Lately I experienced a new way of travel. Pregnant travel. Carrying mini goblin inside me changed the way I did things on the last few trips. This is my experience of traveling while pregnant. I am not a doctor and what worked for me might not work for you. Before you pack, ask your doctor what he thinks about it. Don’t ask your friends or relatives. I am sure they have opinions on how to do things. But unless they are medical professionals, see above.
Best time to travel for most is in the second trimester
First three months you are throwing up a lot, sleeping and have zero energy. Last three months you look like a whale and feel like an old elephant. You have enough problems with carrying your weight around from one bench to another and looking for toilets all the time. Imagine having to carry an extra backpack and waiting in the long line for the ferry/plane/bus. The best time is in between, when your chances of miscarriage are low and there is not yet much chance of you getting in a labour during sightseeing.
Sleeping while pregnant is a problem
I am used to sleeping everywhere. I had great naps on the airport floor or on the bench waiting for the train to arrive. Lately, I can only sleep on the side. There is a baby in the belly and I can’t breathe if I roll on my back. At home I have special pillow for pregnant women, but it doesn’t really fit in my travel backpack. Improvisation is the key. I use everything that looks like a pillow to get extra support. Inflatable pillows are also great, since they pack small.
Peeing all the time
Many pregnant ladies experience lack of sleep due to frequent toilet visits. Getting a room with a toilet or one close to the toilet is a good idea. Walking two floors down and up on a poorly lit step stairway during the night is not very enjoyable. Before I didn’t care how many toilets the low budget accommodation I am boking has. On my last trip to Spain I managed to get great place with best possible view and an awesome price. I failed to notice there were 4 rooms, owners and one shared bathroom with shower and one toilet for all those people. While my many trips there during the night didn’t bother anyone, it was impossible to get in there during the day. Yes, I had morning sickness and had to throw up in the kitchen sink. Not something I am proud off, but the other options were worse.
Preggy on a plane
Longer car drives can become a nightmare. You need to stretch your legs and go to the toilet a lot. On a plane, it is a good idea to do some walking around during a flight. We have 200% more chance for getting blood cloths during flight than other people. So don’t worry about grumpy on the seat next to you and take a mini stroll to the toilets and back. Short flight with a normal commercial passenger plane shouldn’t harm you or the baby.
We should drink more fluids while on a plane and even more while on a plane and pregnant.
Personally I didn’t notice much difference between being on a plane with a belly and without it. My main concern was getting my ear plugs inside my ears early enough to avoid the pressure problems. And I didn’t get any special treatment from the airline, I had to fight for good seats and space in overhead compartments like everyone else on the flight.
Is your travel insurance preggy friendly?
Chances are, you have an insurance but it only covers broken legs or stolen documents. Giving birth without insurance can be very expensive, so read the fine print on your travel insurance contract. You are also more prone to getting sick than normally and even normal cold will last much longer. Most pills from your usual travel pack aren’t suitable for future moms. If I don’t fell healthy I don’t go on a trip. I am sure there will be chances to go later.
Street food is not your friend anymore
Bottled water, only fruit and vegetables that are washed with drinking water and no rare steaks are the norm on most travels to more exotic countries. During pregnancy, even more so. The problem is you are supposed to eat as healthy as possible so the baby can get enough vitamins, minerals and everything else to grow. I soon learned to always carry extra healthy snacks like different mixed nuts, prewashed fruits and a water bottle. If the only open restaurant looked like a sure place to get a diarrhoea, I had a backup plan. Prenatal vitamin pills are also great help, but eating only junk food and adding vitamins is not a way to go.
Not the best time for anything extreme
If you are crazy in love with hiking and spend all your time going uphill most of your free time, you will probably be able to do it even in the last months of pregnancy. Going on your first long hike with a belly is not such a good idea. My friend decided to go to Egipt while in her third semester. She was very healthy and active. All her friends told her she will get food poisoning and harm the baby. And she told them that it is her eight trip to the same place and she is used to it. Everything was OK and she had a great time. I did my best to avoid all suspicious foods and still managed to spend all night throwing up in less exotic place – in Spain. There was a dirt cheap offer on a plane tickets to Peru during that time, but since I didn’t get the right vaccinations in time, I decided not to risk it.
Will they let you on a plane?
Most airlines have extra rules for pregnant travellers. Check before buying ticket. Usually they demand doctor’s written approval to board a plane when you are further along. There are different rules from what week on, so check with the airline. If you are flying to your vacation and going back a few weeks later, you might have a problem boarding a plane back.
Will you be allowed to enter the country?
Some counties don’t let very pregnant women to enter, since we could give birth there and demand citizenships or be a burden on their taxpayers after. One of such is USA. They might check your insurance coverage and if they are not happy with it send you back home on the next plane.
Different countries different standards
I am used to checking in hospitals in Slovenia and getting everything I need there. List of items you are supposed to bring with you in maternity bag is very short. Most of the items are there to help you be more comfortable and are not really essential. It is not the same everywhere. If you plan to travel to less developed places, you might have to bring your own razor blade to cut the umbilical cord and your own drinking water.
Long road trips are not your friend any more
Driving anywhere without stopping to pee and stretching your legs is not an option anymore. It might be better on a train, where you can use the toilet, put your legs up on the bench to avoid swelling and you can go for a short walk during the trip. There are signs for reserved seats for disabled, pregnant or old people on public transport all around Europe. Often people ignore them and pretend they don’t see you, since they are busy with their mobile phones. Yelling at them usually helps.
Traveling during last three months
Good luck with that. If you are still able to your usual chores without help, you are one of the lucky ones. Most insurances don’t cover deliveries abroad and you are no longer allowed to fly on some airlines. No more budget travel, you will be happy to pay extra for your own toilet, air con, bed and umbrella on the beach.
Since goblins love to travel, but usually do it on a budget, we use Airbnb. By using this link to subscribe, you get 20 euros of your first trip, and we get a little discount on our next. If you are not into Airbnb, there is a Booking.com banner on the right side of our page. If you are looking for a travel gear, visit our Goblin shop. Travel as much as you can.