Tips for Traveling Abroad While Pregnant: Part I - Attire
Yes! You can totally and successfully travel abroad while pregnant! It’s easier than you think to get around with your little bundle-to-be on board. Just make sure you plan ahead. These are a few of the things that worked for me, or that I learned along the way on my girlfriends trip + cruise to Europe when I was expecting.
SHOP MATERNITY TRAVEL STYLE
What to wear
finding your footing
Footwear will be of utmost importance for this trip. You’ll want to be comfortable for the travel portion of your trip which will involve a lot of walking, and if you’re also going to be doing a good bit of sightseeing while you’re away, your feet are sure to swell at some point. The three types of shoes I most highly recommend are (1) sports slides (I got Adidas Cloud Foams and they are literally the most comfortable slides ever. I still have them and I still wear them around my house every. single. day.); (2) Birkenstocks (if you’re going someplace warm). Buy them about 2 weeks ahead of time to break them in, and they literally conform to the shape of your foot. I totally understand now why they’ve been around for so long, and I appreciate that they come in so many cute styles and colors! (If you happen to be traveling to Europe and you can swing it, buy a second pair while you’re there, because they end up being cheaper than here in the US! Just confirm the exchange rate first); and (3) Any pair of flat shoes or boots (if you’re going someplace cooler) that are super easy to slide on and off when going through security or at the end of the night when you’re tired and swollen. I traveled with a simple pair of leopard print flats and a pair of flat black booties with zippers on each side that I could slip right off (but even still, I sometimes had trouble bending down to get to the zippers).
choosing Function (over style. I know, I know)
Those were my three favorites styles of shoes, and I still had my cute shoes too, but I went for function over style for the most part--especially towards the end of the trip because my feet were so permanently swollen that I no longer had a choice! But you basically want to bring any shoes that are flexible and have room for your feet to move and grow and swell. Don’t do anything strappy. I know that Birks are cheaper in Europe because my pregnant feet swelled up like the Incredible Hulk one day and burst out of one of my favorite pairs of little strappy summer flats, in the middle of a jewelry and trinkets store, in the middle of Sorrento, Italy. My friends and I had to cruise up and down the shopping area (me in half a shoe) to various shoes stores until we could find a pair of open shoes that my feet could fit into! So not cute or fun (but for sure a funny story to tell later LOL).
Compressions socks work really well for the plane if you’ve got a flight that’s on the long side. Our flight to Barcelona was about 6 or 7 hours long, and while the socks didn’t keep my feet and legs from swelling completely, they helped a ton! I could tell that the swelling would’ve been much worse without them because of how swollen my hands were. Right before we boarded, I switched out my sneakers for my compression socks and sports slides—it wasn’t the most fabulous lewk, but honey--it was much easier making the switch at the airport gate than it would’ve been trying to bend over and do it in a tight airplane seat. So I highly recommend enduring the temporary fashion faux pas.
We were traveling in October so the weather was very much like fall here in the NE of the States, and we traveled to several cities so the weather varied by locale as well. On top of that, I was almost always hot while I was pregnant (like sleeping under the fan in December hot), so even in a chillier place there was a good bet that I would eventually need to take something off. You never know how your body will react to the changing climates, so the best way to pack is in layers: basic cotton dresses with sweaters, jackets or scarves to layer over them; jeans, maternity tanks and light kimonos were all my best friends on my trip. The only thing I didn’t pack were tights, which I ended up needing on at least 2 days of the trip, so I would recommend packing those too for similar fall-like weather. I will say though, the Italian tights I bought in Rome, since I forgot mine, are made of the softest, most luxurious material ever and they were only 10 Euro! So, lemons into lemonade on those, in addition to the Birkenstocks!
If you’re traveling for more than a couple of days, bring a few items of clothing that are either extremely oversized or in the next size up! Our trip was for 10 days, and by the final 3 or 4 days, my belly had outgrown about 3 of my dresses. Thank goodness I had packed layers because of the changes we’d seen in the weather forecast, because re-wearing clothes was mostly out of the question (thanks to pregnancy sweat)! I was able to kind of form new outfits out of those extra layers and make my outfits stretch.
Overall, traveling abroad with ease while you’re preggers comes down to being over prepared because you just don’t know what kind of changes your pregnant body might go through while you’re away. So keep it cute, but most of all, keep it comfy. -xxkb