The following is a guest post by Annie Horcasitas of Real Mommy Chronicles
Weddings can be stressful, destination weddings even more stressful. Attending a destination wedding while pregnant? You’re probably going to wish you were allowed to take some Xanax.
So let me lower your stress and anxiety a bit. Grab a cupcake, put your (swollen) feet up, and read on for some travel survival tips…
1. Allow time to deflate after flying.
Our bodies can do amazing things. Like, overcome life-threatening illnesses. And create tiny human beings and then push them out into the world. They also do very strange things, especially when we are pregnant. Most of those weird things are too gory or gooey to get into here – okay, and don’t really apply to this topic, but I love bringing them up anyway. But several pregnancy ‘tricks’ will almost definitely take place if your destination wedding requires plane travel.
By the end of my first pregnancy, it was truly hard to tell me apart from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters. Flying, and really, travel in general, can have this same effect on pregnant women. Drink water. Gallons and gallons of water. If the flight attendants don’t hate you by the end of your flight, you have not asked for enough water.
Don’t be afraid to ask for several glasses at a time. And obviously bring your own bottle along, which you can also fill up with the cups of water they give you, thereby astounding them when you hold up two empty glasses three seconds later and request more. Try to walk up and down the aisles and even put your feet up if possible. These tips apply to the whole trip, really.
Traveling can mess with our bodies more than we anticipate, and everything is exacerbated when we are pregnant. Take time out each day during the trip to lay down, put your feet up, and guzzle some bottles water. Trust me, as much as it makes a cool party trick to press into your memory-foam ankles and wait two full minutes for the imprint to disappear, it doesn’t feel good. Plus, cankles aren’t really a good look on anyone, no matter how pretty your shoes are.
2. Prioritize your own comfort over any requested dress codes.
Have you ever tried to find a black tie gown while pregnant? Unless you are a major celebrity and have stylists showing you the best possible options – at no cost to you, mind you – it is a feat that I must admit I have not been able to conquer. I finally found a situation where I am thankful that so many people have forsaken tradition and formalities.
Even weddings with black tie requests are guaranteed to have guests in cocktail dresses. As a pregnant woman, you are 100% allowed to be one of those guests. Find the dress that is most flattering to your bulging tummy and blossoming tatas and be sure to pack a pair of fold-up flats in your clutch. If you style your hair nicely and put on some eye makeup or a red lip nobody will notice a thing but your beauty and your lovely belly.
3. Bring a few meal bars.
The Do Not Eat (Or Drink) list is one of the definite downsides to pregnancy. Being in an exotic location where the fish in their ceviche is fresher than Andre 3000’s wardrobe, their cheese is infamously, deliciously moldy (and unpasteurized) or their rum is known to make magic in any cocktail is super painful when you’re pregnant and can’t experience those local specialties.
Not only do you find yourself missing out on some of the food and beverages a destination is know for, but you also often can’t control when food is served at wedding events or if you will be able to consume it.
Bringing a few meal bars on the trip with you ensures that even if you aren’t able to try to the seared tuna, you at least won’t suffer from hunger pains. Encountering a pregnant woman who has been denied food and doesn’t see anything in sight she can comfortably eat is akin to stumbling upon a bear. A bear that just stubbed it’s paw. And was stung by a bee. People will flee and fear for their life and that simply isn’t what you want to be remembered for during this event.
For many people, attending a destination wedding means…new wardrobe! For a pregnant woman, it means…how the heck am I supposed to find a bathing suit that fits me when the maternity stores are still carrying sweaters?! Buying maternity clothes is no small task even under normal conditions. By the time your baby is born you will probably never want to see a bow, flower or fabric belt/tie ever again. Leggings? The sight of them will make you want to vomit. Suddenly you have to find cute, out-of-season clothing that fits your ever-changing body. (In this case, the word ‘changing’ obviously means ‘ballooning.’ ) Try the maternity stores, look online and even try some tunics to pair with your trusty old leggings or maxi dresses.
Once you’ve done the best you can, accessorize. Statement necklaces (which, have the added benefit of highlighting one of the perks of pregnancy, ahem.) Cocktail rings. Bold, colorful, chunky bracelets. Decorate yourself. Coco Chanel said to always take off one piece of jewelry before leaving the house. My darlings, Coco never had children. Let me tell you that the pregnancy version of this mantra (especially if not feeling super fabulous in your outfit) is to always put on one more piece of jewelry than you usually would.
5. Be prepared to watch your unborn child’s pre-school tuition go down the drain.
When you are on the verge of bringing a new human being into the world who will rely on you for love, care…and lots and lots of diapers, money begins to rise to the top of your list of priorities. You may find yourself price checking which can of beans is ten cents less than the other or debating whether you really need that $100 haircut or if a simple pass through with the Flowbee your Aunt Laura got you in 1993 will suffice for now.
Depending on the location of a destination wedding (as well as the generosity and thoughtfulness of the hosts), you can sometimes end up spending more than you anticipated simply to be present for your friend. Once you have decided to attend the destination wedding in question, there aren’t too many ways to solve this problem.
The best solution I have come up with is to trick myself. I pretend that someone robbed me of $3,000. This way, if the destination wedding is fun you at least have the memories and mementos and Hey! It’s like they are a free, unexpected bonus! (Most robbers don’t turn over photos of you sipping from a coconut or give you an apron with the (naked) statue of David on it as they hold you up and take all of your money. *most*) Again, there aren’t too many ways to defer the costs that come with attending a destination wedding, so Jedi mind tricks are really the way to go on this one. The silver lining? One more school year with your child in your care instead of that prestigious preschool you had been eyeing!
Annie Horcasitas has taken a break from teaching to raise her two (soon to be three!) young boys. She lives in Brooklyn with her family, where they focus much of their life around food, and any remaining energy on dance parties and karaoke. Annie is the blogger behind www.RealMommyChronicles.com where you can laugh at her embarrassing moments, gossip about mommy politics, drool over easy recipes or read about urine…which seems to somehow play way too large of a role in her life.