Help me plan a holiday
July 20, 2012 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Husband and I want to take a holiday during the school holiday break (I know, but we're teachers) in September and/or December (in the lead up to Christmas) this year. We live in Melbourne, Australia. The major catch - I'll be 5 or 7 months pregnant, depending when we go.

- Do I want to be on a plane for more than an hour or so at those points? The December trip is probably more of a concern. First timer here, I don't know.
- we don't want to go within Victoria. Interstate or NZ seem most likely because of the previous caveat
- I like nature and cities and culture. And beaches. So I'm pretty open to the kind of holiday. But being pregnant limits the kinds of activities we can do and the kinds of food I can eat. In fact, it is a pretty serious limitation because there are many sports I can't do and much wine I won't be drinking. And cheeses I won't be consuming.
-We have a budget of about $2-4000 for a trip but would happily spend considerably less! We'll have about 10 days.

So I guess there are two types of answers that will work
- previously pregnant mefites-- what did you feel like doing at that/those stages? I know 5 months is not that far in... but would you have been up for a 3 hour plan ride? How tired were you? I know this varies. But anecdata would be something.
- travelling mefites-- thoughts on good locations within that budget and time frame?
posted by jojobobo to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
I was 7 months pregnant on my 30th birthday. I didn't fly anywhere, but regularly drove for over 5 hours to my hometown to visit my parents. I was not tired at all during the whole pregnancy, still walked a couple of kays to the bus interchange to get to work, still did shift work, still did all the cleaning and cooking and whatnot.

What I did notice was just the general discomfort of having this big lump in my belly. At 5 months, it ain't so big. At 7 months, it's getting big, and it's getting more difficult to get comfortable sitting or sleeping. Your bladder is getting more insistent at being emptied regularly. Getting out of bed involves a rolling move that takes effort, not the pre-pregnancy sitting up and bouncing out. Standing up from a seated position starts to become that belly-first-while-pushing-yourself-up-with-your-arms-from-the-chair move.

I would recommend going during the September holidays because your bump won't be quite so big, and you'll be more comfortable sleeping, sitting, etc.

I'm usually the last person to recommend Canberra as a holiday destination, but in September they'll have Floriade. While the site seems to shout 'SPECIAL EVENTS LIKE LEONA EDMISTON', just walking around the park which has been planted with squillions of flowers is lovely, and there's plenty of seating and places to stop and people-watch or gaze at acres of flowers. The National Gallery, Questacon, the War Memorial, the Film & Sound Archive, all the standard tourist destinations are fascinating (if you haven't been there 20 times like this cynical old cow).

Good accommodation deals can be found if you don't insist on staying at the motels in the city centre. I'd search the and sites to find something that suits.

And hey, congrats on the babby! Enjoy your holiday, no matter where you go.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:06 AM on July 20, 2012

I would definitely recommend travelling at 5 months pregnant. At that point, I was feeling great. Much better than first or third trimester - no longer nauseous, lots of energy, still comfortable physically. A 3-hour plane ride at that time would be no problem at all.

At 7 months you would probably still feel fine, but it isn't as much of a guarantee.
posted by barnoley at 5:27 AM on July 20, 2012

You can probably do either, but I recommend it at 5 months. I traveled for work at 23 and 27 weeks. I was fine both times, but it was noticeably easier to travel earlier. Another consideration is the heat, and that's why I mostly think you should go earlier. I am 32 weeks right now and this east coast USA heat wave has been taking a huge toll on me. Huge.

Also, not sure if you've had nausea, but be prepared to deal with it coming back on the flight. I was not prepared for this. Other than that, no real issues.
posted by smalls at 5:39 AM on July 20, 2012

yeah, another vote for 5 months. the first trimester, you can be unexpectedly wiped out -- I had no nausea, but could barely get off the couch for the simplest of To Do List items -- and by 7 months, you get into the highest varience period of experience -- some people are energetic and happy, others are already saying "get this thing out of me," and other people can hardly waddle from the belly and thick ankles. plus, some airlines start to get nervous about letting you aboard as you approach 30 weeks. 5 months is probably just about perfect in terms of comfort and energy.

eat the cheese! and maybe at least taste some of the wine! you won't have a real vacation again for a long time (you'll either be catching up on sleep or wrangling grumpy kids), so it's worth getting everything out of it that you can. your bump will come through just fine.
posted by acm at 7:02 AM on July 20, 2012

I did four cross-country (US) flights at five months and was totally fine. Compression stockings are your friend. Don't lift heavy things, stay well-hydrated, and get up and move around a lot. I did not feel restricted in my activity at all at that point, and hadn't gained much weight, so it was not very challenging physically. I did not experience any nausea.

At 7 months, I did a one-hour flight to a very warm destination, and definitely struggled with the heat and fatigue, but am glad to have gone. I also second acm on the cheese & wine. Live it up! Enjoy your vacation!
posted by judith at 7:20 AM on July 20, 2012

At 4 months my sister went to Fiji, no problems.
I would not go there, that's me.

Based on your interests: Go to NZ. I'd suggest the Bay of Isles, or points north given your timing and much, and Auckland has decent culture.
posted by Mezentian at 10:46 AM on July 20, 2012

I would rent a house in Hervey Bay. Fly to Brisbane and drive up. It's lovely and ridiculously relaxing.
posted by mattoxic at 7:14 PM on July 20, 2012

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