Where in the world can we go, now that I'm pregnant?
February 12, 2014 6:37 PM   Subscribe

So turns out I'm not too old to have babies. But we did have to cancel a big trip because of the news. Where can we go instead? Everywhere on my shortlist is off-limits.

I'm 7 (almost 8) weeks pregnant. Hooray! We had to cancel the trip that we're supposed to be on right now. Boo. I need ideas for something we can do instead. We're looking at April/May/June and MAYBE into July. The places I really want to go include Ecuador, India, Madagascar, backwoods China, and Philippines. Those are all off-limits to me now, mostly because malaria (among other issues). Where in the world could we go instead?

-I'm not interested in European cities.
-We have been talking about Manitoba for polar bears and beluga whales, but it looks like that doesn't really pick up until July, which makes me worry that I'll be too pregnant to really do anything once we're there.
-I don't want to go anywhere with good diving, as I can't do that now either.
-We're very anti-cruise.
posted by tealcake to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I remember when my wife was pregnant, it was easier (to a certain degree) to do things in the final trimester (which I guess would be July). On the flip side, Japanese culture (my wife is from Japan) says to "take it easy" in the first trimester (going on an airplane would be considered unthinkable). My wife was too sick with morning sickness for the first few months to consider doing anything (I have no idea how North American women can work until just before the due date! Massive respect!).

Since water and food-borne disease is an issue, why not stay in North America?

The "Pacific Northwest" at this time of year is pretty sweet. It's warm, there are longer days, brilliant blue skies and puffy white clouds, and plenty of flowers (starting in March).

The San Juan and Gulf Islands near Seattle and Vancouver have tons of little resorts, and, if you can manage it, you can go kayaking, or just take it easy.

Whistler north of Vancouver is a fantastic spring resort. You don't have to ski, but can go hiking. There are easy hikes around the resort, and more moderate ones, like the day hike up to Black Tusk.

Vancouver Island is also wonderful in the spring, with so many things to do. Tofino and Ucluelet bookend a fantastic "long beach", and there are a bunch of eco-tourism outfits in the region.

Victoria (where I live) is a beautiful, walkable city surrounded by seashore and wild parks. Lots of coffee shops and bistros and art galleries, and a lot of local food. Lots of walking, hiking, biking, and cultural events.

Close to Vancouver as well, if you take the ferry - a spectacular 90 minute trip through the Gulf Islands.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:51 PM on February 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

We did Japan when my wife was pregnant with our first and had a fantastic time. There are "backwoods"parts of Japan too that are stunningly beautiful.
posted by smoke at 6:57 PM on February 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

My sister went to Mexico City when she was very pregnant, and she's not even very adventurous. Incidentally, I'm going in April, and I've read that's a very good time of year to go.
posted by queens86 at 7:04 PM on February 12, 2014

Buenos Aires or Rio! No need for malaria pills in the cities.
posted by amaire at 7:14 PM on February 12, 2014

It sounds like you wanted to go somewhere with great scenery and nature, but if you're pregnant, you also want to be reasonably close to a decent hospital and someplace that you can have a good holiday if you don't feel like moving for three days except to eat/pee. What about New Zealand? Very laid back, spectacular scenery and you can amble around a beach for a few days or go kayak through fjords, and the place is pregnancy-friendly with excellent medical care.
posted by viggorlijah at 7:21 PM on February 12, 2014 [7 favorites]

Cape Town. I just moved back at seven months pregnant. There's no malaria in CPT itself and none really in the country unless you are headed to Mpumalanga and maybe Kruger (although I travelled to both in my sixth month with no worries -- malaria season isn't until summer there anyway, which is to say our winter). You could do a safari at someplace like Aquila Private Reserve or stick to Cape Point and see animals there. Cape Town, the Garden Route and surrounds could easily take two weeks.
posted by mrfuga0 at 7:26 PM on February 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

I decided maybe I should go to Newfoundland and asked a question about it here and it got me so, so fired up about the idea. So now I am going. Look into it!
posted by something something at 7:39 PM on February 12, 2014

I was supposed to go to Bali but got pregnant and had to cancel because of dengue on the island. We went to Fiji instead and it was seriously amazing, one of the best holidays ever. If you like diving but can't, even better. You don't need to dive to see the fish, the reef goes all the way up to shore at the resort we were at. Snorkel equipment and you're good to go. I can't recommend it enough (in fact we're going back for our next holiday but now we're taking two kids!)
posted by Jubey at 8:05 PM on February 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seconding mrfuga0 - Cape Town is amazing, and has something for everyone. Great art, culture, scenery, outdoorsy activities, areas of historical interest...everything.

