Top tips for travel during pregnancy

Planning a relaxing babymoon before your bundle of joy arrives? Or maybe you’re having to travel for work, or a family get together. Whatever your reason for travelling, do it safely and as comfortably as you can.

We know you might be feeling anxious, so we’ve put together a handy guide to help whether you’re flying while pregnant or travelling another way.

Can you travel when you’re pregnant?

All airlines will have their own rules and regulations around flying when pregnant. But most will generally let you fly until you’re 36 weeks pregnant – or 32 weeks if you’re having more than one baby.

Once you reach the end of your second trimester, some airlines may ask for a ‘fit to fly’ letter from your doctor or midwife.

This letter will confirm your expected due date and that there aren’t any complications with your pregnancy.

Before you book your flight, double check with your airline or holiday operator to see what their rules are for pregnant passengers.

When is the best time to fly during pregnancy?

The NHS advises that it’s usually safe to fly while you’re pregnant. All pregnancies are completely different and you may find the ‘best’ time to travel for you is different compared to others.

Some women may avoid flying in early pregnancy as sickness tends to be worse in the first 12 weeks. And after you get to 28 weeks, your airline may ask for a letter from your GP or midwife confirming you’re fit to fly.

For more information, the NHS is a good source for more reliable information on travelling while pregnant.

Tips for flying when pregnant

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Move around the plane as often as possible
  • Take your maternity notes in your hand luggage. They might come in handy if you need medical help on the flight or when you arrive at your destination
  • Wear compression or support stockings to help reduce swelling and prevent deep vein thrombosis
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and take your shoes off to reduce swelling

Sailing while pregnant


Mixing morning sickness with motion sickness is no joke. It’s possible to travel by boat safely during pregnancy but consider where you’re travelling to and what the sea conditions might be like.

Travelling by ferry


While airlines tend to have fairly similar regulations across the industry, ferry operators have their own rules and restrictions.

Some companies have no restrictions for pregnant women at all, while others won’t allow you to travel if you’re more than 28 weeks pregnant .

Companies may even have different restrictions on different routes, for example on high-speed sailings.

Before you book your ferry trip, check the company’s terms and conditions or get in touch with them to ask for confirmation.

Travelling by cruise ship


Unlike ferry companies, most cruise lines have standard rules when it comes to pregnancy. They stipulate that if you’re due to enter your 24th week of pregnancy during the cruise, you won’t be able to sail.

Not going to reach week 24 during your cruise? You may still need to send a letter or email, similar to a ‘fit to fly’ letter, confirming that you’re fit to travel.

The main areas to avoid for pregnant women are those at risk of diseases and illnesses such as malaria, yellow fever or Zika .

These diseases can have serious consequences in pregnancy, for both mother and baby, so the general rule is to avoid non-essential travel if possible.

If you really need to go to a country where these diseases are active, it’s important to contact your midwife or GP before travelling. They should be able to give you the most up-to-date health advice and information.

If you’re travelling while pregnant, the last thing you want to worry about is whether you and baby are properly protected. So, it’s important that you’ve got suitable travel insurance in place – and that you check your policy carefully.

For example, if you’ve had any complications with your pregnancy, you’ll need to declare this like you would with any other pre-existing medical conditions.

And if your expected delivery date is less than 12 weeks after the end of your trip, some policies – like ours – may not cover you. That’s 16 weeks if you’re having more than one baby.



Keep your growing family covered

Finding cover for you and your family doesn’t have to be difficult. Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance, underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, can be tailored to suit your individual needs – giving you peace of mind that you’re covered.

Get a quote


Other helpful travel guides

Check out some of our other guides to make sure you’re always in the know when it comes to your travels.

Flying with children

Handy hints and tips to think about before you jet off with kids

Learn more
Pre-existing condition?

Complications with your pregnancy? Make sure you’re covered

Find out more
Flight disruption

Unsure whether you’re entitled to flight delay compensation?

Find out more

Any questions?

Check out our most frequently asked questions about travel insurance. If you still need to talk to us, our friendly team will be happy to help. 

Call 0345 305 2621

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This guide aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any decision, financial or otherwise.. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this guide. All information correct at date of publication 1 June 2020

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE (GLISE) a German insurance company. UK Branch office: Plantation Place, 30 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3AJ, company number SE000083. Authorised by Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority: register number 769884. Details about the extent of GLISE’s authorisation and regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from the insurer on request.

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance is sold and administered by Hood Travel Limited, registered at Companies House 08318836. Hood Travel is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 597211. Hood Travel Limited’s registered address is at 1st Floor Maitland House, Warrior Square, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 2JY.