Planning a summer vacation getaway? Even the best laid-out travel arrangements can climax into a huge migraine headache if you’re not careful. Stress, the number one headache trigger, can ruin your chances of enjoying even a short weekend escape. Plan your trip around your chronic migraines, and you will get the most out of your summer vacation.
Below are five helpful guidelines for routing a pleasant, headache-free trip:
Travel Tip Number 1- Prepare for the worst…
Always refill prescriptions for migraine pain medications a week or two before your trip. Don’t make the mistake of putting it off until later; you’ll likely have your mind on other last-minute details, like Googling nearby pharmacies and emergency migraine treatment centers, another precaution worth investing in before your trip. Not only will you be more relaxed, but also should migraines threaten to attack, you’ll have your escape route well planned.
Travel Tip Number 2- Stay grounded
Leave air travel to the non-migraineurs whenever possible, and aim for a vacation spot that is closer to home. Shifting pressure, loud rumbling engine sounds, and scant puffs of recycled air do not make for a migraine-friendly trip. Unless you are undisturbed by the possibility of spending four hours hunched in a narrow, confined area seated in front of a cute toddler with a persistent kicking reflex, then you’re better off choosing a travel destination that allows for alternate modes of transportation. Consider riding the rails; various train tours offer fine dining, comfortable accommodations, and entertainment. Best of all, you can get up, stretch your legs, and get a breath of fresh air whenever you like. Try doing that in economy class.
Travel Tip Number 3- Give your senses a break
Avoid heavily contaminated areas. This should seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised just how wide-ranging the effects of pollution are. Metropolitan getaways like New York are probably not your best option; noxious smog, noisy traffic hubbub, glaring neon signs, and the quick pace of the big city are no match for your chronic migraines. Give yourself a sensory vacation. Seek out vacation spots that have a reputation for clean air, fewer crowds, and a more relaxed vibe. Try camping at one of the many national forests. Not keen on tents? Most campgrounds offer cabin rentals. Other great options include beachside resorts, cruises, and spa retreats.
Extreme temperatures are a migraine sufferer’s worst enemies. Hot, dry weather can lead to severe dehydration, a common migraine trigger. Freezing climates, on the other hand, may result in stiff joints, sinus congestion, and flu symptoms, not to mention dehydration caused by indoor heating. If you do find yourself in extreme weather, remember to drink plenty of water and dress accordingly.
Don’t go trigger-happy
If you’ve been loyally contributing to your headache diary, then you are conscious of the many migraine headache triggers you need to avoid. Enjoy a carefree and laid-back summer vacation, but continue to beware of lurking migraine-inducing stimuli. Don’t be tempted to try exotic, spicy culinary dishes, unless somebody “in the know” can tell you exactly what ingredients are included. Never skip meals. Before your trip, prepare yourself an emergency snack kit. You never know when you might find yourself in a restaurant that has nothing but “off-limit” items on their menu, especially if you’re on a non-gluten diet.
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