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A Trimester by Trimester Guide to Traveling while Pregnant

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Pregnancy Travel

A Trimester by Trimester Guide to Traveling while Pregnant

Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve traveled quite a bit! Boston in my first trimester, Disney World, London, Paris and Salzburg in my second and Colorado and North Carolina in my third! Of course, I made sure to run it by my doctor each time. Remember to talk to your OB before traveling while pregnant. As long as you’re not a high risk pregnancy, being pregnant doesn’t mean you need to put life on hold or not do the fun things you want! You just have to do things a little slower and listen to your body (and baby!). I compiled a list of tips to give y’all a trimester by trimester guide to traveling while pregnant since I traveled during each trimester. These are the things that helped me immensely along the way!

Trimester by Trimester Guide

Traveling in the 1st Trimester

I found this to be quite the challenge. Chloe’s first adventure began at just about 8 weeks gestation when JP and I went to Boston with Rachael and Joe. At this point, no one knew I was pregnant except for my husband, mom and sister! If you have to hop on a plane or take a long car trip during your first trimester, here are some tips and tricks to feeling your best!

  • Get anti nausea medicine from your doctor before traveling if you’re experiencing morning sickness. In Boston, I didn’t have medicine yet and I was quite miserable for part of the trip. 
  • Pack lots of snacks. You never know when you’ll be hungry or nauseous. Pack crackers and ginger chews or hard candies for nausea and other snacks that sound good and are easy on your stomach for when the hunger urge strikes and it’s no where near meal time.
  • Prepare to take potty breaks. They’re going to happen. Warn your travel companions if necessary especially on a road trip.
  • Listen to your body. Need to sleep a little longer than planned? Do it. Don’t feel like staying out late? No problem. You’re body is going through so many changes, so just sit down at a coffee shop or restaurant for a while if you’re out and about and feel like you need a break!

Traveling in the Second Trimester

By the second trimester, usually the nausea has gone, people know you’re pregnant and you’re starting to have more energy! I’ve found this is the BEST time for traveling! It was perfect that my annual Disney trip fell right at the beginning of my second trimester.

Beginning of Second Trimester tips

  • Get out of your seat and walk around once every other hour especially when traveling by plane. Changes in your body mean changes in your circulation. Pregnant women are more likely to get blood clots, so be sure to move around and get your blood flowing!
  • Pack belly bands for shorts and pants even if they still fit just fine. Comfort is key! I found myself unbuttoning my shorts after meals and wished I had a belly band.
  • Snacks. They’re important and necessary so bring them! I needed to eat something as soon as I woke up to keep nausea and starvation at bay, so rice cakes with peanut butter, crackers, trail mix, and other easy snacks to keep on hand were great.
  • Have fun! This is one of the easiest times for traveling and enjoying your changing body!

End of Second Trimester Tips

At 24 weeks pregnant, we ventured across the Atlantic on our 2 week babymoon adventure! We went to London, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna. It was a whirlwind and completely worth it. If you want to travel overseas when pregnant and are cleared by your doctor, be sure to plan for plenty of time in each place because rest time is a must!

  • Get out of your seat and walk around once every other hour especially when traveling by plane. Changes in your body mean changes in your circulation. Pregnant women are more likely to get blood clots, so be sure to move around and get your blood flowing!
  • Wear compression socks or stockings if taking a long flight. You will thank me later. I wish I would have packed mine because my feet and ankles swelled up like crazy on the long haul flights!
  • Drink TONS of water. Hydrate! I can’t stress it enough. You’ll feel so much better.
  • Take breaks. You will not regret it. We took 1-2 hour late afternoon/early evening rest breaks. During this time I could take a nap, shower or bath or I could just relax on the bed and read or watch TV.  The key is to put your feet up and just rest! 
  • Bring supportive shoes. Pack shoes that are supportive and comfortable. You may want to look cute, but go for comfort over style. Trust me on this one! I ended up buying a pair of Converse to wear because I was constantly wearing tennis shoes and needed another option! My boots worked great for the cooler weather in London, but the rest of Europe was pretty warm in my boots!
  • Pack lots of underwear and socks. Thanks to pregnancy, you’ll probably want to change your panties during your afternoon break! Sorry if that’s TMI, but it’s true. Same thing with the socks! I felt much more refreshed and ready to go after changing.
  • More snacks. I can’t describe the need for snacks enough! Avoid a food emergency and have snacks on hand at all times. During our Europe trip, the best snack we had was a giant bag of trail mix. I got a large basic bag from the grocery store then added more M&Ms, almonds and banana chips. It allowed me just to have a small handful every now and then if I felt hungry or knew my blood sugar was dropping! Energy bars, peanut butter crackers and apples were also easy to keep in our backpack and eat on the go.

Traveling in the Third Trimester

We went to Colorado at the beginning of my third trimester and plan to go to Georgia/North Carolina in a few weeks. This is a hard time for travel as you start to feel huge and uncomfortable. This is a key time to check with your doctor before every trip. Also, be aware that at a certain point, you shouldn’t fly and airlines may not let you.

