Last updated on December 2nd, 2019 at 08:04 pm
Planning your first trip while pregnant? Find out everything you need to bring plus tips for traveling while pregnant.
This traveling while pregnant essentials post contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
Whether you are taking one last family vacation before your family grows bigger, taking a babymoon, or traveling for business, traveling while you’re pregnant can bring on a whole new set of different challenges.
I’ve traveled at every stage of pregnancy and being safe and comfortable is the most important thing when you’re traveling, and even more so when you’re expecting.
Here are a few essentials you will want to take on your travels so you and baby can be both safe and comfortable.
Essentials for Traveling While Pregnant:
MEDICAL NECESSITIES & DOCUMENTATION
Important documentation and medications are just a few things you will not want to forget to take with you.
Here’s a quick rundown of medical necessities and any paperwork you’ll want to be prepared to take with you:
Letter From Your Doctor
Depending on how you are traveling, this may be required for some flights and cruises because later in the pregnancy (3rd trimester) some do have cut-off of when you can travel.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
List of Local Hospitals
Make a note of urgent care facilities and local hospitals in the places you are traveling to. Having their contact information is important that way if any emergencies arrive you can be prepared.
Every pregnancy is different and you won’t want to stress out trying to find one in the middle of an emergency.
Don’t forget to pack any prescribed medications you are taking.
You might want to have some doctor approved medications for nausea, constipation, or motion sickness if you feel that you may need them.
Don’t forget the prenatal vitamins! Heartburn tablets can also come in handy.
Health and Travel Insurance Documents
While it may not even be on your mind now, checking to be sure what exactly your health insurance covers in case of emergencies or premature birth when you’re traveling is important.
I also highly recommend getting travel insurance when you fly.
During my first pregnancy, I had to cancel an international flight due to complications and I’m so glad I invested in the insurance!
Since then, I always add Allianz travel insurance for our flights.
Anti-nausea wristbands are very popular with those who are traveling because they can help reduce nausea and morning sickness.
I also like to pack ginger chews in my carry on bag in case I feel nauseous on the airplane. You can drop one into hot water to make a tea or you can just chew it.
Any Other Docs
You will always want to check with the airline to see what they may require in terms of documentation.
Plus, don’t forget your passport, airline tickets, and credit cards.
Pregnancy brain is real and you’ll want to write everything down to double check you have it!
COMFORTABLE CLOTHING & SHOES
Think comfortable and dress for the weather.
No matter where you’re traveling to temperatures can fluctuate. When you’re pregnant, it can fluctuate even more. Dressing in layers is something you’ll want to think about.
Even if you wouldn’t normally wear one, shawls can come in handy because they don’t take up a lot of space and they can double as a blanket if you get chilly.
Comfortable flip flops are a good option because they will allow your feet to swell and they are easy to take off when you need to.
I really like my Wiivv flip flops because they come with custom soles that give me the right amount of arch support.
If flip flops aren’t your thing, you can go for soft, stretchy flats or ballet flats. Just try to avoid heels and shoes that tie as much as possible.
Leggings and Dresses
Maternity leggings or dresses that are soft, comfortable, and stretchy will make for a much more comfortable trip.
Note: While you can wear regular leggings or yoga pants, they will stretch out and you might not be able to wear them after pregnancy. I’ve made that mistake!
Avoid jeans or any pants that require buttons and zippers. Even maternity jeans can feel a bit uncomfortable on long airplane rides or road trips.
Comfy Maternity Underwear
Comfortable underwear is another essential that I can’t stress enough.
Go with bras that have no underwire and are adjustable. I’m a huge fan of this maternity/nursing bra because it’s amazing!
Always pack a few extra pair of underwear just in case or stock up on panty liners. Trust me.
If you are flying long distances, maternity socks or compression stockings can help with blood flow and the swelling in your feet.
While you’re pregnant you’re at more of a risk to get a blood clot so getting compression socks or flight socks can help reduce the risk.
You’ll also want to walk the aisles and try to do a few stretches in your seat to keep the blood moving.
If you are heading to a warm destination with a pool, don’t forget a maternity swimsuit. They will be nearly impossible to find at your destination!
Maternity Capsule Wardrobe
I’m using the term “capsule” very loosely.
Basically, pack clothes that do double duty to save space. Pack just a couple of color schemes and tops or pants that can go with just about anything.
And be sure to try everything on before your trip! Your belly is constantly growing and changing shape so you want to make sure everything actually fits for this stage in your pregnancy.
Lots of Layers
Having layers are important because different locations can be colder while others are warmer, this includes restaurants and attractions.