And congratulations!
posted by guster4lovers at 8:20 PM on February 12, 2014

Keep in mind that a lot of foodie type things are not so fun either if you are restricting certain , cheeses and when.
You may also want to be conservative on the adventure front. It's pretty limiting! But somewhere like nz is a nice idea. Pretty scenery and gentle walks available- of course this early on you're probably still physically ok unless you have morning sickness? Fiji could be awesome but I'm not sure how confident I would be on the food hygiene front there. Depends how conservative you want to be I suppose.
posted by jojobobo at 9:43 PM on February 12, 2014

There's a lot of cool places in Guatemala that are at a high enough altitude that malaria is a non-issue, including the capital (grungy but underrated, beautiful cathedral, good museums), Antigua (colonial architecture, great food, lotta volcanoes), Lake Atitlan (jaw-dropping scenery, more great food, more volcanoes) and a bunch of Maya towns further west in the highlands.

It's another one of those places where most foreigners get foodborne diarrhea of some sort during the first week or two they're there, though, so if that's a concern this might not be the right time to go.
posted by this is a thing at 10:16 PM on February 12, 2014

Costa Rica
posted by Jacqueline at 10:22 PM on February 12, 2014

I lived in Japan, and am about your age and a few weeks farther along than you. Japan would be a great place to travel pregnant - very different from the West, interesting cities but never far from nature, clean, clean delicious food, great public transport etc. Modern and Historic etc. Bonus? They have SUPER cute (but not cloyingly cute) baby stuff.

We were going to go to Japan during my pregnancy, but my sister in California got engaged instead... sigh. We have long-weekend "layovers" in Hawaii, at least!

The San Juan Islands are also amazingly beautiful. I'd go there, too.

Columbus Direct offers travel insurance that will cover pregnancy-related issues up to 30 weeks. Have fun!
posted by jrobin276 at 1:34 AM on February 13, 2014

Seconding Costa Rica, or if you want a more "rugged" adventure, the highlands of Guatemala (Antigua, Santiago Atitlán, etc.) I went in 2010 and the elevation meant that I didn't need to take malaria pills.

posted by chainsofreedom at 5:39 AM on February 13, 2014

I spent a large part of my pregnancy in Thailand and Cambodia. In Thailand, we visited Koh Chang, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok. I would feel comfortable recommending any of those 3 to a pregnant traveler, although certain areas of Bangkok can be a little stressful. I loved the time spent on the island of Koh Chang, which is about a 5 hour drive from Bangkok. There is very low risk of malaria there. Our days were spent doing nothing more than floating in crystal clear water and eating delicious food, it was glorious. We did not go on any jungle treks as I felt that would have been too high risk. I was also very careful about eating street food and the quality of restaurants we visited. This was easy in Thailand and very difficult in Cambodia.

I had all my antenatal appointments and 20 week anomaly scan done in Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok. I was so happy with the medical care in Bangkok that I almost had my baby there instead of back home in Ireland.

If you have any questions, you can MeMail me.
posted by Ariadne at 6:07 AM on February 13, 2014

What are you looking for? Food, scenery, animals, culture, adventure, meeting new people, being isolated, hanging out by the pool? We went to Costa Rica when I was at 24 weeks. It was beautiful, getting around was not very difficult (although if I were to do it again I would take fewer long-distance trips on small bumpy vans); I couldn't do any ziplining but did some moderate hiking and lots of nature walks on hanging bridges, boat rides, butterfly gardens, swimming, etc., had no problems with food. It was not adventure travel by any means, and a lot of areas and attractions were pretty touristy, but the scenery was different and beautiful and there were lots of interesting birds, butterflies, and animals. There's no malaria risk in the central and western areas (rainforest, cloud forest, Pacific beaches) and only some seasonal risk in the east. The CDC Traveler's Health site lets you filter by country and will give pregnancy-specific information.
posted by nonane at 8:04 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

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