  • Keep up the walking around on the airplane. Maybe even increase it to once an hour. This goes for car trips too. Let your travel companions know ahead of time that you’ll need to stop about every 2 hours to stretch your legs and get your blood flowing. Most likely, you’ll need to go potty anyway!
  • Ask for a pillow on the plane to place behind your back. The extra lumbar support is nice to have and keeps your back from killing your during the whole flight.
  • Pack only clothes that are comfortable and you know fit you. Comfort is key at this point. Leggings are your friend. Plus if you pack something that doesn’t fit the way it used to, it’s super discouraging and a little demoralizing.
  • Use the potty any time it’s available to you.
  • Drink even MORE water. You’ll feel better and it decreases swelling. Doing this also makes the above tip even more important!
  • Ask for more pillows as soon as you arrive at your hotel. I sleep with a pregnancy pillow at home and miss it when I’m on the road. Get additional pillows to support your neck, back and belly!

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There you have it, a trimester by trimester guide for traveling while pregnant! The main key is always listening to your body. Head any warning signs. Plan your adventures with extra time than usual. Always have snacks on hand. Prepare for potty breaks. Have fun. Cherish every moment. And take lots of pictures!

Are you planning on traveling while pregnant?
Where are you headed and what trimester are you in? I love hearing about everyone’s travel stories especially when babies are on the way!

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(33) Comments

  1. I love your tips, especially the potty tip. Use it when you can!! That and get up an move, it really does help. Happy travels!

    1. Yes! Always be on the lookout for bathrooms. You know you’re pregnant when that is a priority!

  2. Thanks for the traveling tips! Traveling can be tricky when expecting a baby. Your tip about asking for extra pillows is a great tip! Most women don’t even think of that and suffer through a vacation.

    1. Yes! It’s always worth asking for things you need to make sure you’re comfortable!

  3. This is great advice for traveling while pregnant! When I was pregnant with my first we went to NYC and everyone kept asking me for directions because they didn’t think I would be traveling while pregnant and thought I was a local lol

    1. That’s so funny! I had the same thing happen to me in Amsterdam! I was walking around the city pregnant and pushing my 2.5 year old around in a stroller. My husband was there for work and we came along because why not?!

  4. These tips are all spot-on! I traveled lots (both car and plane) while pregnant w/both my kiddos, for both work and pleasure, and tips like these totally helped!

    1. I’m so glad you agree! Traveling while pregnant is totally doable. I know some women can’t because of doctors order, but as long as it’s doctor approved, it’s so worth it.

  5. I enjoyed reading your post, I’ve never travelled while pregnant before but I’ll totally try it on my 4th one lol thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

    1. If you get the chance, give it a go! Especially if it means you get a relaxing vacation before baby 4 comes!

  6. Hannah says:

    I love the fact that you included pillows in every trimester:)! I totally agree pillows are an essential for pregnancy travel. I also think it is amazing that you are able to travel so much while pregnant. That is wonderful and I think these tips are practical and useful for all traveling mamas.

    1. HAHA yes! Pillows are life for me when I’m pregnant, so they were super important when traveling!

  7. These are great tips. Gotta always know where that bathroom is! lol. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes! Bathrooms are a must for pregnant women and toddlers. Ha!

  8. Great tips 😀 I wish I had read this earlier. But maybe during my next pregnancy. Saving it for future :))

    1. Yes! Who knows when you may need it!

  9. These are such awesome tips for traveling while pregnant! Honestly, if you can, you definitely should try to get some travel time in. It may be a while before the next trip once baby arrives. I only traveled once during my pregnancy but wish I had done a few more mini vacas. The walking frequently and compression stockings were a MUST for me!

    1. Yes, I completely agree! Traveling only gets harder after baby comes, so it’s so worth it to get out and explore while you can!

  10. Yes, its so important to listen to your body so you don’t wear yourself out. Make sure your spouse knows your limits too because mine would just keep going.

    1. That is so true! Making sure your spouse is aware of how your feeling and what you need is so important!

  11. Reading your post was nostalgic. I recollected my moments. Pregnancy is the best phase. Kudos to you for sharing excellent tips!I did travel to my mom’s place during my second trimester though I was a little worried, at the end of the day I was excited that I managed to travel during my pregnancy.

  12. These are great tips! I agree…use the potty when you can! lol Thanks for sharing!

  13. Tracy Blanton says:

    Great tips for traveling pregnant! The nausea in the first trimester is the hard part for me!

    1. Ugh I know what you mean! I struggled with it on a trip to Boston during my first pregnancy!

  14. Hannah says:

    I have only ever traveled by car pregnant and that was miserable in some ways. I wish I had read this post because it gives some great tips for traveling depending on your trimester. Great post!

    1. Traveling by car is definitely a challenge when pregnant! We drove from Texas to North Carolina when I was 34 weeks and it wasn’t the best, but worth it for the wedding we attended!

  15. I had high risk pregnancies and couldn’t travel, but these are helpful tips.

    1. Travel is definitely hard or impossible with high risk pregnancies. I always recommend getting doctor’s approval before traveling when pregnant.

  16. These are some great tips I wish I’d had when I was pregnant!

  17. No travel plans thus far, but would love to if it is possible. Will keep these great tips in mind if we plan a trip.

    1. Definitely keep them in mind if you’re able to travel!

  18. I only traveled in the first trimester of my first pregnancy. We went to Taiwan and my only tip is this — steer clear of the fish markets! My nausea couldn’t handle the smell!! HA!

    1. Oh my goodness I can only imagine. Especially with the first trimester nausea! That’s wonderful that you were able to go to Taiwan though!

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