If you have a holiday planned and then find yourself pregnant and not feeling so well, or, if you’re in your first trimester and planning a getaway and wanting some tips for if you do feel unwell and/or struggle with eating while away then this post might be for you. Summarised below are some simple tips and strategies.
In May this year my partner and I were away for two weeks and at the time my morning sickness had peaked (something I didn’t consider or think about when planning this trip many months prior). Our holiday was wonderful and provided a much needed break, but I will say that it was also challenging at times (feeling nauseous all the time while on holiday isn’t so easy!). I found eating out not as enjoyable as per usual and snack choices at times were limited. When not in the comfort of your own home, preparing meals and managing nausea can be a little harder. Here are a few things I learnt while away and tips/strategies that I discovered were very helpful (and kept me feeling better and brighter).
Book accommodation with a kitchen/kitchenette – If you can (and if you haven’t already booked accommodation), booking somewhere where you are able to prepare meals and snacks is a great idea. Depending on where you are traveling to, choices for eating out may be limited and depending on how you feel you may find eating out a real challenge. It’s helpful to have the option of being able to make breakfast, lunch and/or dinner (for example, cereal, a bowl of pasta, a simple sandwich). While we were away we (luckily) mostly stayed in Airbnb accommodation. This was extremely helpful as I struggled to manage meals out (the only food I managed was very plain pizza, pasta and bread). We were in a hotel for 2 nights which did have a bar fridge, so I had some Weet-bix and oat milk in the morning which kept nausea at bay. Eating at the hotel restaurant/pub at night was interesting as the smells of meat and chips had me feeling much worse, I ended up only eating bread and olive oil for dinner that night (the joys of morning sickness!) and one night I had takeaway pizza in our hotel room. If you have already booked a holiday, find yourself feeling quite off while away and have booked hotels where you don’t have the option of preparing meals or storing food that your stomach tolerates, you may be able to ask for a bar fridge. Hotels which offer a buffet breakfast and lunch menu are great as this provides choice. I will say though that having a kitchen is extremely helpful, just so you can prepare something you know you can eat (and manage well). While we were away I actually baked a batch of lemon turmeric cookies, a snack which I found easy to eat when feeling off (if needing snack tips, I’ve written a blog post about morning sickness and food which you can read here).
If heading out for the day, take snacks with you and also possibly a packed lunch (or have an idea of where you can get some lunch ahead of time) – This might sound a bit silly, but if you find yourself feeling terribly nauseous when hungry it’s worth avoiding getting too hungry. While away and when we headed out for the whole day I often packed a peanut butter sandwich. Having snacks AND a lunch with me meant that I could eat something when/if I needed to.
Always have a stash of snacks with you, at your place of stay and wherever you go – I’ve mentioned snacks already but this is only because they really do help. What defines the best type of snack is very much up to you. Many women find plain snacks the best e.g. crackers, nuts, simple oat bars. However, some women find any snacks to be great e.g. fruit, biscuits, chips, fruit bars, nut bars. If you’re not sure I suggest buying some plain snacks when you arrive at your destination, such that you have something with you at your place of stay. Or, you can be super organised (like I was, as I had to be! Snacks were medicine) and pack some snacks with you in your hand luggage just so that you’re prepared to begin with for at least a day.
Always carry water with you – This may sound obvious but it can be easy to forget a bottle of water. Staying hydrated will make you feel better.
A few non-food tips:
Pack nausea pressure point wristbands/sea bands – Many women swear by these so it’s worth trying them if you do feel nauseous everyday. I found these to be very helpful, and wore them pretty much every day while away.
Pack ear plugs – Ear plugs can be a life saver to have at hand if you find that noise keeps you awake at night (traffic, the hum of people nearby, or perhaps even your partner snoring). They are also helpful for if you need to nap during the day and find your place of stay to not be overly quiet.
If feeling very nauseous and/or are vomiting consider taking some medications to help you feel better and to help you sleep at night – Having experienced nausea and night for more than 4 months I found sleeping very hard and at times impossible. As soon as I started taking something to help ease the nausea and help me sleep I was the happiest person! I can’t recommend this enough – it can be helpful to chat with your doctor/care team about what you can take to make this time easier for you. While away my nausea was at it’s worst (not planned!) – having Restavit + Vit B6 to take at night enabled me to get a good night’s sleep. This combo also eased my nausea the next morning which helped me enjoy breakfast more, plus I had energy to enjoy the day.
Make time to rest – this can make a huge difference to how you feel, your eating and your holiday experience. Tiredness can make nausea worse.
One last tip is to carry a ‘survival pack’ that suits you. This could be a bag of your sea bands, snacks (e.g. crackers, fruit, nut bars, nuts, whatever you find helps make you feel better), a scarf/shawl which you can use to wrap around you and cover your nose if certain smells are strong and make you feel awful and a few large zip lock bags or plastic bags just in case you so feel very sick (and vomit). I, for example, at one point had to very quickly vomit while we were driving along the beautiful and windy Queensland hinterland roads. Having a bag right there at my feet was exactly what I needed. Urges can come on quickly!
Also, if unsure or worried about anything with regards to traveling and pregnancy it’s always a good idea to discuss your concerns/questions with your doctor/care team.