10 tips for taking a successful city trip while pregnant

Maternity photo shooting by the lake

Personal archive. Photo by Petsy Fink.

I only discovered I was expecting when I came back from Cuba, in mid January. Until then, I’m afraid I did many things you aren’t supposed to while you’re pregnant, but well, early stages, so I forgave myself. On our flight back to Germany I was already sure I was going to surprise W. with some big news. I never refuse eating desert on a flight, this was the first time, so something was definitely odd.

The next day after we arrived back home, what I already expected was confirmed, and by now you probably already know about Baby M, the new addition to our team, who’s arriving in September. We’ll soon be a couple traveling with a baby and a dog! How exciting and crazy is this?

The first trimester of the pregnancy destroyed me. Yup, I never felt so bad and beaten up in my entire life. I didn’t feel pregnant, I felt sick. I had severe nausea for over 15 weeks, which didn’t allow me do simple tasks of daily life, let alone travel. So we had to change some of our plans and wait until things got better. And thank God they did. As the second trimester came, slowly I started to feel like going out of the house, having breakfast, packing my suitcase, traveling and photographing again. And so the trips started!

In the spare time of 2 months I traveled to Alsace, France with W. and Enzzo, then went on a press trip with the Liberation Route through Luxembourg, Belgium and The Netherlands, spent a week in Barcelona where W. and I went to the Formula 1 Grand Prix, then went to Vienna for a long weekend to visit some friends. These trips certainly taught me a lot about traveling while pregnant, and so I decided to share some of my personal tips to help the pregnant ladies who just won’t stop traveling even during the pregnancy, to make the most of their city trip. So here we go, my 10 tips for taking a successful city trip while pregnant:

Only travel if you’re feeling well

It might be obvious, but most pregnant ladies out there will agree with me that pregnancy is a roller coaster. One day you feel great, the next you feel like crap. And of course, the way you feel plays a big role on enjoying your city trip, so avoid traveling or postpone your trip if you’re not feeling ok. Don’t feel bad about it, no one will judge you. It will be worse to be away from home feeling sick most of the time.

It happened to me: on the day W., Enzzo and I were to leave to Alsace, my morning sickness came back again. I was feeling so ill and weak, I couldn’t imagine being on a car for 5 hours that day. Even though my plan was to arrive early, we decided to postpone the trip for a few hours just until I felt better. It was the right decision, after some rest I felt a bit better and we headed to France. Of course, in this case I was lucky to be flexible, in other situation it wouldn’t have been possible.

Plan extra time

Your pace might not be the same ever since you started growing a human being in your belly. Things may now be a bit slower and take up more time than you imagine. Getting from one place to the other is probably going to take longer, especially if you include the increased visits to the loo, or to get a snack, or more water. Take this into consideration and don’t try to pack as much as you can in one day. Be flexible and accept that you may not be able to see and do all you wanted in that day, and leave for the next. Plan extra time for everything, even add more days to your trip if you want to make sure you will see all you want. Otherwise you’ll only be disappointed, even though you shouldn’t, because you’re pregnant.

Stay central

Now more than ever staying central is the best choice for your accommodation. Even if you have to pay more, do it and you won’t regret it. Believe me, every cent will be worth it, because tourist attractions will be closer, which means you’ll need to walk less and take less public transportation.

Sunset in Dresden

Dresden, Germany

Accept help

Even if you’re not used to accepting help, traveling while you’re pregnant might quickly change your mind. Sometimes you’ll wish someone would give you their place for you to sit on the subway, or that you’re one of the first to enter the plane, or that someone carry your hand luggage even though it was never a burden to you before. You will dream of having more space for your legs on the plane, or that you could skip the lines everywhere you go.

The good news is, you’re pregnant, and you have no idea how many people are willing to be kind with you out there, starting with your partner. Don’t feel ashamed or bad for accepting their help, or taking advantage of certain services provided by a company. There is a reason why pregnant women get some preferences; you’ll know why as soon as you’re are pregnant.

It happened to me: I like to help, but I was never good on accepting help. Many times people offered me a seat on the public transportation after seeing my baby bump, but I kindly refused. Some of the airlines I traveled with while pregnant offered preference on boarding the plane for pregnant women, I didn’t take advantage of it. What’s my problem? I know, right? It took me some time to notice that these benefits are there to be enjoyed, and honestly? They make a huge difference, so take advantage of them!

Drink plenty of water

Apart from eating balanced meals (especially breakfast), drink water all the time, even if it means more visits to the bathroom. It will keep you hydrated, and even help you with your swollen feet. The best thing I did was to always have a bottle to refill along the day, this way you can also control your water intake.

Wear comfortable shoes

I mean really comfortable shoes, the time of wearing whatever you want just because it looks great with your outfit is not now. Especially during the summer time, give preference to open shoes instead of closed, your feet will tend to swollen, and trust me, walking a whole day with closed shoes will only make it worse. If it’s wintertime and your feel are swollen, consider buying a bigger size.

Take advantage of the bathrooms at the tourist attractions

Worried about where you’re going to use the bathroom after drinking so much water? Well, I was never a big fan of stopping all the time to go to the bathroom in public places, but after traveling while pregnant, I learned that a great tip is to look for a bathroom every time you enter a tourist site, and of course, restaurants.

Take a break whenever you can

Sit down, stretch your legs, relax your shoulders. And if your accommodation isn’t far, go back there and take a proper break, lay down a bit, put your feet up. It will do wonders to keep you fit for the next days of your trip.

Respect your limits

Accept that your body is going through some major changes in every possible way, and that this impacts directly on your limits. Standing on a line for half an hour to visit a tourist attraction, walking instead of taking the public transportation, spending hours without a break, rarely going to the bathroom, this all might no longer be a normal part of your city trip. The sooner you start to acknowledge your new limits, the better you will enjoy your trip and feel better about yourself. I confess this was the most difficult part to me!

It happened to me: my city trips always involve lots of walking, and by walking I mean around 20km a day. Of course, at the end of the day I’m always incredibly tired. So when I realized in Barcelona that for some very special reason (I was on my 21st week of pregnancy) I couldn’t bring myself to walk that much anymore without making stops to rest every now and then, I got angry. I just couldn’t accept it. I wanted to be that same person who was able to walk like crazy without taking a break for hours. Well, it wasn’t possible. So I had no choice but to accept that things were now a bit different and my limits were others, and had to stop pressuring myself and respect my body.

Don’t forget some must packs

Prenatal vitamins
Sunscreen
Lotion for stretch marks
Medicine you’re allowed to use (speak to your doctor)
Foot cream
Comfortable shoes and clothes
Portable water bottle
Hand sanitizer
Tissues

Maternity photo shooting by the lake

Personal archive. Photo by Petsy Fink.

A little bit before I entered my third trimester, things slowed down a bit once again for me. Each pregnancy is different for different women, but mine kind of sucked all my energy, which normally is far from low! And so I spent the entire summer in Munich, trying to get out as much as possible and staying active despite the heat and lack of energy. Baby M is about to arrive, and my days have been all about yoga, walking Enzzo, getting some rest, reading, watching series and movies, and resting some more.

Keeping up with the blog and social media has been a challenge during my entire pregnancy, especially at the beginning and now with a huge baby bump! However, once things start falling into place and I get my energy back, things around here will be back to normal. For now, I want to thank everyone for the patience and support throughout these almost 9 months!

 

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Tips for a successful city trip while pregnant.