in the middle of the desert in a foreign country, but with incredible help from the locals, they were able to dig their way out even while Christina’s husband kept asking her to sit in the truck with “the helpless fear that his very pregnant wife would die of heat exhaustion or give birth right there and then!” After surviving their unexpected ordeal, they joined their tour group and hiked over 10km through the scorching desert, through caves and climbing up cliffs. You can read more about Christina’s adventure and pregnancy travel tips on her blog.

Six months pregnant and exploring the Valley of the Dead in Chile ~ Pregnancy Travel Tips Learned the Hard Way

Six months pregnant and exploring the Valley of the Dead in Chile (Photo credit: Christina Wagar)

Pregnancy Travel Tip: You can do it!

Among the pregnancy travel stories shared with me, there were many impressive tales—moms who climbed mountains or hundreds of steps up ancient castles and famous churches. Nicole P. was seven months pregnant and walked over ten miles in a day while exploring London with family. Also seven months pregnant, Karryanne H. braved outdoor toilets and sharing an air mattress with a 4-year-old while camping in Wales. My climb to the top of Big Ben in London a few weeks ago pales in comparison to the athleticism of these pregnant ladies.

Women pull off impressive feats while pregnant every day. For nine long months women continue to manage their households, work at jobs and care for other children—all despite nausea, fatigue, endless aches and pains, hormone fluctuations and more. And many of these pregnant women travel.

Rude strangers, pregnancy discomfort and harrowing tales aside, many parents choose not to put their lives on hold while pregnant. Instead, they set forth in the world, ready to explore new places with their babies riding along in their bellies. If your doctor gives you the green light to travel and you’re feeling up to the challenge, I say go for it! My baby-to-be and I will be waddling along right beside you.

Have you traveled while pregnant? We’d love to hear your pregnancy travel experiences—good and bad. Share in the comments below!

About Stacy Jessee, The Restless Travel Mama

Stacy Jessee spent much of her childhood living abroad. She has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and Europe and hopes to mark more of Africa and Asia off her bucket list in the near future. Her family can currently be found living the expat life in England and exploring as much of Europe as possible. With three children under age 6 and another one on the way, their travel stories are rarely glamorous but always memorable. Stacy’s blog, Strollering the Globe, offers a humorous glimpse at the mishaps and mayhem that seem to follow her family’s travels. Connect with Stacy on Twitter as @StrolltheGlobe.

  1. What a nice round up of tips! I never made it further than a 5 hour drive when pregnant — but then again I was throwing up for almost the entire pregnancy.

  2. Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says

    I took two babymoons in my second trimester. One to Sedona, AZ and the other to Anguilla. In Sedona, we hiked and I was the slowest one in the group. In Anguilla, we just vegged on the beach and ate ice cream. Can you guess which trip I liked more??

  3. I love the ‘can do’ spirit of this post! I traveled as much as I could while pregnant, and only had one miserable trip…at 8 months. What I learned: think twice before traveling at that stage! Any other…go for it!

  4. This is not only brilliant advice for travelling when pregnant but also for anyone travelling with young children, so thank you. There are so many people out there who have no sympathy when it comes to having to settle children on planes and how uncomfortable it is to stay in a tiny seat for a long-haul flight when pregnant etc. so I think there are a lot of people who could learn from this, not just pregnant ladies.

  5. Great tips! But there is also no shame in indulging in a relaxing “Babymoon” before baby comes 🙂

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