You’ve worked hard all year; you’ve saved up for your holiday; your bags are packed and passport is at the ready… Then, just as you’re battling your way through security to reach your gate in time, you feel the beginnings of a migraine! So now you are faced with having to suffer in silence on a 4-hour flight, with the stress of airport buses and hotel transfers waiting at the other end before you can retreat to the dark, quiet sanctuary of your hotel room.
Arguably worse than the holiday migraine is the business-trip migraine, when you can find yourself cooped up in a plane or train having to make small talk with a colleague or go over the facts and figures with your boss, when all you want to do is take some painkillers and curl up with some ear plugs and an eye mask until it passes.
Stress is a big cause of travel migraines, so here are some top tips for avoiding travel migraines – traumas and enjoying a migraine-free journey!
1. Plan each aspect of your journey – including any transfers and parking arrangements – well in advance and allow plenty of time to limit last-minute anxiety.
2. Make a list of everything you need to take with you – medications, currency, travel documents and luggage – so that you don’t have to keep going over everything in your head.
3. Ensure you have enough of any regular medications to take with you.
4. Keep travel documents in a place where they are easy to access throughout your journey to save the stress of trying to find them in the bottom of a large bag at each and every juncture.
5. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the journey.
6. Motion sickness can cause migraines, so try to avoid taking long journeys in boats and cars, and travel by train or plane instead.
7. Try to stick as closely as possible to your usual sleeping pattern. Get plenty of sleep before you go and try to plan your travel so that you can sleep at the same time as you would normally while you are away. If you travelling across time zones, try to factor in some rest time at your destination to allow your body to adjust.
8. Similarly, try to eat at the same time as you would normally, and keep light snacks with you throughout the journey, and eat regularly to avoid dips in blood sugar.
9. Be prepared by packing your preferred migraine treatment, water, ear plugs, eye mask, sunglasses, and anything else you may need to help manage or attacks if they occur while you’re away.