Travelling when pregnant

We are about to travel to Santorini this weekend for our “babymoon” and in the last few weeks I’ve been researching some tips about travelling when pregnant to see if there’s anything I could find that would make the whole journey and our time there easier on my body now that we’re into the third trimester. Most of what I found was just the obvious stuff but I thought I’d write a little blog about it for anyone considering a final break before their bundle of joy arrives!

Basics:

  • First of all, check your airline’s guidelines and the NHS information. Most airlines allow you to fly up to 36 weeks if you’re carrying one baby, or 32 weeks if it’s twins. We booked our holiday way back last year before getting pregnant but I was always aware that if we did decide to start our family this year that we would need to be within this timescale in terms of pregnancy!
  • Also check your travel insurance and ensure it still covers you for medical emergencies whilst pregnant. I have a worldwide insurance policy with my bank but was told when I called then that being pregnant nullifies the cancellation cover so if we needed to cancel due to any pregnancy issues we wouldn’t get any money back! It may be worth taking out a pregnancy specific policy that covers you completely if, god forbid, you were to go into labour whilst on holiday. I am using this policy by Ravenhall which was around £40 to cover myself and Matt for a week within the EU.
  • If you’re over 28 weeks when you fly then you’ll probably need a fit to fly letter from your GP. This is another additional expense but rather that than possibly be refused onto the plane!
  • Take your midwive’s notes with you in your hand luggage just in case you need them.
  • Compression stockings! Especially if you’re flying long haul, being pregnant makes you at a higher risk of DVT so put them on before you board and make sure to do a few laps up and down the aisle during the flight.

Comfort tips:

  • Stay hydrated and you’ll be less likely to swell up in the heat and won’t feel as tired.
  • If you don’t get a meal on the plane, take some snacks with you (rather than paying ridiculous airport prices!) so that you don’t go hungry.
  • If you can, try to pack your pregnancy pillow just in case you don’t sleep well and there aren’t any spare pillows available.
  • Comfy shoes are a must if you are going to be doing any walking, bonus points if they are nice and roomy to allow for any swollen feet!
  • Don’t choose a destination that will be too hot, you’ll definitely feel it more when pregnant.
  • If you’re going on a sightseeing holiday then plan some down days into your schedule so you can be flexible if you start getting tired.
  • It might be worth considering a hotel close to the main sights, even if it will cost a bit extra. That way you have the option of returning to your room for a break during the day.
  • Pick an aisle seat on the plane if you can, it’ll make those many toilet trips during the flight just a little bit easier!

Where to go?

  • It’s obviously entirely up to you where to go but it may all depend on how smooth your pregnancy has been. I’d personally say anything up to a 4-5 hour flight is easily doable, but you may prefer to stay in the UK or have only a 1-2 hour flight. Spain, the Canary Islands, Greece and Cyprus are all good options and you’ll have access to health care if you do need it.
  • If you do decide to travel further afield, just make sure there are no infectious diseases or if you need to have any vaccinations, ensure these are suitable to have whilst you’re pregnant.
  • If you are choosing a hot destination then you might want to make sure that there’s a pool to cool down in. When we decided to go to Santorini, one prerequisite was that our hotel/villa must have a pool so that we have the option of some sight seeing days and some pool days.

Whatever you decide to do, it will most likely be the last chance you get to enjoy a nice break as a twosome! Plan something a bit special, even if it is just a romantic meal on one evening and staying out as late as you can manage.

I’ll be posting another travel blog all about our Santorini adventure when we get back so stay tuned if it’s somewhere you might be considering visiting!

 

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