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Holidays when pregnant - my tips (long)

(42 Posts)
Pinchypants Thu 20-Apr-06 12:36:38

Hello girlies,
Just got back from five nights in Muscat, Oman as a last luxury break for DH and I before we are no longer just two (I hit 25 weeks while we were out there). broke the bank, but we had a great time lounging around under parasols and playing Scrabble (sad, I know!), and I have a few travel tips which might be useful.
Travel Insurance
If you think that you might even vaguely go abroad while you are pg, tell your insurance company now as it is classed as a change in your circumstances. Even if you are having a completely normal pregnancy with no complications, some insurance companies won't cover you past 20 weeks, even though all the travel advice I've seen is that 14-28 weeks is the best time to travel. I called Columbus, who we've been insured with at great expense for six years, last week before we headed off, just to double check it would be fine, and it wasn't: had to cancel policy and take out a new one with the Post Office, who are cool if everything is OK and you are back by 31 weeks. Oddly, Columbus have no probs with you travelling from 8 weeks, even though I thought air travel wasn't a great idea in the first trimester.
Even if their official line is that flying is fine until 28 weeks or whatever, double check with the airline that you will be OK if you are travelling before then, and get a note from the doc to say you are OK to travel, even if there is nothing wrong and you are in the 2nd trimester. We flew with Gulf Air, and on the way out no-one even mentioned that I was pg, apart from the say that we wouldn't be able to sit in the emergency exit seats cos I'm not as nimble now, which I knew anyway. On the way back, however, all hell broke loose at check in desk and there was a huge issue with me being 25 weeks, for no reason whatsoever. Eventually got is sorted out and got on the plane, only to have steward start interrogating me again. All very stressful, and no-one even vaguely interested in whether I was OK - all red tape.
Both the insurance and the airline problems made me feel really cross that as a perfectly normal pregnant woman, I was being treated like I was a ticking bomb or a seriously ill person - a liability, in other words. I know they have to cover themselves, but there was little interest in my pregnancy (how I was, whether everything was OK) and lots of interest in numbers of weeks, with no context.

Next's white floaty maternity beach stuff is fab, although huge - I ordered loads of size 16 stuff cos I didn't want to be constrained (was 12-14 before pg) and found it difficult keeping waistbands up! JoJo Maman Bebe combats are great for air travel. Blooming Marvellous swimsuit was perfect. Best buy was a treat - Isabella Oliver long black skirt and their black and white vest tops (with a little wrap over the top) - felt very sexy for the first time in five months and DH loved the outfit.
Also one more point on alcohol. I've been quite happy having a glass of wine once or twice a week at home/with friends since the start of the 2nd trimester, but for some reason on holiday I felt really self-conscious drinking anything at all, and was automatically offered juice/soft drinks rather than anyone asking what I would like to drink. I didn't expect to feel like that - just something to bear in mind.

Overall, though, the 7hr flight was absolutely fine, I had no probs at all, and it was worth every penny to relax for a few days. If you can get away, even for a night or two in the UK somewhere nice, before you have your baba, go for it!

Pinchy xxx

Kathy1972 Thu 20-Apr-06 12:42:47

Great tips Pinchy, thank you

TuttiFrutti Thu 20-Apr-06 13:06:12

Thanks pinchypants, that's really useful. I wouldn't have known about the travel insurance.

yummymummy82 Wed 21-Jun-06 21:20:29

That's great advice. I went on a 9 hr flight to cuba in May when i was 25 weeks so can sympathise!! In my experience, it was a great relaxing holiday. However, my only pregnancy related problem was that my feet and legs became very swollen due to the heat.

Several people suggested that i was a bit silly travelling so far whilst pregnant but it did me the world of good!! Two weeks away from the pressures of work etc. As long as you know that there is a decent healthcare system where you are going, i think it's perfectly safe. Just make sure you're sensible with what you eat etc. Also, if you're flying long hall wear flight socks and keep moving your calf muscles!!

Enjoy the break!

