Pregnant Travels: Traveling during the third trimester

Travel isn’t something you should be afraid of just because you’re pregnant. As Nicole from The Traveling Canucks explains, you can even travel into your third trimester, but there are a few things you should be aware of. Want even more tips? Check out our Pregnant Travels section. 

Santa Monica
Nicole from Traveling Canucks proves that a great location, like Santa Monica, can make travel through the third trimester of your pregnancy possible.

My most recent trip to California had me traveling (and wobbling) during my third trimester. This was the first time I would be traveling so late in my pregnancy, so we decided to play it safe and travel fairly close to home (we live in Vancouver, BC).

I wasn’t concerned about traveling internationally while pregnant, but I did want to make sure our vacation was as easy as possible.

Because we would be traveling with our 1.5 year old toddler, we wanted a destination that was (1) less than 3 hour flight from Vancouver, (2) had limited or no time zone change, (3) had great weather and activities for a toddler, and (4) a safe and walkable destination that required very little additional traveling.

Santa Monica checked all of the boxes. If you’re interested, here’s a post from our trip to Santa Monica, California.

Santa Monica, CA
Santa Monica Pier

Personally, I think it’s a great idea to take a trip during pregnancy. It’s easy to get caught up in the pregnancy without taking time for you. A final trip before your baby makes an appearance is the perfect way to stay relaxed and enjoy a little “me time” before the sleepless nights arrive.

That said, if you do travel while pregnant in the third trimester, here are a few things to consider:

Santa Monica

Drink plenty of fluids – Not to sound like a doctor during flu season, but dehydration is a common symptom that can lead to early contractions. Swelling of the feet and hands is also common in the third trimester. It sounds backwards, but to decrease swelling, staying properly hydrated is important. Always have a bottle of water with you, especially if you’re traveling to a place where tap water is questionable.

Pay extra for the bulkhead – Every plane has bulkhead seats and for a small fee you can purchase the extra leg room. Since flying can aggravate blood circulation in the legs, and pregnancy can create additional circulation problems, it’s a good idea to have extra space to stretch. It’s also advised to get up every hour and walk around the plane to help with circulation.

Pregnant travels
Nicole looking gorgeous in her 3rd trimester

Don’t be brave, eat at reputable restaurants – This one is a no brainer, but I still feel the need to reiterate the importance of food consumption during pregnancy. Avoid street food vendors and stay away from empty restaurants – there’s usually a why reason it’s empty. Stick to food that is least likely to attract bacteria or spoil due to poor refrigeration (ie. dairy, meats, etc).

Get travel insurance – It is possible to travel in your third trimester and still be covered by travel insurance. However, every insurance company has different policies. When I contacted our insurance companies some would not cover me past 30 weeks while others covered all the way up to 37 weeks. I noticed that the coverage amounts were different, ranging from 1 million to 5 million, and premature birth was sometimes not included. Do your research and ask lots of questions.

Consider the destination – this is not the time to hike the Inca trail to Machu Picchu or scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef. This is a time to relax, eat well, get pampered, sleep in late, and take it slow. Carrying a baby is a tough job, so reward yourself. It’s wise to pick a destination that has adequate hospital facilities nearby (just in case) and also a place that does not require vaccinations.

Traveling Canucks
The Traveling Canucks Family is about to welcome baby boy #2 into the world. I know it won’t slow them down one bit.

Nicole Wears is one half of the duo behind, an award winning Canadian travel blog. Having travelled to over 65 countries & territories together in the past 7 years, their life journey has changed since welcoming their baby boy in late 2011. They now write about family travel for and share baby travel tips they learn along the way. Follow them on Google+.

4 thoughts on “Pregnant Travels: Traveling during the third trimester”

  1. I remember making a six-hour road trip while my wife was seven months pregnant. She was very adamant that we stop every hour so she could walk around. I agree with the advice to travel, but I don’t envy the women who do it. I can’t imagine anything in the third trimester is easy.

    1. It’s definitely not the easiest time to travel due to possible discomfort, but it’s so rewarding. I gave me the excuse to really relax.

  2. My other piece of advice would be to bring along a doctor’s letter verifying how far along your are and that you have approval to travel. I was always HUGE when I was pregnant, and a cruise ship almost didn’t let me on even though I was only 4 months along.

    1. That’s a great tip! I never had anyone question me, but I totally could see how an airline or cruise ship might.

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