Monday, September 12, 2011

My Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

Whew... it's been a busy summer! I'm still unpacking from our last trip but thought I better write a post about traveling while pregnant while it's all still fresh in my mind. Because if there's one symptom of pregnancy that I suffer from thoroughly, it's forgetfulness!

1.) Timing. The bulk of our travels during this pregnancy have occurred during the blissful second trimester. When my energy was at its peak and sickness and discomfort were at a minimum. This means I haven't done a darn thing to get ready for Baby Arrow to arrive, but at least I have lots of fun memories!

2.) Snacks. I didn't experience this nearly as much with my first pregnancy, but this time around, I feel really lousy if I haven't had something to eat just about every two hours. Since that doesn't always correspond with a meal time, I have tried to plan accordingly by always carrying a small snack with me. A few of my favorites are Clif Bar Energy Bars,Emerald Breakfast On The Go snack packs,* or just some crackers, an apple or banana. I even keep a few granola bars in my car for unexpected hunger attacks or traffic delays.

3.) Water. I'm so sick of drinking water, but I try to keep some with me at all times while I'm traveling. If you already have a small child, I definitely recommend investing in a cup holder for your stroller. This makes hydrating on the go much easier. I really like this Munchkin Stroller Insulated Cup Holder* because it fits on all our strollers. (Note: Unsnap it from the stroller before you gate check it if you're flying. Our holder snapped off in transit.)

Flying with a bump and a toddler
4.) Daily rest time. Fortunately (for so many reasons), The Arrow still takes an afternoon nap, even when we travel. While in the past, we've been content to let him do that in the car or stroller, during our travels this summer we made it a point to head back to our rental home or hotel so that I could have some R and R also. This really helped me to enjoy the evenings instead of feeling like I might collapse.

5.) Be active at home, too. I've been trying to either walk or bike daily when we're at home, in addition to my normal caring-for-a-2-year-old activity. It has helped me to keep up with my family on our adventures when we're away from home without my body going into total shock. I've been a lot more active this pregnancy than I was during my first, and I feel so much better for it. If the weather doesn't allow you to get out, then perhaps you can do a pregnancy workout from home. I recommend Prenatal Yoga by Shiva Rea* as a good, relaxing yet strength-building workout.

6.) Avoid the stairs. While ordinarily, I would never waste time seeking out an elevator just to avoid going up a couple of flights of stairs, I have done so lately. (I used The Arrow's stroller as an excuse, but I did this a lot when coming up from the T stations in Boston.) So many places are handicap accessible now, so I just keep an eye out for the wheelchair symbols or elevator signs. I think it saves me some physical exertion and helps me stay energetic for longer periods of time. (Or maybe I'm just lazy!)

7.) Build in a day of rest. It's not always possible, but we've tried to return home a day prior to my husband going back to work. This gives me a chance to rest when we get back, which I have found I really need. When my husband has returned to work the day after we get home, then I try to make sure The Arrow and I don't have much planned so that we can just chill out and rest. I find he needs this too, and we're all happier for it.

8.) Flip flops. This is not normally the footwear I recommend for traveling, especially if you're doing a lot of walking. But my feet tend to expand, swell, and just change rapidly throughout the day when it's hot, and quality flip flops have allowed that to happen in relative comfort. I really like the Teva Women's Olawahu* style.

9.) Invest in a few maternity dresses. Nothing fancy, I'm talking about cotton, summery sundresses (if you're traveling in the summer). I own a few, and they were great to take on trips. They took up less room in the suitcase and were much cooler because it was only one layer to deal with, instead of maternity top, shorts, camisole, etc.

10.) Baby Powder. I don't leave home without my Johnson's Baby Powder* (preferably in a travel size). I don't normally sweat much, but I do when I'm pregnant. My sister suggested baby powder and by applying it each morning in trouble spots before we head out to sightsee, hike, or whatever we have planned, I'm much more comfortable throughout the day. My apologies if this is a bit TMI.

Speaking of TMI, who has a suggestion for avoiding restroom breaks every 45 minutes on road trips? I became quite familiar with far too many exits on I-74 between Indiana and Iowa this weekend.

*Links to my Amazon Affiliate account. A small portion of any sales made through these links will come back to support this blog, but this does not in any way increase the cost of purchase for you.

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This post is a part of Top 10 Tuesday at Oh Amanda.