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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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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!

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