All the best places to travel while pregnant.
Getting pregnant doesn’t have to mean the adventure is over for the next nine months. In fact, there are a ton of exciting trips still out there for mamas-to-be, regardless of which trimester you’re in. Always talk to your doctor before booking any trips, and make sure to discuss which adventures are right for you and your growing baby.
First Trimester: Safari in Botswana
There have never been any reported cases of Zika in this peaceful nation, making it a great option for pregnant travelers. Botswana is paving a new path of conservation with its sustainable safari practices, where reusable water bottles are standard, and low poaching rates and strict eco-tourism standards make for a memorable safari experience. The country is home to the Big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, and leopard), and the world’s largest inland delta (the Okavango Delta). Travel with Abercrombie & Kent to ensure a comfortable experience of luggage handling, luxury accommodations (don’t miss Sanctuary Baines’ Camp), and 24/7 on-call support. Dry season (May to October) is the best time to visit to avoid the heat and the mosquitos and make sure to stay hydrated and eat something small before morning game drives to help ward off morning sickness.
First Trimester: Paddleboarding in Bora Bora
WHERE: Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Start your morning with a customized fresh-pressed juice and a prenatal massage at the Miri Miri Spa by Clarins before taking to the crystal clear water on one of the complimentary stand-up paddleboards lining the beach at the St. Regis Bora Bora. The resort was used for filming the movie Couple’s Retreat, but it’s ideal for a pre-baby retreat with luxurious overwater villas, personal butlers, and an easy transfer to a high-quality medical clinic on the main island of Vaitape to ease fears of being so far from home.
First Trimester: The Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt
WHERE: Cairo, Egypt
A trip to Cairo early in the pregnancy is a great way to check off a bucket list trip before the little ones arrive. Although pregnant women may need to skip the camel ride to the pyramids, air-conditioned shuttle buses can transport moms-to-be and their pregnant bellies directly to the most scenic spots for photoshoots and even right up to the pyramids themselves to minimize time on their feet. For those not wanting to deal with the heat, the Marriott Mena House offers pyramid view hotel rooms and suites so couples can watch the sunrise over the pyramids without getting out of their pajamas.
First Trimester: Gaucho BBQ in Uruguay
WHERE: Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
Uruguay is one of the last remaining South American countries without any reported Zika cases, and the up-and-coming resort destination of Jose Ignacio is the perfect place to relax before entering parenthood. At Playa Vik Jose Ignacio, fire pits line the beaches, where evening asados (traditional gaucho-style barbeques) can be arranged so couples can fill up on Uruguay’s famous grass-fed beef while watching the sunset.
First Trimester: Waterfalls in Turkey
WHERE: Antalya, Turkey
Decreased energy during the first trimester means hiking to a waterfall may not be the first choice for expectant moms, which is why the waterfalls just outside of Turkey’s swanky beach town of Antalya are the perfect exotic compromise. Public buses or minibusses bring visitors to Duden Waterfall, which is divided into two separate falls, the Upper Duden and the Lower Duden. Even more adventurous soon-to-be-parents can enter a cave beneath the Upper Duden to feel the power of the falls from inside a magical outcropping, while the Lower Duden is best viewed by boat from the sea.
First Trimester: The Valley of the Dead in Chile
WHERE: Atacama Desert, Chile
Disregard the ominous sounding name and book a trip to the Valle de Marte (a.k.a. Valle de La Muerte, or Death Valley in English) for an unforgettable babymoon. Zika is a non-issue in Chile, where mosquitos are rarely seen buzzing through Death Valley’s arid climate; in fact, the landscape is so Mars-like that NASA has used the valley as a training site for Mars missions. A short 13 km drive from San Pedro puts couples in the heart of this insane terrain, but be sure to book with a guide since there is no cell phone reception in the valley, and guides are always equipped with a satellite phone in the case of an emergency.
Second Trimester: Hiking in Switzerland
WHERE: Adelboden, Switzerland
The minute the energy returns in the second trimester is the best time to book a trip to Switzerland to enjoy the scenic day hikes of Adelboden (although April through June is the ideal time to avoid crowds and see the country in bloom). The town is just a short train ride from Zurich with a Swiss Travel Pass, and there are tons of gentle hikes and nature walks that are safe for pregnant women. Couples can unwind in the thermal spa at The Cambrian, a member of Design Hotels—which has been heated to exactly the highest temperature a pregnant woman is allowed to bathe in—before heading to a romantic dinner of fondue (all of the fondue in this region is made with pasteurized cheese).
