Traveling gives people the unique chance to explore ancient cultures, delicious dishes, natural wonders, and architectural marvels. As Mark Twain said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." From hitchhiking to flying first class, there are many ways to travel and enjoy the world. Sometimes people are too obsessed with exotic destinations when, in fact, there are natural beauties and hidden wonders just under their nose. In the end, traveling is not only about the destination but the journey itself.
Traveling while pregnant is even more exciting and rewarding. Your travel buddy growing in your belly is often the best part of the whole adventure. On top of that, babymoons give couples the sweet opportunity to enjoy some romantic time just before the baby enters the world.
However, being pregnant challenges the body, so some destinations and adventures are not suitable for pregnant women. Perhaps you should stay away from bungee jumping in your third trimester! So what can help pregnant women and new moms travel without worrying about their baby?
Here are 20 things that helped me travel when pregnant and enjoy pregnancy to the fullest!
20 Pretty Mama
Traveling brings lots of positive emotions and precious memories; and beautiful pictures, of course! While we all want to look cool in photos and get lots of Likes, exploring the world with a travel buddy in your belly should be comfortable. 21st-century moms are lucky, though: maternity clothes are comfy and stylish at the same time. For women who start showing in summer, for instance, there are many floral dresses, trendy workout clothes, and light business suits.
Note that it was in the late 90's when media became extremely interested in celeb pregnancies, which affected parents worldwide: the maternity clothes market grew 10% to help us, the common folk, look stunning as well.
Feeling comfortable and beautiful can definitely boost your self-esteem and help you conquer the world!
19 Healthy & Delicious
Traveling is also about exploring different cultures and cuisines. Authentic dishes might be tempting, especially for pregnant women, but always make sure foreign meals contain the nutrients you need. Interestingly enough, according to USA Today, a study revealed that women who ate fruit were more likely to conceive quickly.
At the same time, expectant women often face lots of physical and hormonal changes, so it’s okay to give in to your cravings from time to time. Personally, ice cream and chocolate were my best travel buddies during pregnancy.
So, do not hesitate and indulge in authentic dishes. In the end, a happy mother is a healthy mother.
18 Exotic Babymoons
Exotic places make great babymoon destinations. Going on a babymoon is a wonderful chance to enjoy new fragrances, unusual meals, and unforgettable sights. It’s also a romantic opportunity to spend some quality time with your other half before the little one arrives.
In fact, going on a babymoon is one of your last chances to sleep in airports, add some spontaneity to your trip, and let things happen without pre-booking every single step of your journey. Actually, I was in my second trimester when my hubby and I went to Morocco - a babymoon and a honeymoon in one. Although we couldn’t afford a 5-star hotel and had an overnight airport layover - something I won't do with my baby now - we still managed to explore the colors of the cities, the music of the ocean, and the warmth of the desert.
So, be a hippie and enjoy the road less traveled.
17 Just Ask
Even if you have a bag full of maps, asking for help is the best travel advice you can follow. Actually, it takes lots of courage to accept help.
It was on our Moroccan trip when I realized that one shouldn’t be ashamed to accept help. As my baby girl was small, I didn’t start showing until quite late. Only when the bus driver asked if I was feeling okay, I told him I was pregnant and he let us sit at the front of the van, which was a great help during the long journey in the heat.
In other words, just let people know if you - and your baby - need something. Same with asking for a seat on public transport!
16 Supportive Environment
What is the most important thing to take before you go on a journey? A hat? A camera? Documents? Well, one of the best things to have is a supportive environment. From friends to family members, pregnant women need love and understanding, especially far from home.
Always travel with people who won’t find you boring in case you want to go to bed early or have only a non-alcoholic beer; people who you can call friends. In fact, it's not a secret that parenthood can be a testing time for friendships.
It's normal, though. There are mom friends who come and go, there are drinking buddies that leave without saying goodbye, and there are true friends that will follow you to the ends of the Earth!
15 Stay Safe
Prenatal screening and regular checkups are a must during pregnancy, especially in high-risk pregnancies. Therefore, always consult your OB before you go traveling. Well, I admit that despite some issues with my placenta, we traveled a lot, juggling work and family; yet, I was strict with tests and prenatal vitamins. Simply because health comes before travel.