Oh,i almost forgot to warn you about your skin becoming more sensitive during pregnancy. Make sure you wear an extra high factor sun cream or else you may end up looking like a beetroot(like i did)!!!

kayzed Wed 21-Jun-06 23:32:04

I went to Oz at 24 weeks. Drinking COPIOUS quantities of water on the flight (6l - of which I passed almost none) completely elminated jetlag. Unfortunately, my bag got lost in Singapore on our stopover holiday on the way back - try finding replacement maternity wear for a big western woman in a city of micros!

Gemmitygem Thu 22-Jun-06 04:14:00

um, I'm planning to fly back from Central Asia (where I'm working) at 30 weeks (8 hour flight), KLM says they don't need a doctor's letter if the preg is under 36 weeks and uncomplicated, anyone with experience of this?

Then planning short flight London to Rome, I'll be 34 weeks when I come back.

Do you need to have a doctor's letter or just confirmation of due date? cos alitalia are the same, just say 'under 36 weeks with no complications is fine, otherwise doctors' letter'

paow Thu 22-Jun-06 10:40:25

Hi ya,
Just been to Italy (22 weeks) and the best thing about the holiday was that the bars and restaurants have banned smoking (not sure since then and I didn't even know) which made eating out very enjoyable.

On thing I didn't enjoy was flying on a low cost airline where the seats are not allocated.
Although you are aloud on first when pregnant it was still stressful to have to stand around waiting, quite stressful.
If I remembered what it was like, I would've paid extra for a proper airline!
Take care

Thomcat Thu 22-Jun-06 10:47:22

My top tip would be not to CAMP on Europes LARGEST SAND DUNE when heavily pregnant!!!!!!!!!!
I would also advise against then going straight from camping to Paris and walking the streets like a mad woman and then going straight out to dinner without a break inbetween. Causes you to sob uncontrollably into your pillow with exhaustion!

I would also advise against going to a music festival while pregnant with systitis!

HDurbin Wed 23-Aug-06 08:57:36

Hi, does anyone know of any travel insurance that will cover you up to 33/34 weeks please. Desperately looking and can only find companies up to 32 weeks. Many thanks

LaidbackinAsia Wed 23-Aug-06 09:32:52

Try a broker - they will search on your behalf and are often as reasonable . Hope you find one !! If you do can you let me know - I may need to do some late travelling in my pregnancy.


Boosta Wed 23-Aug-06 15:35:15


i travelled to budapest for a long weekend with my DH when i was 32 weeks pregnant. had no problems with airlines, but i really struggled to cope with all the walking around and sightseeing. make sure if you are going away late in pregnancy you go somewhere relaxing!


jill1000 Fri 13-Apr-07 15:24:38

In case anyone is still looking for travel insurance, after much searching I have finally found someone who will provide travel insurance up to 36 weeks pregnancy. I found them through contacting the British Insurance Brokers Association. The company are called PHA (0845 634 2500) and the insurance package is with a company called IHA. They will cover you for up to £170,000 of medical expenses for you/baby as long as you conceived naturally and are only carrying one child.#

For a 10 day trip to Italy in May when I will be 34 weeks it cost me £54 - quite steep when you compare it to annual cover, but for the peace of mind I think it's worth it.

The company haven't asked for any medical reports or anything - the policy seems really comprehensive (and covers you for all the usual travel cover e.g. lost luggage, delays etc) and it took 5 minutes to organise.

Well done to BIBA for giving great advice.

Hersetta Fri 13-Apr-07 16:04:16

Thanks for the tips. I'm flying to the Maldives in May for our last visit before our first arrives in August. Will be 24 weeeks when we go and 26 weeks on the returm. Qatar Airlines say no problem under 28 weeks, after that Doctors note required. No travel permitted after 36 weeks. So remember everyone to check with your airline as they call have different regulations.

Looking forward to lazing around and doing naff all for 16 nights.

peanuthead Tue 05-Jun-07 20:12:59

Bumping this up as it's so useful!

