I travel. It’s what I do. I’ve been traveling my entire life. When I was a kid, my parents always made it a priority to truck us around the country in the blue Suburban, so we could experience all sorts of new and exciting places. In fact, they forewent many fancy indulgences so that we could spend money on the things that really mattered – life experiences. Plus we learned a lot of car games! Remember, this was pre-videos-in-cars. Kids today have it very easy!
I’m so glad that travel was a priority in my youth. It has become, almost like fitness, a natural part of my adult life. So thank you, Mom and Dad!
Now that I’m pregnant, I’m thinking about travel from a new perspective.
Food is of course very important. As we know, airport food is very limiting. Especially if you’re a Whole Foods Market freak like me! Finding healthy, allowable pregnancy food in airports is all but impossible. On my last trip, I broke a rule and actually ate a turkey sandwich from Schlotzky’s. Apparently, while pregnant, you’re supposed to cook your lunch meat until it’s steaming to avoid listeriosis. I wanted to order a veggie sandwich that day, but something inside me FORCED me to order the spicy turkey santa fe extraordinaire instead. It was risky, but it was like I was possessed (and I must say it was worth it).
If you are trying to avoid artificial food coloring, then your only airport beverage option is water. There are no natural drinks in airports. You may get lucky and occasionally find an exception. if you do, jump on it!
The other very important need in airports is access to bathrooms. This also applies to airplanes. Sure enough, aisle seats are tough to come by. Depending on your size, people will allow you varying levels of sympathy. The catch-22 is that while pregnant, you need to drink 4 quarts of water a day, plus another cup or two for every 30 minutes of exercise. That’s a lot of liquid. As the belly grows and starts to add pressure to the bladder, bathroom visits become more frequent. You see where I’m coming from.
Have you ever been on flights where you sit on the runway for an hour, stuck in your seat, with what starts as a minor urge to pee. Then you finally take off and another painful 30 minutes pass before the seatbelt light goes off? Multiply that lovely feeling by five during the 2nd trimester, and I will tell you in a couple months what the multiple is for the 3rd trimester. I often wonder if they would rather have us pee in our seats or get up and use the bathroom.
Finally, my tolerance of traveling with small children has increased dramatically. I used to board a plane, look around and count the number of children near me. Then I would slip on my headphones and attempt to ignore all of them! Now, I find myself analyzing their parents’ travel strategies. I have a hard enough time remembering all my own stuff. The thought of bringing along another person, not to mention all the goodies that will be needed to keep the baby happy and relatively calm during a flight, are incredibly intimidating!
On my next trip, I think I may take a few investigative photos (without looking creepy!). My first observation is that it’s important to bring distractions and food/drink for the baby. I imagine we will continue to travel after the baby is born, so I need to what’s important! The other observation is about the contraptions needed to carry a traveling baby. Some look much more convoluted than others. I’ve watched moms whiz through security with 4 kids in tow and others look as if they’re about to cry with just one. I want to be in the former group! Whizzing along – not having 4 kids!
I have about 5 trips planned before the baby comes, so I’ll be taking notes and check back. Stay tuned and send your tips. I need em!