Also, it might be helpful to consider getting pregnancy travel insurance, especially if you go abroad. Unfortunately, some companies won’t cover women beyond 26 weeks. If you travel to an exotic destination, check if you need any travel vaccinations.
In the end, no matter where you go, always stay safe.
14 Stamps & Independence
While safety is crucial, perhaps one of the best parts is the liberating feeling of being independent. When one goes traveling, there’s no work, no deadlines, no appointments.
If you ask me, I'm willing to try different ways to travel. From hitchhiking journeys to organized trips, any travel experience is rewarding. Yet, although I’ve worked as a seasonal tour guide, I enjoy self-guided trips the most. Thus, I stayed away from package holidays during pregnancy - no guides to tell you where to go, no big groups, no rigid schedules.
But hey, everyone is different, so simply choose a trip that will make you feel comfortable.
13 Shut Up!
Traveling gives people the unique opportunity to explore our colorful world. Therefore, having some quiet time is also needed to absorb and reflect… Which means that unwanted advice is just useless baggage. Although many people think they know more about parenting, including non-parents, let the people around you know that you don’t need any blah blah to ruin your travel plans.
There are people who’ll say that pregnancy and travel are two incompatible things; also, there are people who’ll suggest inappropriate destinations. So, just ignore people’s destructive talking and enjoy your adventure with your little one.
In other words, no matter where you go, try to stay away from silly advice.
12 Trust Your Instincts
When you leave annoying advice behind, just trust your instincts. In the end, it’s your body, your baby, and your adventure. Remember that as long as you feel healthy and happy, traveling during pregnancy is safe.
Note that according to americanpregnancy.org, the best time to travel is during the second trimester. In case there are risk factors for premature labor, though, experts recommend avoiding traveling from 32 weeks through birth.
So, just trust your instincts and choose any destination you can afford and enjoy. In the end, babymoons can help you create sweet pregnancy memories.
Travel memories, souvenirs, and pictures, of course, are sweet. Many pregnant women have amazing maternity photo sessions. From pregnancy time lapse to creative baby announcements, pictures help people seize the moment. For instance, I love taking photos and developing pictures, which I often arrange in albums and frames. Although I don’t have many pictures of my pregnant belly, apart from the one above, I keep fond memories of our travels during pregnancy.
Note that a survey showed that even babies love photos. Did you know that newborns appear on social media within 57.9 minutes after birth?
So, enjoy your pregnancy, explore the world, take pictures, and create memories!
10 Pregnant & Swimming
Babymoons give moms the unique chance to relax before the baby arrives. Babymoons are so popular that many tour agencies offer special packages. It’s not surprising that beach destinations are tempting. Note that swimming during pregnancy is beneficial: it improves circulation, muscle tone, and emotional well-being.
While pregnant women should avoid rock hopping, cold water and waves that can knock them down, swimming is totally fine. In fact, I did enjoy swimming in the sea despite my growing belly.
If you don't want to swim, just enjoy a walk along the pier or a boat ride.
9 Hike Away
There’s a wild variety of adventures pregnant women can enjoy: weekend gateways, exotic holidays, city sightseeing tours, or eco-friendly trips. In fact, hiking and camping are great activities for the whole family.
Although I was almost 30 weeks pregnant when we hiked to a cave, the trail to which was difficult and steep, each woman knows her own body. So, never push your limits!
If a mom-to-be is healthy and comfortable, camping is also an option. Actually, it doesn’t have to involve any hiking - just some relaxing time by a lake, for instance. Well, you can simply bring extra pillows or an air mattress.
8 Stay Hydrated
The most important thing is to stay hydrated. Whether camping or sightseeing, drinking plenty of liquids is essential. Dehydration is concerning during pregnancy. Morning sickness and diarrhea can make things worse, so always have enough water when you go traveling, especially to remote destinations.
As stated by healthline.com, water is used to form the placenta and dehydration can lead to low amniotic fluid and even poor production of breast milk. Mineral water is also a great choice to help you stay healthy.
In addition, always check if the place you’re going to has drinkable tap water - simply because drinking water may have some disease-causing microorganisms.
