My husband and I wanted to spend one more vacation together while there are still 2 of us. Having looked through different variants and considering the dates available, we decided to go to Tenerife in May 2016 – my 7th month of pregnancy. The planning was done in February, well ahead of the trip itself and when my belly was still hardly visible.
Of course, I had my concerns as to how I would feel and what I can undertake during the trip and what is better to avoid, so I browsed the internet and consulted my midwife on that topic.
First of all, I was concerned with the 5 hours flight from Amsterdam to Tenerife. But it appeared to be easier than I had thought. I had a good book and enough water and food with me, which helped me to live through the trip very well. Even crying kids on board didn’t irritate me as they used to (probably my mind is preparing for the upcoming crying in 2 months). So, don’t worry about 5 hours of flight being 7 months pregnant – it’s not that bad. You only need to prepare well for it: most important is to have a good supply of water, and food of course, earplugs, headphones and a book will help too. After week 28 airline companies may require a note from the doctor that you are fit to fly and confirming the due date. I took a note from my family doctor and a midwife but nobody ever asked me for it. Maybe my belly was not too big for them to worry.
When we arrived, we rented a car at AutoReisen which cost us around 80 euros for 8 days, the best deal we could find. Renting a car is the best way to see the island, but NEVER leave anything inside, locked cars are often opened and robbed. Unfortunately it happened to us and many many other tourists and locals. Our car was opened while we were taking pictures not far from it. Our bags were stolen, documents being the most valuable things inside. The police is only helpful to type a report for you, our belongings were never found nor robbers caught (and even sought for, I think). They even wouldn’t come to the crime scene, we had to drive to the police station and report there. Nobody was interested in the fingerprints. We were afraid to have problems with flying back home without documents but apparently this kind of crime is so widespread and known that airline companies have a strategy to cope with the situation. We flew with Ryanair and the copies of the documents together with the police report were enough for them to let us on board (friendly advice – have scans of all your documents in a cloud, it can be very helpful one day).
The car trip itself was fine for me except mountain spiral roads – one day we drove a lot on those and it made me really sick (never before did I have that). Frequent stops and fresh air were somewhat helpful but I was looking forward to arriving at the final destination of our journey that day. But those roads are the most beautiful.
Spiral road on the way to Masca traditional village
We’d planned to go to the 3,718 m El Teide peak (with a cable car), to see the whales with a boat, take a submarine tour to see the marine life underwater. I got a green light from my midwife for all those (except that it was not recommended to go above 3000 m), but due to various circumstances our plan had to be changed during the trip and I couldn’t check these activities. The Cable car was closed for maintenance but I wasn’t very upset, as even at the height of 2500 m I was feeling a bit dizzy and it was hard to walk, it would be worse if we went higher. The idea of going on a boat trip to see the whales also didn’t work because the sea was too rough those days.
Whole week of our being on the island there were strong cool winds, it was quite chilly in the shadow and in the evening and we couldn’t sit in the sun long because it was very easy to get a sunburn, even with a sunscreen (actually, we got sunburns on the first day after 2 hours in the afternoon sun). The water was quite chilly, so I didn’t try to swim – pregnancy makes the body more vulnerable and it’s not a good idea to get a cold in that state and especially on vacation. Other guys did short swimming sessions though.
Tenerife is a volcano island and even in the cities there is almost never a straight road – you need to walk up and down all the time, which is tiresome for a pregnant body. I was always exhausted by the end of the day after all those walks. The picture above was shot at the place we lived at. It was quite a challenge to go to the beach/ town and back home, but it was worth it, the host was just great (we rented the apartment at Airbnb) and the restaurants are the best on the island – very local, with tasty food and good prices (Tripadvisor helps to find the best ones).
As for the food, it’s a Gourmet’s paradise: various cheeses, jamon, fresh juices and sea food – everything is so delicious, you just can’t stop. And wine…but this time not for me. If you are pregnant, just be cautious about the amount of jamon and unpasteurized cheese you take. I suppose I had too much 2 times and it made me sick next day (in the worst case I had fever up to 38.3, which woke me up 3 am and scared us a lot, but fortunately I didn’t have to call a doctor: cold compresses, paracetamol and drinking lots of water helped and after 2 hours the temperature started going down and I could finally fall asleep and be ready to go further next day.)
It is not recommended to drink from the tap on Tenerife – it’s desalinized sea water and tastes quite crappy. One of our guys drank it several times and was fine though.
To sum up, if you go on vacation to Tenerife being pregnant…
- wear comfortable shoes
- combine walking with frequent resting
- always take water with you and have some night supply, shops are closed at night.
- do not overdo – I was trying to keep up with 3 healthy people and it paid off with exhaustion and sickness after all
- sleep enough! Don’t be afraid to miss something – sleep is very important now.
- do not eat much jamon and fresh cheese, the pregnant body is not strong enough to digest that well…
- enjoy the beach but ONLY in a shadow and use sunscreen – you will have a nice tan then and will not get sunburns that way. Even when it’s chilly.
- Keep all the documents and money with you. On Tenerife even safes in hotel rooms get opened and robbed.
- And don’t tell your parents you are going to fly far away being very pregnant, better tell everything and show pictures after you return 😉 Thus you will avoid unneccessary worries and talks. We did so to our parents and never regretted. My mom was even glad she hadn’t known about the trip beforehand, it would freak her out.