MrsMar Tue 05-Jun-07 20:38:39

having read the op, just wanted to say I sat in an emergency exit on both outward and return flights this weekend gone (I was 24 weeks) No-one batted an eye lid, I'd checked in online and used the seat allocater thingy (flying BA) it was only a tiny short flight, but it was really nice being able to stretch my legs out. I didn't particularly make an effort to hide my pregnancy.

pookamoo Mon 02-Jun-08 14:49:51

This is all great advice so I thought I would bump it up for the start of this year's holiday season!

ChocOrange05 Mon 02-Jun-08 15:54:06

Thanks for the tips Pinchy, I'm off to Barbados (8 hour flight) in 2 weeks when I will be 19+6

AleksMummy Tue 03-Feb-09 13:20:36

Hi there,

Im flying to greece at 30weeks pregnant for 2weeks and cannot find an insurer that will cover me.. any ideas?

Thanks, Amy


MiaMamma Fri 20-Feb-09 10:49:22

Just bumping again, took me ages to find this thread, hope somebody else needs info too!

AlexMummy - I just found Citybond Suretravel who covers up to 32 weeks. This PHA/IHA does cover up to 36weeks but this is something I don't need, so didn't look really into their website. But def BIBA website is good for finding different companies, thanks jill1000!

violin Sat 30-May-09 10:25:05

Good news for late travellors like me - Citybond Suretravel now cover ALL stages of pregnancy. The only exclusion is if you have any complications or if you are advised not to travel. They charged me £110 for family annual cover (Europe only) - a bit pricey but worth it for travelling at 34 weeks smile.

I don't know if PHA are still going, I couldn't get any links to their website to work nor find them googleing.

Thanks for the tips, saved me a lot of time!

makipuppy Sat 30-May-09 10:37:35

Just wanted to add that airlines will take you up to 28 weeks without a letter.

Between 28 and 35 weeks my experience is they will all take you with a letter from your doctor stating that you are not likely to give birth early.

WIth your European Health Insurance Card, do you really need health insurance in Europe? I've never bothered.

And if want to live in any EC country while pregnant/giving birth, get an E106 from the DWP, then the NHS will pay for all your antenatal etc care (they pay mine, and I'm freelance).

And put lots of suncream on your top lip or you end up with a brown moustache...

katemumtwo Sat 30-May-09 11:34:17

Don't travel when you are 9 weeks pregnant and suffering from bad --all day-- morning sickness.

Throwing up in a bin outside the Sacre Coeur was not appreciated by passing Parisians. And I felt like something from Ibiza Uncovered.

SabsBigPants Sat 30-May-09 21:46:00

thanks for this pinchy, its really helpful. I'm due to fly to Rome in a couple of weeks when I will be 24-25 weeks pregnant. Have told DH to phone insurance company to check our policy and made a note to myself to phone my GP to write a note for me to take with me. Have spoken to my midwife about the trip already and she was fine with it. Just told me to make sure I walk around a lot during the flight and to drink lots of water.

Just realised how old this thread is but useful all the same!

makipuppy Sun 31-May-09 11:44:51

Sabsbigpants - maybe apply on line for an EHIC if you don't have one yet. Info here. Mine took less than a week to arrive. It covers your maternity care in Italy. Of course you may want to take out insurance too, but it's worth having.

charlotteolivia Sun 31-May-09 12:13:31

YES you do need travel insurance, even if you are only going withing Europe makipuppy
The EHIC only covers you for immediate emergency treatment, and if you don't have insurance, you could end up with a big bill!

makipuppy Sun 31-May-09 12:26:30

Well, the EHIC does cover your maternity care. It says so on the info.

"Presenting the EHIC entitles you to treatment that may become necessary during your trip, but doesn't allow you to go abroad specifically to receive medical care. However, maternity care, renal dialysis and managing the symptoms of pre-existing or chronic conditions that arise while abroad are all covered by the EHIC".

Also, insurance companies may give you a cheaper deal/no excess if you have one. So definitely worthwhile.

