Traveling while pregnant can be a daunting experience, no matter how far along you might be. I previously shared a few tips for traveling in the first trimester and am here to round out this Babymoon Bliss series with some reflections on traveling in the third trimester.
Any medical professional will tell you to save long-distance or international travel for the second trimester when you are likely to feel at your energetic best. It’s the sweet spot when the morning sickness has usually subsided and the discomforts of the third trimester have yet to set in.
But sometimes, life doesn’t go according to plan. Sometimes, like me, you are called away as far as Greece with just 8 weeks to go before your due date.
My husband and I took a risk in traveling this late in the journey – knowing full well the concerns and discomfort that could come from it – but the final reward far surpassed anything we could have imagined.
Here are a few tips that ensured our third trimester Babymoon was actually just what the doctor ordered:
1. Get permission first. This is a no-brainer. Always consult your care provider first if you are considering traveling in the third trimester. If allowed, it is advised that you travel with your medical records just in case something should happen while you are away from home. You will also want to check with your airline before booking a flight if you plan to fly in the final trimester. Many international airlines will require you to travel with a letter from your care provider stating that you are healthy to fly.
2. Don’t travel alone. Whether it’s your partner or a good friend, the value of a travel buddy cannot be overstated during your third-trimester adventures. They are the ones who can rub your back when the international plane ride begins to feel claustrophobic, who can help carry luggage when a porter isn’t available, and who can be on call should something go wrong along the way. They are the biggest advocates of your comfort and can ensure any trip is one of relaxation rather than stress.
3. Try not to go too far. Sure, the 9-hour flight from Newark to Athens was absolutely worth it in the end, but it took a major toll on my comfort level despite my aisle seat access. Many international airlines will go the extra mile in ensuring their pregnant passengers are well looked after, but in the end, best to go First Class if you are traveling long distances.
4. Invest in compression socks. Pregnant women are especially prone to blood clots due to the increased amount of blood flow in their bodies. What’s worse is that these blood clots are more likely to form when our legs are idle or bent – as they are on an airplane. The best way to prevent blood clots and practice safe flying is to wear compression socks or hose and to get up and walk around during the flight whenever possible. If stuck in your seat for long periods of time, keep wearing the socks and doing stretches that force your muscles to work. Your body will thank you!
5. Let someone else do the planning. The last thing you want to be doing while in a foreign place is worrying about transportation logistics or on-the-ground details. Stress can be a hazardous ingredient during pregnancy. Thankfully, having a reliable tour operator like Ker & Downey takes all of the guesswork out of travel. They take all of your dietary restrictions, physical limitations, must-do experiences, and pacing preferences in stride and transform them into an itinerary that allows you to simply focus on enjoying your time and company – thus creating the perfect recipe for a successful Babymoon.
6. Splurge on luxury (again). This is a duplicate suggestion from my last tip list, but it bears repeating, especially for the third trimester. Securing five-star comforts means you never have to apologize for the number of pillows you request or worry about where your next bottle of water will come from. The perks of luxury travel also extend to the planning stages. You essentially have an entire team in place ready and willing to utilize their expertise, from helping you identify a list of hospitals to have on hand in case of an emergency to securing the most spacious vehicles so you and your baby can relax en route to your next activity. Also, we can’t forget 24-hour access to a spa!
7. Opt for private drivers and guides. The benefit of private drivers and guides extends well beyond the feeling of VIP service, though that certainly is a highlight. When you are pregnant, however, these individuals become your lifeline—they have the ability to gauge your comfort level every step of the way and either modify their pace to fit yours or at least identify the closest shaded benches should your feet need a break. In my experience, the flexibility and care of my private drivers and guides allowed me to truly enjoy and take in my surroundings, rather than worry about what I could and could not do.
8. Avoid peak season. This rings true for any travel planning, but by traveling during shoulder season, we were able to enjoy a much quieter and more leisurely holiday than we would have if the crowds were at their capacity. It also meant the prices were right and the temperatures were milder, two major victories when you are saving for baby and more heat sensitive than usual.
9. Build in time for relaxation. You’re already traveling in the third trimester…don’t push it by doing too much. If you are a true wanderluster like me, this might be the most difficult tip to adopt, as you’ll want to see and do as much as you can. Yet those afternoon naps, café breaks, and poolside lounges are key components to allow your body to recharge and to guarantee a blissful Babymoon. Which brings me to my next point…
10. Find a beach. Or, at the very least, a pool. As long as you bring the sunscreen, sunshine and swimming are vital requirements on any Babymoon, no matter the trimester.
With these tips, I must acknowledge that every woman and every pregnancy is different. However, traveling to Greece in the final trimester turned out to be just the distraction I needed and made those long, grueling final weeks before delivery go by faster and, in some ways, more comfortably.
It was also a joy to experience pregnancy in a different country: to introduce my baby to new foods, to share in a plethora of final pre-baby, once-in-a-lifetime experiences with my spouse, and to be embraced by a culture who communicated both awe and joy in my presence. The well-wishes and love we were shown every step of the way was something completely unexpected yet greatly cherished.
It made us true believers in Babymoons and even more excited for the journey ahead and what will truly be the greatest adventure of them all!
Contact your Luxury Travel Consultant to start planning your babymoon.