Must-Pack Gear for Pregnancy Travel

Traveling during pregnancy?  It may seem like an easy, fun idea, and it certainly can be, but it doesn’t come without challenges.

must have for pregnancy travel

Take it from a girl who traveled the globe for business during her first pregnancy, and snuck in a few vacations with the second pregnancy.  Each time learning something new and finding my groove along the way!

pregnancy travel

First Trimester Pregnancy Travel – hit or miss.

If you’re feeling good during your first trimester, travel is relatively seamless (…as seamless as travel ever really is – flight delays, traffic, busy airports etc.).  You still feel somewhat like yourself and day-to-day life hasn’t changed too much.  You’re likely fitting into normal clothes, sleep fine without 25+ pillows, and can be active on your feet as usual.

If you have a vacation where you’ll be on your feet a lot, sight-seeing, sitting or standing for long periods, first trimester is when you want to pack this in!

Trimester one pregnancy travel isn’t without watch-outs though. There’s still a host of things not to do when pregnant and a laundry list of unseen changes happening in your body.  You may be short of breathe, as your blood volume is increasing to support baby’s needs, you may need to urinate more frequently (thank you hormones), and you may experience extreme tiredness (words don’t do justice how TIRED you can feel at times).

Plan accordingly by:

  • drinking extra water.
  • making time for naps/breaks.
  • planning car rides, day trips etc. at locations with restrooms.
  • If you’ve been struggling at all with nausea, headaches, food aversions or morning sickness, consider waiting until the sweet spot of 2nd trimester to plan that big trip!

travel tips for pregnancy

Second Trimester Pregnancy Travel – the sweet spot.

The 2nd trimester is when most women feel their very best.  Hopefully over the fatigue, morning sickness, and foreignness of being newly pregnant.  This is the time to pack in the longer, adventure-filled, busy travel that you weren’t up for in trimester one.  That said, you’re still pregnant, and nothing about pregnancy is truly “easy.”  At least for me it wasn’t.  I traveled abroad for business at 26 weeks with my first, and it was much harder than I expected.

I had been feeling good in my 2nd trimester, so thought travel would be easy for me.  However, the 8-hour flight, bumpy cab ride, 6-hour time change, foreign food, hours of sitting in a conference hall, and late night dinner events, left me utterly exhausted.  I vividly recall shedding a few tears, and had to call my family for a few pep talks on how to manage a few more days.

I survived with:

  • extra fluids.
  • foods I knew my stomach could handle.
  • becoming that awkward person constantly sitting and then standing.
  • cutting the networking short to make time to wind-down and get in at least 7 hours of sleep!

what to take for pregnancy travel

Third Trimester Pregnancy Travel – full on vacayy mode.

Even after my not-so-smooth travel experience in trimester 2, I was still crazy enough to travel again in my 3rd trimester (with BOTH BABIES!!).  I can say that the 3rd trimester is by far the hardest to travel in (but I luckily was never hit with morning sickness in trimester 1).

By trimester 3, you’re large, swollen, uncomfortable, slow moving, and can’t be on your feet as long.   These woes can certainly make travel, especially an event-filled vacation, a bit tougher.

As I write this, I just returned from New York City for a long weekend with my husband at 30-weeks pregnant with our second baby.   I can only laugh now and ask – “why did we think it was a good idea to tour New York City at 30-weeks pregnant?”  A bustling city with cold December temps, odd smells, crazy traffic & noise, and the expectation that we’ll walk everywhere!   The charm of New York City is beautiful, eclectic, energizing and so much more — just not when you’re 30 weeks pregnant.  Oh and did I mention I caught some sort of digestive bug the day before I flew out — not cool.

So lesson learned, 3rd trimester travel is meant for a short flight, low key, uneventful getaway.  Perfect for dining out, seeing a show/movie, a prenatal massage, mani/pedi, and maybe a little shopping 🙂

As you can see, pregnancy travel can be wonderful and challenging at the same time.  I did learn a thing or two after all those trips and have to share a list of my MUST-HAVE pregnancy gear for traveling.


  • Compression socks

Not exactly sexy, but compression socks are great to wear during the plane ride and long days on your feet.  They help improve circulation and support tired feet!

  • Water, water, water

Staying hydrated throughout pregnancy, and especially during travel, is a must!  You’ll feel better too 🙂  Keep a reusable large jug with you at all times!

  • The medicine cabinet – prenatal, tums, Tylenol, Pepsin

Don’t forget to pack your daily prenatal vitamin.  And while you’re at it, bring along a few other ailments.  You never when a pregnancy headache or upset stomach will strike!

  • Belly Pillow wedge

The wedge saved me from countless more sleepless nights, especially late in my pregnancy.  Place under your belly to relieve pressure while side sleeping.  Decent size for travel too!

  • Belly support band

Something I wish I had invested in during my pregnancy, and would have been great for extra support while walking all over a new city!

  • Healthy Snacks

You can never have too many snacks on hand during pregnancy – here are some healthy snack ideas for you.  I love these reusable baggies to pack nutritious snacks and save on plastic 🙂

  • Comfy clothes and layers

Invest in some comfy maternity pants ASAP.  I basically lived in sweats and yoga pants and traveling was no exception! Layers are a good idea for frequent body temp changes as well.

  • Backpack purse

You’re off balance enough during pregnancy, don’t add to it with a heavy shoulder bag or strap.  Backpack purses work great for traveling. Plus they can be cute & inexpensive!

  • Tennis shoes

I always travel with tennis shoes on (and have yet to fall on my face!).  Save your knees and feet and get these cute, comfy shoes!

  • Exercise band (s)

Might sound odd, but traveling with a small exercise band has multipurpose!  Use it to get in a few minutes of pregnancy-approved exercises, and simple stretches to relieve tight hamstrings and low back pain!

I’m a bit of a minimalist and don’t love checking luggage so I tend to travel with the least amount as possible.  I’d love to know what other must-haves are out there for you?

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what to pack when traveling pregnant


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