If you were going for longer, I would get an E106 as well, which provides full maternity treatment under the system of the country you are visiting. Perhaps not for a short trip though. I am overseas now and get all my antenatal and maternity care for free courtesy of the NHS, including my own midwife. I have no private insurance.

SabsBigPants Sun 31-May-09 19:01:21

thanks makipuppy I ordered the EHIC last week, so hopefully it will get here in time for the 10th june...

Katie73 Mon 15-Jun-09 10:55:07

Hi All,

Not sure if this post is still live, but I have a dilemna. Very good friends of mine are getting married in South Africa (on border of Botswana - remote game reserve - would need to a helicopter to get to a hospital) on 14th August. I will be 34 weeks at that time. Deep down, I think it is a risky idea to go at this late stage (esp as I was 2 weeks early last time) and also developed some stomach complications at 33 and 35 weeks last time and needed to be hospitalised. However, no 2 pregnancies are the same, and I well may be fine on this occassion.

I checked with insurer to see if I would be insured and they said as long as I have a doctors note I would be covered, however in view of the string of emails below, not sure if I have been advised correctly.

Anyway, what do you think? Am I mad to be thinking about going, or am I being over cautious about the risks?????


Katie xx

makipuppy Mon 15-Jun-09 12:17:41

Gosh Katie, sounds a bit risky so near your due date. Airlines won't take you after 35 weeks, even with a doctor's letter. Will you turn 35 weeks while you're out there? I'm traveling a lot at 30 weeks and I have been asked for a letter on boarding every single time. It has to be dated within one week of the flight too.

If you're very intrepid and under 35 weeks when you return, you could just rely on their emergency services swinging into action in the event but I'd get it in writing from your insurer and make sure your doctor would give you the right letter, as otherwise it could be quite a bill (repatriation etc.).

But oh! The Botswana border! I think I'd do everything I could to go..

makipuppy Mon 15-Jun-09 12:20:58

If you decide to go, make sure your flights are covered for cancellation if your medical situation changes. They can't be cheap...

<dreaming of the kudu leaping over the Botswana border>

AP78 Thu 16-Aug-12 18:58:07

Thanks for all these tips. Very practical and also made me laugh! I am 6 weeks pregnant and already have spent the past two weeks fighting my way through nausea and vomiting. We are planning a trip to Crete in mid-September when I would be about 10-11 weeks. I don't want to do it if I'm as ill as this as there's no point. So I'm thinking of waiting until I am about 14 weeks. This would be mid-October and he is dead against it because the weather will be cooler and everything will be closed. Very frustrating. All the flights are pricey too. The most reasonable one we've found is mid-September when I may be still in full vomiting mode.

Nools1980 Sat 06-Apr-13 19:54:11

Great advice here ladies Thanku. Off on our babymoon Thursday to NYC for few days the a week in St Martin after cannot wait. 24 weeks now and will be 26 coming back. Will check out that insurance as Hubby has been checking into that. Got a cute tankini in mother care and for first time there will be pics of me on the beach. Will get flight socks, what are the best ones? Worried about ands and calves swelling, just recently experienced leg cramps....OMG such pain!

@AP78 congrats! we had to cancel a trip to Hawaii at Christmas coz I was so ill and unable to travel so I feel ur pain. got a great week in lanzarote week before Christmas at princesa yieza which was fab. Didn't do much but and out in spa, swim and catch some rays. Figured better feeling crappy in nice weather/hotel. The heat helped quite a bit.

MissLolita Sun 07-Apr-13 22:24:05

Hi ladies, great thread! In my first pregnancy I did a lot of travelling (Egypt at 28 weeks with Easyjet, Spain at 31 weeks with BA and Switzerland at 33 and 34 weeks) and no one batted an eyelid at me - I had a note and never got to show it to anyone hmm glad I had it though!
I wanted to stress though that even if you are travelling in Europe you need more than an EHIC. Having the baby would def be covered and immediate aftercare but you could run into expensive problems if there are complications for you or the baby getting home. Organising flights/travel with medical care is very expensive so you could end up having to stay in whatever country you are in until you are both fit to travel (newborns can't fly!) and that will incur cost a lot of cost and probably inconvenience! Definately much cheaper to buy travel insurance! I work for an insurance company btw so hear about worse case scenario everyday - but we don't sell travel insurance!!
BIBA is a great tip!

