Flying and Morning Sickness: A Survival Guide

I never had that lovely pregnancy glow – just the morning sickness sweats! There wasn’t a toilet within a ten mile radius that I hadn’t stuck my head down. You see I was one of those unfortunate people that suffered morning sickness until my third trimester. I had a brief period of restate before it had an encore. On top of that, my morning sickness was more a morning, noon and night sickness having more oral expulsions than Krakatoa! For me, not travelling during pregnancy was a no no. I have to travel regularly for work and if I was doing that I was sure going to travel for pleasure! This meant I was going to have to learn to deal with flying and morning sickness.

I’m not saying you should travel while suffering from morning sickness and a doctor should always be consulted. But if like me you have no choice but to travel while morning sick here are my top tips for surviving  flying and morning sickness. I do mean surviving because when flying with morning sickness, this is the best outcome you can hope for:

Top 10 Tips for flying and morning sickness survival!

1. Fly Business or First

If at all possible fly business or first. I did both of these while pregnant and these journeys were far more pleasurable than when I was back in economy. But let’s face it – this is an option many of us can’t afford when travelling on our own dime.

2. Check out the seat configuration of the plane and choose your seat wisely. 

There is an art form to picking the perfect seat while suffering from morning sickness. An aisle seat is a must! It’s better anyway to help prevent deep vein thrombosis. It will help for all those joyous trips to the bathroom that pregnancy gives you. If for some reason you can’t get one, it’s always worth asking fellow passengers. In my experience, no one wants to be vomited on!

You definitely want to be close to the toilets in case your body gives you a five second warning about impending vom! But if bad toilet smells – yep we’ve all been on that flight – or toilet chemicals are your trigger then maybe give yourself a couple of rows leeway. Fortunately for me, neither of these were my triggers.

I always opted for an aisle row seat just in front of the bathroom next to the galley. It is always worth checking these seats, as on many planes these are in a two person configuration, which means if you have a midair-seatbelt-sign-on incident, only your partner is going to have to suffer watching you hurl in a little paper bag

3. Hoard the barf bags!

Thankfully present on all flights, these little bags will become your best friend. It is always worth having more than one with you, just in case.

Now the biggest tip I have, which was given to me by an ex-stewardess friend, is always carry a good supply of ziploc bags. These are great for times when you have no sick bags . But they are also great for those midair-seatbelt-sign-on incidents. You can put away your lovely bag of vomit discretely and trap in all those lovely aromas at the same time. Your fellow passengers are definitely going to thank you for that one!

Don’t forget to grab a couple of unused barf bags on your way off. I always kept a healthy supply of these in my handbag!

4. Bring on your own food. 

For me, food smells were my biggest trigger so I always carried on food for me and my hubby to limit the amount of airplane food odours around me and make sure I had something with me I knew I could stomach. For me, this meant a healthy supply of salt and vinegar crisps in the early days and some mints for breath freshener.

5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! 

I always informed the stewardess at the beginning of the flight about my pregnancy and asked for them to bring me a bottle of water. They never said no and I was always given a large bottle as it would save them time during a flight.

6. Sleep, sleep and more sleep

Easier said than done I know but if at all all possible try to rest. Travel can be exhausting anyway, let alone travelling while pregnant but I found the better rested I was, the more I was able to deal with the sickness.

7. Extra clothes and tie that hair up  

I doubt this one needs extra explanation

8. Remember your meds or any remedies doctor has prescribed

So these are my top tips for flying while morning sick. During my pregnancy I travelled to 10 countries. I did a few long haul flights all with success. Flying and morning sickness is never going to be a pleasurable experience but I hope, that if you have decided to or need to travel while suffering from morning sick, these tips will help.

Do you have any tips for surviving flying and morning sickness?

Flying with morning sickness, travelling with morning sickness

Flying with morning sickness, travelling with morning sickness

Flying and morning sickness: a survival guide Flying and morning sickness: a survival guide

If you want ideas for pre-baby travel why not check out our pre-baby travel bucket list or our baby moon ideas!

41 Comments

  1. August 31, 2016 / 11:50 am

    This is a very comprehensive list! Thanks! #BloggerClubUK

  2. September 7, 2016 / 10:54 pm

    This is a brilliant list – I wasn’t brave enough to fly when I was pregnant. I had really bad all day sickness that thankfully went away at 20 weeks but the thought of being somewhere enclosed that could be hot, made me think twice about it…these are fab tips and I wish I had read it then, as it might have enticed me to take a baby moon 😉 Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam

    • September 8, 2016 / 4:05 am

      Thanks. I have to fly for work so thought might aswell fly for pleasure too. I learnt these after a fair few flights so if I ever have morning sickness again i feel like I will be ready! Whoever called it morning sickness was a big liar tho!

  3. November 28, 2016 / 6:15 am

    I didn’t have to fly whilst pregnant but I had a container next to me int he car for the motorway. Don’t know why it is called morning sickness. Great tips. #marvellousmondays

    • November 28, 2016 / 6:22 am

      I carried ziploc bags with me wherever I went. Only now I’m not pregnant anymore do I realise how sick I actually was

  4. November 28, 2016 / 7:41 am

    A great post and I vividly remember flying to Scotland when I was pregnant with Poppy and felt like I was going to vom. Thankfully it was a short flight!! Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays

    • November 28, 2016 / 8:18 am

      It’s awful feeling like that when on a plane surrounded by people. I hope other people find this useful

  5. November 28, 2016 / 10:43 am

    Sensible suggestions, I do remember flying once with morning sickness on a work trip. Not a time I enjoyed! #MarvMondays

    • November 28, 2016 / 11:29 am

      I did 5 return long haul flights while pregnant and a couple of short haul. They weren’t great

  6. November 28, 2016 / 11:32 am

    I can’t even imagine! The Bus was bad enough!! #marvmondays

    • November 28, 2016 / 11:57 am

      Haha – luckily no bus travel for me! Second worst was the tube when people don’t give you seats

  7. November 29, 2016 / 7:47 pm

    I didnt have to fly with morning sickness thank goodness. Being in the house was bad enough far less travelling xx #MarvMondays

  8. May 4, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    Wow, I was only nauseous the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy, but I don’t think I would have enjoyed flying in those first weeks. Can’t imagine what it’s like to be sick the full 9 months. That sounds awful enough without having to fly. So brave of you! We did a 5-hour flight to Egypt at 20 weeks, but by then I was feeling fine if somewhat bulky… Great tips!