7 Going to the l00
It’s not a secret that frequent peeing is common during pregnancy. When it comes to traveling, though, it’s not only pregnant women who may have the urge to pee. Many people, especially on a bus without toilet facilities, find themselves needing to use the toilet. Interestingly, this phenomenon is partly psychological.
Therefore, always make sure to use the toilet when you can and avoid places without public restrooms. Travel by train or plane if possible, or use your own car to stop regularly for toilet breaks.
I’ll tell you something embarrassing – once when I was pregnant we went on an organized trip and the minibus stopped in the middle of nowhere to show us some breathtaking scenery. Perfect…but there were no toilets, no trees, nothing. So, while everyone was taking pictures, I just peed on the road, behind my hubby...
6 Realize When You’re Being Irrational
Pregnant women and hormonal changes are a dangerous combination: there are so many emotions, irrational thoughts, and fears that are too complex and unique. Therefore, pregnant women should try to understand which thoughts are being negative and irrational.
It’s hard to find inner peace, I know. Even though both my BA and M.Sc. were in Psychology (clinical and cognitive, respectively), I still get trapped in the maze of my postnatal moods. But hey, there’s no shame in seeking professional help.
Note that travel anxiety can make things worse, so just relax and stay positive - you and your little travel buddy will be fine. Actually, doing yoga is really helpful.
5 What Did You Say?
Sometimes you should listen to your partner. Okay, you don’t necessarily have to agree with them... but just listen. They may have some ideas for your next trip and help you feel more comfortable during your next adventure. Who knows? They might organize a surprise babymoon for you!
Note that even a short trip and a weekend lounging in bed can be enough to spend some quality time with your significant other and explore new love levels.
Actually, I still remember one of our most romantic weekend gateways: just a month before our baby daughter was born, surrounded by the extraterrestrial Belogradchik rock formations (the picture above), exploring Bulgaria - our new home.
4 Research & Plan
Research and plan… Okay, this is something I rarely do. Actually, I’ve always enjoyed spontaneous trips, last minute deals, and dodgy hostels. However, I realize that traveling when pregnant requires more research and planning. In the end, safety comes first!
It’s the same when you travel with a baby. In fact, the first time we took our baby daughter to the mountains, we couldn’t book the cheapest place: we had to check for a baby cot, parking, and basic cooking facilities.
When kids get older, things get more complicated. Therefore, always consider safe and quiet places.
3 Our Baby…And Yours
It takes a village to raise a child, people say. It’s true – kids need to experience the safety of their home environment, as well as the power of diverse social interactions. At the same time, parents know their kids - even without parenting books.
That said, it’s crucial to get grandparents to help you out with the newborn. Grandparents can help young kids grasp the meaning of family support. Also, some quality family time can help grandparents get to know their grandchildren.
If miles, jobs, and feeding routines allow it, just leave your little one with your family for a few days and go traveling. Call me selfish, but we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy quite a lot of places for the past 19 months without the baby - I call it self-care. Nannies are also an option.
2 Baby Documents
Packing is one of the most exciting things about traveling. The thrill of the upcoming journey and the colors of the suitcases mix in a wild spectrum of emotions. Pregnant women can still enjoy floral garments and cool accessories.
Packing with a kid, however, can become a dark comedy. Even if you are able to pack a compact backpack or a sweet rolling suitcase, there will be millions of small bags sticking out of the trunk of your car, pacifiers slopped on the check-in desk, and a lot of tears (mainly your, not the baby's). I just can’t imagine how we’ll fit everything we need in our hand luggage next week…
However, always bring the right documents, especially when traveling alone and/or abroad. Some countries require a birth certificate and written consent from the child’s biological parent.
1 The Beauty of Life
There are no written rules about traveling when pregnant. Although people have been traveling for centuries, today’s social media reality imposes the false impression that millennials travel the most.
So, if you feel anxious about traveling, don’t feel pressured to travel at all. If, due to medical reasons, you cannot travel, don’t worry either – soon you’ll have the chance to explore the world with your little one. Sadly, even with low-cost airlines, many people can’t afford holidays, so there’s no need of bragging. There are natural wonders and beauty just under your nose, quite literally – the beauty in your belly.
Traveling can help one see the beauty of life. Personally, I love traveling. However, the sweetest part of the journey is to have a place to return to - a place to call home.