Sadly, even in a normal year, travelling is not the easiest thing for migraine sufferers to do. Changes in things such as routine, climate, and altitude (flying is not always migraine-friendly) can lead to a migraine attack.
This is part two of our travel tips for migraine sufferers. Hopefully these tips will help to make your future travels that much smoother and less impacted by your migraines.
Choose Your Transport Wisely
The changing altitude (and therefore changing pressure levels) which comes with flying may make it a big no-no for you. Maybe plan to travel by train, boat, or car if you can. If you can’t, and the flight is a long one, try to choose a flight that doesn’t involve changing planes so you minimise the number of pressure changes you have to experience during your journey.
Travel to Similar
A sudden change in temperature, air pressure, or humidity are all things which migraine sufferers have noted as being a migraine trigger. Going from somewhere experiencing cold winter weather and low air pressure to somewhere with boiling sun and high pressure is likely to throw your body into a tailspin. If weather changes are a major migraine trigger for you, try to travel to places which have a vaguely similar climate to the one you’re already in. Or, at least, maybe save trips to hot countries for when it’s summer where you live. It will still be a change in temperature, but the difference won’t be so extreme and may be more manageable.
Clothing in Transit
When you’re travelling, the last thing you want is any pressure from what you’re wearing. Choose your comfiest clothes to travel in and never mind if they’re old joggers and a hoodie. The idea is to reduce your potential stress as much as possible. The more comfortable you are, hopefully the more relaxed you are.
Clothing on Arrival
If you are travelling to somewhere with a different climate to the one you’ve just come from, be prepared. Have a change of clothes with you in your hand luggage, or at the top of your suitcase, which you can quickly change into as soon as you arrive at the other end. Sweating buckets because you’re in winter clothes on a Mediterranean island is going to do your migraine risk no good at all, and will also quickly make you dehydrated too!
Schedule in Rest
Being constantly on the go is not great for migraine sufferers. Yes, you want to experience as much as you can of the place you’re visiting, but if you overdo it and get a migraine attack, that’s not going to help you do that. When you plan your itinerary, schedule in rest days, or rest afternoons if not whole days, where you can relax and recharge. This may mean resting in your room, or you may relax by reading a book in a quiet café or doing some calm activity that doesn’t take much energy (either emotional or physical). By doing a bit less to prevent a migraine attack, you may be able to do more overall.