Thank you to Patient.info for sponsoring this post. All experiences are my own and true!
Just as I refused to let having kids stop me from traveling, I refused to let pregnancy stop me from exploring the world. While traveling during a healthy pregnancy is typically fine, there are several differences to consider when comparing traveling while pregnant to traveling with kids. I wanted to share my personal experience plus some expert advice from Patient on the best trimesters to travel, the safest foods to eat, when you can travel and where you can travel.
My Travel Experience Through Each Trimester
First Trimester Travels
I traveled a lot during both pregnancies and learned quite a bit during my first pregnancy with Jordyn. Those lessons allowed me to travel more comfortably during my second pregnancy with Kennedy. The first trip I took while pregnant was unplanned as I found out I was expecting the day before I left. I was 5 weeks and headed to Spain and Morocco on a two-week journey. Unfortunately the morning sickness, a.k.a. all day sickness, was a big hindrance in my ability to fully enjoy the trip. Between not being able to try all the new foods I wanted, being tired throughout the day, and not being able to ride a camel in the desert, I still want to make it back to Morocco for a better experience.
My second first-trimester trip was at 12 weeks when I visited Puerto Rico for a long weekend. While I knew I was pregnant prior to leaving, my flight was booked before I knew and I had to adjust the itinerary I planned with my girlfriends. It was a birthday trip so as you can imagine I missed out on a few things; sipping cocktails on the beach with my girls (but virgin Pina Coladas are just as good) and dancing all night at the club. I was also unable to go cliff jumping or participate in other adventurous activities. My morning sickness hadn’t quite subsided and I had some food aversions that made me one picky eater. However, I was still able to enjoy our hike through El Yunque Park, The Bacardi Rum Factory Tour (sans the tasting), laying on the beach and quality time with friends.
Second Trimester Travels
I traveled next at 25 weeks and it was a dream. I traveled from New York to Florida to attend a wedding. The plane ride was comfortable but I’d recommend an aisle seat, as bathroom breaks are frequent. I had no issues with smells, my morning sickness was finally gone, my energy was back and I danced the entire night away! I completely felt like myself and even ended up tacking on a 5hr road trip from Miami to Gainesville! This is in line with Patient.info’s recommendation that travel during the second trimester is usually easier.
Third Trimester Travels
The last time I traveled before giving birth was at 33 weeks, on a work trip from New York to Texas. The plane ride was more uncomfortable as I was a lot bigger. I was tired and it was very uncomfortable trying to sleep on the plane, even more than I already find it. It was a fairly short flight in comparison to others I have been on and I couldn’t imagine being on a long haul flight that far along in my pregnancy. I would avoid long flights and drives during the third trimester if possible. If you can’t avoid them but can afford to upgrade your seat I would highly recommend doing so.
Traveling with a Toddler While Pregnant
During my second pregnancy, I continued to travel with my toddler in tow. My girls are 21 months apart so Jordyn was 1 while I traveled pregnant. The biggest trip I took during this pregnancy was a two-week vacation to Italy and Greece, leaving from New York. I was 16 weeks pregnant and it was great! We started with an 8-day land tour of Italy, starting in Venice, and worked our way down to Florence, Pisa, and Rome. As you can imagine there was a ton of walking involved but as I was in my 2nd trimester I had a lot of energy and was feeling great. I mainly used a carrier with Jordyn as Venice is not a stroller friendly destination and I was able to do so safely while pregnant.
The second leg of our trip was a 7 night Greek Isles cruise that left from Rome. It was extremely relaxing and the kids club on the ship allowed me to have a break and rejuvenate when I needed to. The sea days in between the island visits were also a great way to recuperate after a long day of exploring. Unlimited food 24hrs a day was this pregnant mama’s dream come true, I loved cruising while pregnant!
One of the best things about traveling is trying new foods, especially those unique to your destination. However, due to food aversions and/or crazy cravings, you might miss out on some appetizing experiences. The only thing worse is if your cravings are on the list of foods you can’t eat. Keep you and your baby safe by following these guidelines on what not to drink or eat when pregnant.
Restrictions on When You Can Travel While Pregnant
Ready to book that trip during your pregnancy? Be sure you will be able to do so via your preferred method of transportation. Most airlines don’t allow you to fly past 36 weeks and some may require a doctors note the closer you are to your due date. If cruising is your thing, you must be returning from your cruise prior to hitting 24 weeks or you won’t be allowed board the ship and risk losing the money you paid if you try to go anyway. While no one can stop you from taking a road trip anytime during your pregnancy, long car rides can just be unbearable during the last months of pregnancy so avoid those or plan to pull over frequently for bathroom breaks and to stretch your legs. Here you can find more tips on traveling safely while pregnant from the experts at Patient.
Planning a trip during your pregnancy? Read this post from Patient.info on what to pack for your travels while expecting.