Travel is probably in my top five greatest passions.
No, not probably. Definitely.
There’s just something about it—all of. From long car rides with protein bars and fruit, to running through airports to catch a flight, to the flight itself and the ridiculous little bags of peanuts that are entirely too small—it’s just an amazing experience.
And that doesn’t even cover the beauty and adventure of the destination. It’s an experience that is different each time, and the uniqueness of each journey only makes me fall more in love with it.
I can’t remember a time that I didn’t love traveling.
Until last week.
First of all, I was 26 weeks pregnant—and never believed anyone when they said it becomes more difficult to travel the further along you get.
So there was the whole growing bump—extra stress on the body—I hurt my back two days before we left thing, and then there was the airport thing.
Yea—the airport thing? Not cool.
Daniel and I changed our flights the day before we left so that we could be on an earlier flight from Dallas to California. We even left town early (we live two hours from DFW Airport) to get to the airport early. Even still, we arrived at the airport with just enough time to grab dinner before boarding. As we were eating, my husband got a notification on his phone app that our flight had been delayed an hour. We weren’t discouraged at first, as we would still be leaving three hours sooner than the original flight.
We did notice, however, hundreds of people in line backed up through the terminal, waiting to speak to an agent about their flight.
We started to become concerned when our fight time kept being pushed back and we overheard someone say all the flights were being cancelled. Because I have travelled so much (likeway more than the average person) I knew that if there was a chance that this would happen to us, I wanted to be among the first in line to get on a new flight.
One thing led to another, our flight was indeed cancelled, and so was the next one we were placed on..
and the next one..
and then the next one…
We were then placed on standby for the very last option. We were numbers 27 and 28.
I sat in the floor crying, just knowing that I needed a miracle from God in order to get on that plane and make it to California by the next morning for my 10am baby shower brunch.
By the grace of God, we were among the last four names to be called.
We made it to California by 1am, waited an hour and a half for a rental car, and then drove nearly four hours to our destination and arrived at 6am. We slept for two hours before waking up to get ready for our shower.
Altogether, we were traveling for 17 hours to get we were trying to go, and got a total of two hours of sleep.
I am pretty sure this would be hard on anyone, but man, it was especially hard on us with me being pregnant.
I never want to relive that experience, however, if I have to, I took away some super useful tips on how to survive. Had I known some of these things beforehand, I think it would have been a little less terrible.
- Drink water – seriously, drink as much water as you can. I cannot explain to you what a huge difference it makes for me (personally) to stay hydrated. I mean, first of all, it sounds counterintuitive, but all of the swelling that comes with being pregnant (not to mention sitting for a million hours) is flushed out when you take in more water. It also helped me to not want to eat unnecessarily just because I was randomly awake and bored on a plane. It also meant I had to get up to go to the bathroom.
- Keep moving – Every time I got up to go to the bathroom on that flight I felt like a new person. I did have one flight attendant make an off remark to me about getting up so much, but mostly people were super understanding. Moving around also helped with the swelling in my legs, and it also helped with my back not getting too stressed from staying in one position.
- Carry a pillow – Man, I think if I had carried a pillow it would have made a drastic difference. I would have not only had a better way and place to rest my head, but I could have used it behind my back, under my hips, or between my knees to relieve pressure in certain areas of my body. Lesson learned.
- Stretch – No matter how ridiculous you think you might look, find ways to stretch in the car or on the plane. If you have a layover in the airport, take advantage of the opportunity to walk around and to really have room to stretch your muscles. Don’t let your muscles get so tight that you are in pain.
- Time your trip – If at all possible, choose flights that leave in the morning when you would already be wide awake. Avoid taking flights that could be delayed into the middle of the night and throw off your sleep patterns. It is hard enough to get rest as it is when you are pregnant, don’t compromise any more than you have to. It is definitely a time in which it is okay to spend an extra $15 per ticket for a more reasonable flight time.
- Dress comfortably – I know people like to dress super cute to travel, but I could not be more thankful that I was wearing legging and running shoes and running jacket for this trip. If I had been wearing my “nice” clothes I probably would have been stripping on that plane—and then I would have been arrested when we landed.
- Eat healthy – It can be so tempting to get quick and unhealthy food when you are traveling and in a rush, but there’s nothing worse than already feeling uncomfortable sitting for hours and hours and then having gas on top of that. Choose foods that you know are good for you and easy on your digestive system.
I am sure there are way more tools an tips for this—so share them with me in the comments! This was a first for me, but we are at it again with more travel next week, and then more next month- and I am only getting more pregnant.
Most importantly, if you are traveling and you are pregnant and uncomfortable, try to stay calm. I tend to reach a limit where I just can’t handle any more stress, and if I make a choice to breathe and stay calm, the outcome is usually far better.