You’ve decided you want to travel before your bundle of joy arrives. Hurrah! Taking a holiday pre-baby is becoming more and more popular as us parents decide to make the most of their remaining child-free time. Let’s face it, travelling with children is a whole different ball-park.
There are, however, a few extra considerations to make when you travel during pregnancy, so here are seven quick tips to ensure your pre-baby holiday is one to remember for all the right reasons.
1. Speak to your doctor
Before you start making plans, book an appointment to chat with your doctor about travelling while pregnant. They’ll be able to answer any questions you have, which will put your mind at ease, and if you intend to travel by plane they can write you a letter permitting you to fly.
Top tip: As long as your pregnancy has been free from complications, you should be able to travel. It’s natural to worry about flying while pregnant, but there’s plenty of information out there to reassure you. Always check with your doctor before booking anything.
2. Take out a travel insurance policy
The cost of receiving medical treatment in another country can reach horribly eye-watering amounts, so travel insurance is essential. The best policy for you will not only cover your pregnancy, but also any illnesses or conditions caused by being pregnant. Always disclose everything to the provider, otherwise your policy could be invalidated in the event you need to make a claim.
Top tip: Bank accounts sometimes come with their own free travel insurance policies. If you have one, let them know about your pregnancy — they may be able to upgrade your cover.
3. Travel in the second trimester
The majority of women agree that pregnancy is easiest during the second trimester. The morning sickness of the first trimester will have (hopefully!) stopped and your hormone levels will be more stable, but the exhaustion you experience during the third trimester won’t quite have set in.
Top tip: Your body will change a lot during the second trimester, trust me. One minute there’s no bump and the next, it’s there! If you’re going to be away for two weeks or more, pack clothing in several different sizes to accommodate your growing bump.
4. Pack your maternity notes
Your maternity notes are a detailed, up-to-date record of your pregnancy. They’re written in a way which can be understood by medical staff around the world, so in the unlikely event you need to see a doctor, they’ll be able to treat you that much quicker.
Top tip: Don’t just leave your maternity notes in the hotel room. Pack them in your bag and take them everywhere with you, if only for your peace of mind. If you’re worried about losing them, take copies and carry the copies in your day bag instead.
5. Bring luggage that’s easy to carry
The last thing you’re going to want is more aches and pains. Choose a suitcase with four wheels that spin 360 degrees, which is easy to roll along and won’t put extra pressure on your back and shoulders. That and enlist the services of a partner or friend to be your official luggage mule. After all, you’re already carrying a baby!
Top tip: Let staff know you’re pregnant, and don’t be afraid to ask someone to place your luggage overhead on the plane, or in storage on a bus or train.
6. Stock up on plenty of water and snacks
Never underestimate the importance of food and water. Staying hydrated will reduce swelling and water retention, lower the risk of infection and keep your brain alert, so pack a bottle of water and refill it as needed.
As for snacks, packets of wholemeal crackers and cereal bars are easy to carry around with you and will keep nausea at bay, while dried or fresh fruit will keep your blood sugar levels stable and give you a much-needed energy boost. Try and avoid anything too sugary as this will only give you a short boost before dropping your levels further.
Top tip: Buy snacks in bulk before you travel so you don’t run out while you’re away. Plus you’ve then got hotel snacks to hand should you need them.
7. Relax when you need to
Pregnancy is hard work. A holiday is the perfect occasion to take some time to relax, so enjoy it and stop to rest as much as you need to. You deserve it!