Second Trimester: Truffle Hunting in Croatia
WHERE: Rovinj, Croatia
Although having a heightened sense of smell during the second trimester may seem like a superpower when it comes to hunting the black diamonds of Croatia, it’s best to leave black truffle hunting to the pros and their highly trained dogs at Zigante Tartufi. The company offers hour-long guided truffle hunts for couples to tag along with a trained Istrian truffle hunter and his dogs to uncover these delicious gems in the Motovun forest. Grab a few bottles of truffle oil from the gift shop so you can conjure up your truffle hunting memories at home after your baby arrives. For some rest and relaxation, head to the coastal retreat at the Hotel Monte Mulini, a member of Leading Hotels of the World.
Second Trimester: Volcano Cooking Lessons in the Azores
WHERE: São Miguel, Azores
The volcanic vents that fume beneath the ground in Furnas, a town located 45 minutes from the capital city of Ponta Delgada, have been used by locals for hundreds of years for everything from thermal baths to natural heat sources for cooking the regional specialty Cozido das Furnas. Cozido is a sort of stew made with layers of chicken, blood sausage, pork, beef, spices, and vegetables. Chefs at Caldeiras & Vulcões Restaurant prepare the dish at night and bring it to a geothermal hot spot early in the morning, where visitors are invited to come watch the pots get unearthed a few hours before they are set to appear on the table at the restaurant. Call early to reserve a table (the dish requires 24 hours notice), and to see what time you can arrive to help unearth your dinner.
Second Trimester: The Culinary Back Streets of Tbilisi
WHERE: Tbilisi, Georgia
Georgian food is the stuff pregnancy cravings are made of, where bread is stuffed with a melty mixture of cheesy and eggs (khachapuri), steamed soup dumplings are served hot and eaten upside down (khinkali), and strings of candy-colored desserts made with grape juice from leftover wine harvests (churchkhela) hang from hooks at nearly every storefront. Start with a cheese tasting at The Kitchen inside Rooms Hotel Tbilisi, and then head out on a cuisine quest on your own or with a local tour guide like Natia Khidasheli.
Second Trimester: The Northern Lights in Greenland
WHERE: Nuuk, Greenland
Although the northern lights occur year-round, the best chance to see them in Greenland is between September and April. At this point in the pregnancy, long flights aren’t ideal, so break up the journey with a short stopover in Reykjavik, Iceland, before boarding the 3 and a half hour flight to Nuuk, Greenland. Nuuk is the country’s capital city and is part of the most populated district in the country. The Hans Egede Hotel offers a great starting point for hunting the northern lights, as it boasts free WiFi and private bathrooms for each hotel room (both luxuries in Greenland). Be sure to book a sailing tour through the fjords for the best chance to see the lights.
Third Trimester: The Cactus Forest in Tucson
WHERE: Tucson, Arizona
During the third trimester, most doctors recommend sticking closer to home (i.e., no more international travel), but a visit to Tucson’s Saguaro National Park (a.k.a. the cactus forest) feels as foreign as anything you’ll find overseas. The park is open 24 hours for walk-in visitors (vehicles can enter starting at 7 a.m.), and it’s best to get an early start to enjoy the cooler morning temperatures and beautiful sunrises that spread vibrant colors between the arms of the park’s most exotic cacti. Trails are spread throughout the park and range from a 2-mile loop to a 5.8-mile loop, but there is also an 8-mile scenic drive as an option in case hiking plans fall through.
Third Trimester: Camping in the Poconos
WHERE: Third Trimester: Camping in the Poconos
Going off the grid may not be wise during this crucial time in your pregnancy, but Canaan Township’s Keen Lake campground not only offers a serene mountain landscape and multiple accommodation options (remote tent camping spots, RV hookups, cabin rentals, etc.), but it is also located less than 15 minutes to a nearby hospital in case your baby decides to arrive early.
Third Trimester: Marfa Lights in Texas
WHERE: Marfa, Texas
Few natural phenomena can compete with the sheer mystery of this tiny Texas town’s famous lights. The Marfa Lights appear randomly at night throughout the year, and scientists have yet to figure out where they come from, why they appear, or what they even are. But that doesn’t stop hundreds of visitors making the trip out each year to hunt these elusive lights at night just outside Marfa’s city limits. Book a yurt, teepee, safari tent, tiny home, or trailer at Marfa’s quirky El Cosmico to round out this bizarre experience.
Third Trimester: Swamp Tour in Louisiana
WHERE: New Orleans, Louisiana
Glide past gators on an authentic Louisiana swamp tour with Cajun Encounters, one of the few companies in Louisiana that allow pregnant passengers on their metal swamp boats. Float beneath mossy trees through the flooded swamp plains on a memorable journey through the south.