Advice for getting around and travelling abroad while pregnant. Travelling can be more difficult during pregnancy, but there are things you can do to make it more manageable.


Leisure cycling is a low impact activity, as your body weight is supported by the saddle, and can be a great way to get outdoors to enjoy nature and fresh air.

It’s important to note that a growing bump affects your balance and stability, so only continue to cycle if you feel comfortable to do so. ‘Bumping the bump’ can put both you and your baby at risk, so it’s important to be fully aware of this when deciding whether or not to cycle. Choose routes that are well lit, have good quality road/path surfaces, and are ideally dedicated to cyclists.

Make sure to adjust your bike for comfort by raising the handlebars, and/or lower the seat to have a more upright position. Lowering the seat helps you put your feet down more easily when you need to stop. Go at a steady pace and so you can still hold a conversation and don’t keep going if you feel unwell, dizzy or very tired. Slow down or take a break (push your bike and walk if needed). Avoid cycling when it’s very warm outside so you don’t overheat.

Many people find they need to modify their riding for a short time in early pregnancy as rapid changes in the circulatory system can cause tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness. You can keep participating as long as you can fit the bike and it feels comfortable.

Public transport

Make sure you have a bottle of water with you, especially when it’s hot. If you are struggling to stand or feeling dizzy, ask someone for a seat. If you have a long bus journey, consider where you might be able to get off to use the loo if you get desperate! Some train companies offer first class seats to pregnant women so it’s worth checking with the train lines you use.

Car journeys

It’s very important to wear your seatbelt so that the horizontal strap sits under your bump, and the diagonal strap is between your breasts. Make sure the seatbelt is not across your bump, as this could cause an injury to you or your baby if you have an accident.

Long car journeys can be really uncomfortable, especially in later pregnancy. Make sure you schedule lots of stops to stretch your legs and use the loo. Be sure to take a bottle of water with you so you don’t get dehydrated.

You can drive during pregnancy, but you should stop driving yourself if you can no longer do so safely and comfortably. Avoid making long journeys on your own if you can – have someone with you who can drive so that you can share the driving, and they can take over if you need it. As you get bigger you may find it more difficult to drive.


Flying isn’t harmful to your baby but you should always get advice from your GP or midwife before flying.

You need to consider how many weeks you are when you plan to travel and, crucially, when you fly to come back. Most airlines will refuse to let you fly after 37 weeks, but some airlines have much stricter rules and earlier deadlines, so it’s important to check the rules with the airlines you’re using.

Many airlines and some countries will insist that you carry a letter stating that you are safe to fly, and confirming your due date. Your GP can provide this for you and there is usually a charge for this.

Airline travel increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) so it’s important to discuss this with your GP or midwife before you fly. You can purchase compression stockings from a pharmacy which can help to prevent DVT and reduce swelling in your legs and feet. It’s really important to stay hydrated, do foot and ankle stretches, and keep moving around the plane when it’s safe to do so.

It is important to let your insurance know that you are pregnant in case you need any medical attention whilst you are abroad.

Travel vaccinations

You will need to have vaccinations before visiting certain countries, and it’s important to check this before you book a trip. Some of these vaccinations contain live bacteria, and may not be suitable for use during pregnancy, so speak to your practice nurse about this.

More information about travel during pregnancy.