Traveling While Pregnant: 3 Moms Share Their Packing Secrets

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Over the past couple of months, I happened to have three lovely pregnant friends all traveling in Europe and the Middle East at more or less the same time. As their pictures popped up in my Instagram feed, I was so impressed at their ability to look so chic while traveling at various stages of pregnancy. I just finished my third pregnancy and know how hard it can be to dress nicely (much less while traveling in foreign countries)! I emailed each of them and asked if they’d be willing to share their style wisdom, and they all agreed.


Erica, 4 Months Pregnant | Italy

Erica of North Meets South went to Italy with her husband for 11 days at 16 weeks along. That’s such an awkward time for dressing, as you’re often too round for most of your regular wardrobe but not nearly big enough to pull off most maternity clothes. Erica still managed to look awesome! Here are her tips:

Tip #1: Stick to Jersey Knits

“Jersey knits are the best for both pregnancy (stretchy!) and traveling (light-weight!), and if worn in black, white or gray, they can look fairly chic. Bonus points for a monochromatic look.”

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Tip #2: Pack Only One Color Scheme

“I once read that you should pack only one color scheme and that tip changed my life. I used to be the worst over-packer, but I fit enough clothes for 11 days in Italy in a carry-on with room and outfits to spare. As you can see, my color scheme of choice is black, white, and gray with pops from my shoes and accessories. Pick whichever color scheme makes you feel fabulous, pack minimally, and show off your beautiful changing body!”


Tip #3: Say Yes to the Vest!

“I was an avid fan of vests pre-pregnancy, but now, I especially love a waist-defining vest when my middle is anything but. In fact, I kept thinking I had a flat stomach in this outfit until I looked down.”



Janssen, 4 Months Pregnant | London

Janssen of Everyday Reading spent her fourth month of pregnancy touring Europe with her husband and two small children before settling in London for a semester so her husband can attend the London Business School. Here are her 3 must-have pieces:

Must-Have #1: A Scarf

“Especially if you’re traveling in Europe, where basically EVERY woman is wearing a scarf. Not only do I love that it makes me look less like a tourist, it has the added benefit of hiding that baby bump, especially if you’re in the lumpy part of pregnancy still. And if the train or plane or theater is cold, it works as a makeshift blanket. ”

Scarf and Bracelets

Must-Have #2: A Structured Jacket

“When I’m pregnant, cardigans are not my favorite. They’re just too drapey, I think, and easily make an outfit more frumpy than pulled together. A jacket with some structure works a lot better, I’ve found. This pregnancy, I’ve been reaching for my leather jacket, my denim jacket, and my colored raincoat the most frequently. I love how they finish off an outfit, and they draw attention away from my belly.”
Twice Clothing Review

Must-Have #3: Maternity Pants

“I have zero interest in squeezing into my regular jeans during pregnancy or trying to make do with the rubber band trick. An elastic waistband is always my choice, especially when I’m traveling (sitting for hours on an airplane with a button and zipper digging into my stomach? No thanks!). A couple of maternity pants or leggings go a long way. This time around, I’ve been especially loving my faux leather leggings and these skinny jeans.”

Best maternity jeans


Preethi, 7 Months Pregnant | The Middle East

I was more than a little blown away by Preethi’s of Lace, Etc.‘s trip; not only did she visit seven countries, but she did so with her husband, two children, AND a seven-month pregnant belly. She’s not all that far behind me, and she was off riding camels and visiting Petra while I could barely put on shoes.


“We recently had the amazing opportunity to travel in the Middle East. Since we were traveling with our two little kids, we were trying to pack as light as possible.  We took 2 carry-on sized suitcases total, so that meant one adult + one kid per small suitcase. Here are some tips that helped me maximize my comfortable, portable, maternity-friendly options!”

Tip #1: Pack Clothes That Can Pull Double Duty  

“Since we had very little space, I only packed items that could work in multiple circumstances. For instance, this black maxi dress was great for travel days (so comfortable on a long flight!), could be dressed up for church, and was plenty modest for religious sites when paired with a lightweight scarf. The knit skirt worked both as a beach cover up as well as paired with a blazer for cooler weather.”

Tip #2: Think Layers

“Most of the places we traveled were ridiculously hot, so the focus was on wearing as few layers as possible. However, our last stop was significantly cooler. I didn’t want to pack entirely different outfits for just a few days, so I worked to use items that I was already packing for hot weather. For example, I wore the blue oxford by itself over a skirt when it was steamy. I also wore the striped maternity dress solo. When we got to the cooler temps, I threw the button-down on underneath the dress. Instant fresh look + warmth.”
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Tip #3: Don’t Pack Anything Irreplaceable

“About 36 hours into our month-long trip, I splashed olive oil from a Greek salad all over my pink skirt. I tried everything from Tide pens and Shout wipes to plain old soap and water to try to get the stain out, but to no avail. So that skirt automatically became my “travel day” outfit; whenever I knew we’d be riding (and eating) in a car or plane for a while, I’d throw on that skirt because it was basically already ruined. I was really glad I’d decided against packing my favorite silk dress or bright white shift [dress]. And though I managed to keep my striped maternity dress stain-free, I was glad I’d purchased a spare of it before leaving on our trip (especially when the airline lost our luggage for three days). Point being, if you’ll cry many tears if something you pack gets stained/torn/lost, it’s probably best to leave it at home (especially if you have small children in tow).”
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Tip #4: Pack Some Fun Jewelry and Makeup to Spice up Your Outfits

“Even when I was wearing the same outfit for what felt like the 10th time that trip, I always made sure to do my makeup and throw on a fun necklace. It’s amazing what a little makeup and a pretty necklace can do to make you feel less travel-worn!”

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Have you traveled while pregnant? What are your best tips and must-haves for dressing a bump while abroad? Share in the comments!

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