We’re sharing our personal experience, advice, and top tips for traveling while pregnant.
Traveling while pregnant is something I’ve done my fair share of. Between two pregnancies, we’ve taken countless road trips, weekended on Long Island’s North Shore, visited Disney and New Orleans, and long hauled it to France. My unborn children are well travelled, and yours can be, too!
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I had no intention of quitting traveling when I got pregnant. Starting a family doesn’t mean traveling needs to end, but it’s important to prioritize the pregnancy and be safe when traveling.
From flights, to road trips, to travel insurance insurance, this complete guide to traveling while pregnant has you covered!
Absolutely Essential Tips for Traveling While Pregnant
What to Consider Before You Book
Pick a Practical Destination
- Some bucket list destinations aren’t practical during pregnancy. Excessive physical exertion, I’m sure, isn’t safe, nor does it sound like fun. Sorry, you’ll have to skip hiking the Grand Canyon for now in favor or some mocktails on the beach! Isn’t relaxation on your radar at this point anyway?
- Consider the health risks, like Zika, of potential travel destinations. Check the CDC’s website for travel related health concerns.
- I can’t stress enough the importance of making sure your destination has accessible bathrooms. Maybe don’t go too far off the beaten path.
Travel During the Second Trimester
- The second trimester of pregnancy is your optimal travel window. The second trimester is the good tri for a reason – the first trimester nausea has usually subsided and the super preggo feeling of the third trimester hasn’t set in yet. Labor is still a ways away, in theory, during the second trimester, too.
Talk to Your OB
- It goes without saying, but you should clear your babymoon with your OB. I had two typical, healthy pregnancies without any risks or complications so clearance to travel was not an issue.
- Ask what medications you should bring/can take if you need them while traveling. I always traveled with my prenatal vitamins, Tylenol, and Benadryl since they’re safe for pregnancy. Ask about other products you might need, like bug spray or sunblock, as well.
- Discuss what to do if you should need medical care and what paperwork you should bring with you.
Travel and Health Insurance
- Many travel insurance companies allow you to cancel a trip if you booked the trip before you found out if you were pregnant. When this isn’t covered, you may be able to put your flight or hotel stay in a travel bank for later. Trying to conceive? Consider researching the airline or hotel’s policies first.
- If you are already pregnant at the time of booking, look for a travel insurance company that will cover pregnancy complications. Allianz covers trip cancellation if a pregnancy related complication arises that would make an otherwise healthy expectant mother no longer able to travel – like a diagnosis of preeclampsia. Though I’ve never had to cancel a trip with Allianz, family members have and would recommend them going forward.
- Check to see where and when your own health insurance might offer you coverage, should you need it. Never travel without your medical cards.
Related: Our Babymoon in Paris
Air Travel During Pregnancy
Check the Airline’s Policy
- Most airlines will allow you to fly up to around 34 weeks pregnant. Some may require documentation after that, or before. The airline technically has a right to deny you boarding if you’re violating their policy.
Book an Aisle Seat
- To get up to pee obviously. Don’t get stuck next to the window, on an overnight flight, needing to pee with a sleeping neighbor.
Get up Often
- To prevent clotting, I got up at least every two hours to walk the aisles of the plane. This is also a great chance to pee…again.
- I was raised under the notion that you should dress up for a plane – my mom always wore her slacks. You’ll never see me board a plane in sweats, but during pregnancy I cut myself some slack. Comfortable clothes – no jeans – make all the difference.
Don’t Fly Without These Pregnancy Essentials
- Compression Socks – to help with clotting
- Maternity Leggings – good quality, comfortable leggings for long flights
- Stainless Water Bottle – fill it up before you board and ensure you’re hydrated during the flight
- Lumbar Support Pillow – for those very real and uncomfortable pregnancy back aches
Car Travel While Pregnant
- Like with plane travel, it’s important to stop frequently and stretch to prevent clotting. Again, time stops with your frequent bathroom breaks. Are you starting to see a pattern here…
- Map out directions that actually include stops. You don’t want to end up stuck on a stretch of highway with no place to get off.
Bring Something for Nausea
- You might be passed the morning sickness of the first trimester, but car travel can wreak havoc on your body. I usually travel with rice crackers and seltzer to settle my stomach during road trips.
Final Thoughts on Traveling While Pregnant
Traveling while pregnant can be fun. Some of our best trips were while I was pregnant. Relaxing on the beach. Wandering the romantic streets of Paris. Gentle hiking in Vermont’s Green Mountain Forest…followed by some of the best locally sourced meals!
Though there were activities I couldn’t do because I was pregnant, I always welcomed the extra time to relax and take it slow. As long as you’re mindful of your body and your limitations, traveling during pregnancy could be just what the doctor ordered!
Not Ready to Travel Yet? Save these Tips for Later and Pin it Here:
Have you traveled while pregnant? What would you add to this list? What are some of your favorite family travel destinations?