My husband and I have been traveling together since day one together. On our first date we talked for hours – most of it about the world and the places we both had on our bucket lists. Since we’ve met, we’ve traveled all over: from Hawaii, to France, to Croatia and everywhere in between over our past 7 years together. In late 2016, we found out we would be expecting a baby boy. To say that we were completely thrilled and excited for our next new adventure would be an understatement. We also learned shortly after that our best friends would be getting married in Positano, Italy. I think this was one of the first things we wrestled with when we learned the news of my pregnancy… should we go? should we not go? If we did go, would I even enjoy it being 7 months pregnant? Can I even travel internationally at 32 weeks? Is it even possible to enjoy traveling while pregnant?
After careful deliberation, talking to our doctors and getting some advice from family and friends… we decided that we would do it. We were going to not only make the trip to Positano for the wedding , but that we would make it our one last hurrah as a couple of two – without kids and free of the extra responsibilities that would come after our baby boy. (We named him Jett, inspired by our love for traveling!)
And you know what? Not only did I make it through… we had a fantastic time. We created some of the best memories I have to date, and I am so glad we were blessed to have that opportunity.
If you wonder if traveling the world has to stop when you get pregnant, I am here to say it absolutely is possible! After our 2 week trip to Italy and the French Riviera while I was 30-32 weeks pregnant, I made a list of tips, tricks and things to consider when traveling while expecting your bundle of joy.
Before The Trip
1. Make an effort to stay in shape!
I thoroughly believe my ability to walk as much as we did and not feel miserable about it, was due to the fact that I exercised regularly throughout my pregnancy. I walked A LOT during the first and second trimesters, and also went to spin classes when I could. And as a result, I felt pretty comfortable our entire 2 weeks in Europe.
2. Buy Travel Insurance:
We bought flight insurance for me, just to have that cushion in case something was to come about that would prevent me from flying. It gave us peace of mind during the planning process knowing that if worse came to worse – we could at least get that money back!
3. Put some time into packing – think it through!
I usually am a last minute packer. Throw everything into a bag and go! I think it’s worth some time to think through the trip and make sure you have your bases covered.
As you get toward the end of your pregnancy, its all about COMFORT. I made sure all the shoes I brought were either old favorites or ones that I knew I could walk a lot and I would be comfortable in. We also were there during summer and I think I pretty much only packed flow-y dresses for days we would be doing a lot of walking – because thats what I knew I would feel the most comfortable in.
4. Get your doctors approval and ask for a doctor’s note to take with you for the flight.
We let our doctor know from the beginning our plans so she could keep that in mind during checkups. When we were a few weeks out from our trip she gave us the thumbs up on her approval. We had her write a note saying she okay’ed us to fly. Airlines will allow you to fly up to 4 weeks out of your due date, which I was under – but in case we ran into any problems I wanted to have that note just in case!
Tips For The Trip
1. Take it easy and normalize your expectations.
We had been to Europe several times prior and are usually pretty adventurous in our activities. This time around we were much more laid back in our planning. We left most days open for exploring, going at whatever pace I felt comfortable. No specific plans but to wander. Stop for meals, stop to enjoy views, and just enjoy each others company! Being flexible is probably the number one key to having a successful trip.
2. Stay at locations close to transportation, if possible!
Stay near the train, or an easy place to take a taxi. We did walk a lot, but its always nice to have the option to get from point A to point B quickly.
In Positano, since transportation is pretty limited and walking is probably the quickest (although a little labor intensive with all those stairs!) we found an Air BnB that was closest to the town center as possible.
3. Be a foodie!
What better time to embrace the local fare then when you are pregnant, and undeniably hungry! Meals is what most of our days were centered around. It gave us time to relax, recoup, & recharge. We made every night date night and would usually go back to our hotel after being out during the day to shower and put our feet up before we got dressed up for our date. These are some of times I truly cherish from the trip.
4. Try a Hop-on, Hop-off bus!
Maybe these get a bad rap for being “too touristy” but we REALLY enjoyed them this time around. We did a hop-on, hop-off bus tour in Monaco and it was the best way to see so much from the comfort of our seats on the bus. We got off at most every stop, and made a day of it!
5. Take a camera, and take lots of photos.
I know.. you might feel swollen and as big as a house, but trust me, down the road you will have the BEST memories saved forever of your little ones “first international trip.” I can’t wait to show my son as soon as he’s old enough the adventures he went on in mom’s belly!
6. Last but not least – (and maybe an obvious one!) Get your little one something from each location you visit.
Start that travel souvenir collection early! One of my favorite gifts – and one we use frequently- is a handmade bib with Jett’s name embroidered on it. Made by a French woman we met in a local market in Nice. Special, and something we will have forever!