Wearing layers can help you regulate your body temperate and you can layer or delayer as necessary.
A Spacious Handbag or Backpack
Having a handbag or backpack with you when you travel can be extremely handy.
You’ll want to choose a spacious bag with enough room to hold all your necessary items, is lightweight, and comfortable to carry.
I’m actually a huge fan of LeSportSac bags when I’m pregnant because they weigh practically nothing and come in all kinds of fun designs!
Plus, if I spill a drink or get it dirty, it’s super easy to clean up since it’s nylon.
What to Carry in your Backpack?
Think high-protein bars or multigrain snacks to munch on when you feel hungry. Snacks like granola bars, trail mix, and dried fruit are good healthy options.
Stock up on water so you don’t become dehydrated while you’re traveling. A reusable water bottle can come in handy so you’re not lugging around bottles.
I really like this one because it’s easy to gauge if you are drinking enough water. Plus, you can add fresh fruit to it for a simple infused water.
Hand sanitizer or wet wipes will allow you to clean your hands and keep the germs away when you’re traveling or don’t have the ability to wash your hands.
Being sick sucks, being sick AND pregnant is really the worst.
Go for the luggage that has four wheels, not two. Having four wheels will make it easier to roll the luggage around and not be so strenuous on you.
I’m a huge fan of Chester Luggage because their suitcases don’t fall over no matter how much stuff you cram inside.
Plus, they are lightweight, have a TSA-approved lock, and come in a lot of fun colors.
You can use my code MARCIE10 to get 10% off.
Tablet, iPad or Laptop
Noise-canceling headphones are essential as well so you can relax without hearing all the noise behind you.
This is a great way to unwind and keep the trip a little less stressful and enjoy some quiet time to yourself.
Your smartphone will work just as well. Something with internet access or that you can hook up to hotel WIFI will give you direct access to the outside world.
This is especially essential if you are traveling to a foreign country.
Pregnancy Pillow for Airplanes
Those airplane seats can be quite uncomfortable if you’re traveling for a longer period. Being pregnant doesn’t help it get any easier, so taking a pregnancy pillow with you can help.
The type of pillow you choose to take will depend on your own preference.
Soft moldable pillows are a great option because they can be squished and flattened to however makes you more comfortable.
Pregnancy Support Bands
Belly bands or pregnancy support bands are what some moms will tell you are a must have when traveling.
These will help provide you with support and help you get comfortable whether flying in a plane or taking a long car ride.
These essentials for traveling while you are pregnant can really help keep you relaxed and comfortable during your journey.
Top Questions About Traveling While Pregnant
IS TRAVELING WHILE PREGNANT SAFE?
Yes, as long as you don’t have any pregnancy complications.
I’d recommend doing the bulk of your travel during your second trimester, as you’ll have more energy and be more comfortable.
CAN YOU FLY DURING THE FIRST 12 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY?
Yes, but you might not want to. If you suffer from morning sickness, the flight can be a bit stressful.
I suggest packing ginger chews or anti-nausea medications if you do traveling during the first trimester.
CAN YOU FLY DURING YOUR THIRD TRIMESTER?
It really depends on your airline and where you are going.
Most domestic airlines will question you if you look like you are in your last month of pregnancy. Some international airlines won’t let you fly past 28 weeks.
Talk to your doctor and check with your airline before making any travel plans.
IS ZIKA STILL A THREAT?
YES! Even though it’s not in the news as much as it was a few years ago, you’ll want to check to see which destinations are Zika-free.
Find out my top Zika-free babymoon spots.
HOW ELSE CAN I PREPARE FOR TRAVELING WHILE PREGNANT?
When you are choosing a destination, really think about the weather and what stage of pregnancy you’ll be in.
Hawaii in August while you are super pregnant might not end up being the romantic babymoon you thought it’d be!
Getting a flu shot is always a good idea when traveling pregnant because you’re in contact with so many germs at airports and hotel rooms.
When you are choosing your seat, you might consider taking a bulkhead aisle seat near a lavatory. Even if you normally don’t use airplane facilities you will probably be making frequent trips.
You’ll want the bulkhead just because it will be so much easier to get in and out of your seat.
While flying, remember to get up and walk around a bit to keep the blood flowing. You don’t want to get leg cramps.
And when you get to your destination, remember to take a slower pace.
You’ll want to add in time for naps, putting your feet up, and simply accounting for it taking a bit longer to walk just about anywhere.
I hope this answers your questions about my essentials for traveling while pregnant. Did I miss one? Comment below!