From luxury spa resorts to remote hideaways, babymoons are the hot new thing for mums-to-be. But traveling while pregnant can be challenging – you need to pick your destination carefully, and know what to eat and how to stay safe.
When choosing a holiday or weekend break, Travel Insurance Direct safety expert Phil Sylvester recommends leaving high-energy, physically-demanding and adventurous holidays for another time. For most, a babymoon is about rest and relaxation, with walking, swimming or yoga, or just lazing on the beach with a good read. A lot of women also like to visit resorts where they can indulge in relaxing treatments like prenatal massage.
It is essential to choose a country that is low risk for diseases and one which does not require immunisations or preventative treatments such as malaria tablets. Many immunisations are not suitable for pregnant women so women are advised to check with a doctor before booking flights to any country that requires vaccinations.
“Some of the most popular destinations we are seeing for babymoon vacations are Hawaii, the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Noumea. With minimal flight times and plenty of relaxation on offer, it can be the perfect escape,” according to Phil.
“We usually recommend expecting couples avoid South-east Asian destinations such as Bali and Thailand where the dreaded ‘Bali Belly’ can be a serious medical threat for pregnant women.”
1. Travel in your second trimester
Though every pregnancy is different, for most women, the second trimester is the most pleasant time to travel as their nausea has generally subsided and their bump is still small enough to move around comfortably. That doesn’t mean women can’t travel during the rest of their pregnancy, but it is essential to check any travel plans with a doctor and ensure the airline and travel insurance policy will cover you at this stage of the pregnancy.
2. Keep a medical file on hand
It’s a good idea to carry maternity notes, just in case you need to be admitted to hospital. Some airlines also require a doctor’s certificate from pregnant passengers, so check with your airline when booking.
3. Ensure you have valid travel insurance
Purchasing travel insurance is important on any overseas vacation, but even more so for expecting women. Travel Insurance will cover medical expenses if you are sick or injured and if you need to be repatriated home. Most policies will also cover the cancellation of prepaid travel and accommodation before you travel, if you are unexpectedly ill and a doctor recommends you should not fly.
Travel Insurance Direct offers cover for women who have a single, uncomplicated pregnancy (not the result of fertility treatment) up to the end of their 26th week. However, a policy with Travel Insurance Direct will not cover costs of a birth abroad so make sure you are home in plenty of time.
“We always recommend checking in with your doctor before booking any holiday to ensure you are safe to travel,” says Phil.
4. Eat smart
It is important to stay smart about what you eat and drink on your babymoon. While many island destinations are very safe, common sense goes a long way. Use bottled water even if you are in an area where it’s safe to drink from the tap – sometimes your body can take time to get used to the local water and may be more sensitive to different bacteria.
Avoid eating food that could have been washed in tap water like salad or fruit that you can’t peel. Also, if choosing to eat seafood, check that it has been properly refrigerated and is fresh that day. Do not eat seafood that has been laid out on ice all day.
5. Fly safe
Many airlines will be more than happy to accommodate pregnant travellers. Be sure to let them know that you are pregnant so they can check their in-flight meal service is safe (ie: no soft cheeses). You should also bring your own snacks just in case. When flying it is also best to stay seated as much as possible so unexpected turbulence doesn’t knock you off your feet, however regular stretching is important, so follow the in-seat airline advice and move when it is safe to do so.
Finally, request an aisle seat near the bathrooms when booking your airline ticket to ensure regular toilet trips can be made with ease.