Medically reviewed by Dr. Betty Acker, MD on September 4, 2020
Dealing with migraines as you go through your daily life is hard enough as it is, so the last thing you need is for headaches to ruin your vacation time as well. While you may have a definitive treatment schedule in place for facing down migraines at school or on the job, the same resources may not be available to you when you’re taking time off.
Vacations are meant to be a time for rest, relaxation, and adventure — three things that migraines often get in the way of. While not all migraines can be fully prevented, there are things you can do to lower the risk of them happening while you travel, including:
Stick to your schedule.
One of the most common migraine triggers in a sudden change in sleeping patterns — something commonly associated with vacationing. While it can be tempting to lean into the nightlife of wherever your destination is, be careful not to venture too far outside of what you’re used to. Vacationing may seem like the perfect time to sleep in or stay out late, but doing so may produce unwanted results upstairs.
If you’re flying overseas or going somewhere with a severe time difference from where you live, try to make the adjustment as gradually as possible. Consider options to help regulate your sleeping cycle, and make sure not to let any time differences affect your regular food or water intake.
Don’t overdo it.
For some, vacation is way more about new experiences than anything else, but those who suffer from migraines need to be careful not to go all out. Copious amounts of new food and drink are an all-too-common trigger for migraines, so while there’s nothing wrong with a little experimentation, be careful not to stray too far from the typical.
Take care of yourself.
For those who see vacation as an opportunity for adventure, taking care of your body should be the absolute first priority when it comes to preventing migraines. If you’re going to be in a hot area or engaging in strenuous physical activity, make sure you’re always drinking water, as dehydration is a frequent migraine trigger.
Anyone taking a trip to the mountains might also want to pack some anti-altitude sickness medications, as the symptoms associated with thin air have been associated with increased migraine activity. If you plan on getting a lot of sun, be sure to pack some heavy-duty sunglasses — too much bright light can be a big problem for those who regularly suffer from migraines.
Keep normal treatment options on hand.
Ultimately, there are some migraines you just have to deal with as they come, so be prepared to stop and do what you need to during a vacation. Packing your medications is key, but you might occasionally need a bit more firepower than that. Make sure you have a dark, quiet space to escape to need be, and keep some ice packs and eye masks on hand to help in the recovery process. If something helps you deal with migraines at home, bring it with you whenever and wherever possible.
If you want to find the migraine treatment that works best for you, contact one of our experts here at Nurx today for advice on what your next steps should be.