fuckwittery Mon 08-Apr-13 02:45:12

I would recommend not travelling to Bali and Australia when 26 weeks preg and getting confused with the day we left Bali and the day we arrived in Australia, resulting in no accommodation in Perth, when the ashes were on and everywhere was fully booked. It was just before Christmas, we were looking at sleeping in the airport, it was like no room at the inn. Eventually with the help of tourist info I rung about 30 places and finally found somewhere.

ILiveInAPineappleCoveredInSnow Mon 08-Apr-13 17:22:46

I'm going on a cruise round the med in the summer, will be about 26 weeks on my return, no flying involved, can't wait. Must remember to ring the insurance company though now I have read this! Didn't even occur to me,

Christelle2207 Mon 08-Apr-13 19:57:01

another tip- dont assume boats are ok. just found out that most ferry companies have cutoff at 32 weeks- hence my trip to france at 33 weeks has had to be cancelled

ILiveInAPineappleCoveredInSnow Tue 09-Apr-13 08:50:07

Thanks - rang them to make sure, and she asked me how many weeks I'd be and said that's fine.
I asked her if I needed a doctor's letter and she said most wont do them now, and that it would be fine.


Nabziee Mon 03-Mar-14 15:41:30

Bumping an old thread here, but ladies, I'm in need of desperate advice!

I'm 25 weeks now, and planning a real last minute babymoon to Maldives from India next week (it'll be 26-27 week period then). My only question was - since Maldives is an archipelago of islands with each island at least a boat ride away from the main city (Male) - so how safe an option would Maldives be? Anybody's traveled to Maldives late into their second trimester?

I've had a healthy pregnancy so far (touchwood) and I'm generally a chilled out type of person, but this is my first pregnancy (I'm 30 years old) and I don't know what I don't know. Don't want to take chances, but Maldives is so lovely I would want to know if its an exaggerated fear or should I really rule it out??

Thanks in advance for your tips!

ChicaMomma Mon 03-Mar-14 16:11:42

Well, you could choose an island that is close to Male?
Don't a lot of the air stewards go to Kuredu for that reason? (only snag is the noise of airplanes as it's so close to Male)

I'm sure it would be safe- but the bigger question for me would be, how good are the hospitals in Male?

I'm going to Spain at 32 weeks, it's only Spain though and the local hospital in the resort i'm going to is fantastic- my sister has already been there with a broken leg and my mother for a cancer diagnosis!

Only you can answer the q as to whether you should rule it out- I probably would be a little apprehensive but only a little! Went to the Maldives on my honeymoon last sept and it is paradise! we spent a week in Kuramathi and a week in Huvafen fushi. Both were 30 mins from Male.

eurochick Mon 03-Mar-14 16:57:40


We're just about to book a holiday, probably to the Maldives, for when I will be around 20 weeks. The availability of medical care is my only question mark over the destination, but I figure it is probably fairly low risk in the second tri.

ChicaMomma Mon 03-Mar-14 17:16:46

To be honest Eurochick, i'd have less concerns about 20 weeks. Because at the risk of sounding alarmist, if anything untoward happens at 20 weeks (which it wont!!!!!!!!!!!) the pregnancy isnt viable one way or another.

You could both contact the embassy and see what they say about medical care? I only spent half a day in Male and it seemed a tiny bit 3rd world tbh.
There's a tripadvisor thread here which is

Nabziee Mon 03-Mar-14 18:13:42

Thanks chica.. Through various forums on tripadvisor et al it is pretty clear that the islands have little to no medical facility of their own. The closest hospitals are in Male, at least 45 mins to an hour away - including the time to arrange for a water taxi, getting to the hospital etc. But then, for whatever reasons i don't feel the quality of medical care is too much of a concern, as is the Q of - how accessible will assistance be when I most need it (if at all)?

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