    • May 4, 2017 / 7:38 pm

      Thank you! The morning sickness was horrendous! I was travelling when I found out I was pregnant and pretty much has instanteous morning sickness. Hope it helps other sufferers

  9. May 4, 2017 / 10:07 pm

    omg. i haven’t gone through that phase of life yet but always appreciate tips for the future! luckily i don’t travel too often either but we do visit family from out of state… hope we’re ready when it happens!

    • May 5, 2017 / 5:02 am

      I’m sure you will be. Or you might be lucky enough not to suffer from morning sickness

  10. Tara
    May 5, 2017 / 2:27 am

    Oh girl, I was also someone who threw up multiple time per day for 9 long months! I was so lucky that I didn’t have to travel!! Your tips are even great for a non-pregnant, but queasy traveler. 🤢✈️🚽

    • May 5, 2017 / 5:04 am

      That’s a lovely thing to say and I’d never considered that thanks for pointing it out

  11. May 5, 2017 / 2:33 am

    This is funny and helpful for traveling families! Can’t say I have personally been there but have fathered 6 children!

  12. May 5, 2017 / 6:23 am

    Hoard the barf bags! Hahahaha, I love that one. Seriously though it’s great advice for any situation!

  13. May 20, 2017 / 1:29 am

    I haven’t had to fly with morning sickness thank goodness, but I did during road trips. Yuck. These are great suggestions if I ever have to fly.

  14. November 3, 2017 / 11:03 am

    You are so brave! I had terrible morning sickness when I was pregnant with my daughter. I don’t think I’d be brave enough to get on a plane!

    • November 3, 2017 / 12:35 pm

      No choice unfortunately. My work requires travel but it wasn’t the most pleasant

  15. November 3, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    I was really lucky not to have morning sickness when I flew pregnant I can’t imagine how that must be, but these sound like great tips for getting through morning sickness whilst flying.

  16. November 3, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    I think I would need to dose up on these tips if I was ever pregnant as I travel so often that morning sickness would need to hold on whilst I did my thing lol. Great tips though

  17. November 3, 2017 / 10:18 pm

    I didn’t even realise you’re allowed to fly whilst pregnant, but well done you! I could never manage that!

  18. November 4, 2017 / 7:08 am

    I had hyperemesis gravidarum with both my daughters and it was a pretty bad time. With my eldest I had to travel by train most days and it was the worst experience ever. All you want to do is be in bed and near a toilet!

  19. November 4, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    Oh gosh I couldn’t imagine travelling – I had hyperemesis. Eek!

  20. November 4, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    I have to admit I have never had a problem flying with morning sickness, I think the excitement of going away made it disappear

  21. November 4, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    Great tips here. I remember morning sickness well but I never travelled far because of it when I was pregnant.

  22. November 4, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    Great post! I’m not a good flyer – at all! There are some really good tips on here that I’ll certainly be trying out! Thanks for sharing!

  23. November 5, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    To be honest I wouldn’t fly when pregnant myself as I get severe sickness. Great tips though for those that just feel a bit nauseous.

  24. Leslie
    April 16, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    Omg. Thank you!!! I also fly regularly for work (twice a week) and have been doing so for over a year. Only the last couple of months have been complicated since I’ve been pregnant (now 23 weeks). I did not handle my nausea well on my flight this morning. I had a nose bleed last night, didn’t sleep at all and a 6am flight. All just a bad combination. I broke out in a sweat when I felt ill went to the back of the plane and was able to cool off with an ice pack, ginger ale and the overhead fan. It was my worst flight to date. The turbulence was just the icing on the cake. Anyways, I survived but stomach is still feeling queasy so I’m in my hotel instead of work. Will use these tips on my next flight. Thank you

    • April 17, 2018 / 8:13 am

      I hope these tips help! I know exactly how you feel and remember this awful feeling well! Let us know how you get on with your next flight!

  25. Kirsten
    July 30, 2018 / 12:22 am

    Im currently struggling with all day nausea. I am 8 weeks pregnant and due to fly on Tuesday, just a short flight to Spain. I am concerned though about feeling this way on the flight and dreading being stuffed on the over crowded shuttle bus. I’ve found your tips really helpful. While it’s comforting to know I am not alone, I was just wondering how you coped mentally with being so nauseous day in day out. I feel miserable and trapped in a never ending nightmare at the moment and feeling a bit of a failure already as many women just seem to say they were just the same and just dealt with it much better than me. Any advice? Xxx

    • July 31, 2018 / 10:07 pm

      Hi Kirsten, thanks for your message – sorry I only just saw this! It is so difficult when you think it will never end and facing days hugging a toilet bowl. I found that having little things to look forward to helps and know that this will be a distant memory once you are holding our precious bundle. And don’t feel like a failure it is proving that you are doing everything right! I once read that morning sickness was a sign of intelligent baby so cling to that :)! I would love to hear how you got on with your flight?

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