This past weekend my amazing husband surprised me for my 30th birthday with a trip to San Francisco. Our plan for the past year was to go to Napa with close family and friends but once we found out I was pregnant we decided to cancel the Napa trip, so this was a fantastic alternative. I had never been to San Francisco, and after a long winter in Colorado (my first winter not skiing every weekend), I was ready for some sunshine and a coastal breeze.
Once the realization of the trip sunk in, I began to wonder how I would feel on the plane, during the trip, and what activities I would enjoy doing at 25 weeks pregnant. Luckily, my husband gave me a week notice so I could plan accordingly and make sure I had clothes that would fit my growing belly.
Here are my tips for traveling while pregnant:
1. Try to travel in the 2nd Trimester. Traveling in the 2nd Trimester is a much more pleasant experience than the 1st. The morning sickness/all-day sickness is no longer an issue which makes flying a lot nicer and less like a roller coaster. You also have your energy back in the 2nd Trimester which makes the vacation a better experience since you have the energy to be active and enjoy your surroundings.
2. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes (pack light but smart). This is especially important on the plane, your feet tend to naturally swell when you fly but if you are pregnant the swelling will double. I recommend comfortable sandals or sneakers. In hindsight, I should have borrowed my husband’s compression socks. While flying I opted for tights, a loose shirt, sweater, and pashmina – this made it easier to breathe. I packed stretchy, breathable clothes and sundresses to ensure I would be comfortable no matter how I felt on any given day (or how big my belly would be on any given day)…… Once you get to your hotel, try and rest and elevate your feet to reduce the swelling.
3. Flying…… Sit near an aisle seat, this way you can get up and move around to stretch out your body and it will be easier than climbing over people every 20 minutes for a bathroom break. If you can or if you book early, upgrade your seat…more space = more comfort.
4. Necessities to Stock Up On: Water, Healthy Snacks, and Sunblock. When traveling, I rarely drink enough water and end up eating something quick and easy. But I am working hard to stay healthy and fit during this pregnancy so I made sure to ALWAYS have a bottle of water on me and light snack. If you didn’t know, your skin is extra sensitive while pregnant so you will burn faster; even if you don’t normally burn, I still recommend applying sunblock.
5. Stretch before you go to bed and when you wake up. The plane and hotel bed will definitely make your back and shoulders tight, plus the extra weight from the baby will add extra stress to these tender areas. I HIGHLY recommend stretching for at least 5 to 10 minutes before you go to bed and right when you wake up – trust me, it will do wonders for you!
6. Give yourself permission to do Nothing or Everything. Normally when my husband and I travel we try to pack as much in as we can and we strive to be active every day, whether it is running, hiking, or biking. However, I have to trust my body when it tells me to slow down on a ride or not go for a morning run! Sometimes, now that I’m pregnant, I’d rather just relax and do nothing. On the other hand you cannot be afraid to be active or have sip of wine if you are pregnant. My favorite day in San Francisco was when we biked over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, followed by a long uphill walk back to our hotel (which really got the blood pumping), followed by an amazing dinner where I sipped on a delicious California wine.
What are your tips or favorite memories from traveling while pregnant?