8 Tips For Travelling With Migraine

January 24, 2018

Packing the Bags

Spring is just around the corner, and it’s time for many people to start making vacation and travel plans. Especially if you’ve got kids, the summer season is perfect for taking that annual camping trip or piling in the car to visit extended family a couple states away. This is also the time when work commitments might take you on the road to conferences or trade shows happen, so business travelers are also packing their bags.

But if you suffer with migraine headache, you know that travelling leads to risk of exposure to any number of triggers. Everything from changes in cabin air pressure during flight to motion sickness in a car can set pain off. Furthermore, even the perfect vacation is not without stress, which in itself, can lead to headaches.

No Stowaways

Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, what you don’t want to bring along is migraine headache. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to manage it when on the road. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Plan Ahead:

    This is probably a helpful tip even for those who don’t have migraine, but it’s important to be well-organized and methodical as you prepare to travel. This will minimize stress and the chance of triggering headache. Make sure to make lists and have bags packed early, try to carve out some relaxing down time before you fly or drive, and ensure that timing is not crunched. A migraine coming on because of the stress of being late to the airport, for instance, is a rough way to start travelling.

  • Get Proper Sleep:

    Ensuring that you get the right amount sleep at night, both before the travels and as they’re happening, will help prevent migraine attacks. Not only that, you’ll feel better overall and will be able to get more out of your time away.

  • Choose a Diet:

    It’s always exciting to go to a new place and sample the local cuisine, and it’s that kind of cultural experience that helps make each vacation or business trip unique. That said, you need to be aware of what ingredients are being used so that you avoid ingesting triggers like chocolate, wine, citrus, sugar, and soy sauce, among others. Try to stay consistent and keep as close as you can to your normal patterns.

  • Watch for Climate Shifts:

    If you’re travelling to a place that has a very different climate than what you’re used to, you may find that triggering to your migraines. Factors to think about are humidity, barometric pressure, and temperature as these can all lead to headaches. Furthermore, certain activities like skiing or scuba diving can provoke this response. If you know you’ll be facing such circumstances, plan ahead.

  • Don’t Forget Prescription Drugs:

    Make sure that you bring along your prescribed medications, and, separately, a copy of your prescription itself. You won’t want to deal with finding necessary medications if your run out. If you know you’re going to be out for a long time, it’s a good idea to have an extra dose or two on you.

  • Steer Clear of Smokers:

    If you’re travelling internationally, you might find that restaurants, bars, hotel lounges, and the like will still allow smoking indoors or in designated areas. Cigarette smoke is a known migraine trigger, do as much as you can to avoid exposure. Ask for rental cars, hotel rooms, or seats at restaurants that are non-smoking. Do so also if you’re travelling by local train or bus.

  • Medicate Motion Sickness:

    Motion sickness is known to be another trigger for migraine, but you’ll no doubt find yourself needing to take a bumpy road or ferry. It’s therefore always a good idea to have medication at hand to prevent this, and the resultant headache, from forming.

  • Don’t Overdo it:

    As tempting as it may be to try to cram in as much as possible into a vacation, visit, or business trip, it’s important to have a sense of your limitations. You can easily stress yourself out or simply overdo it if you aren’t careful. Risks of migraine attack increase for benign reasons like drinking more alcohol than usual or simply being excessively active. Don’t forget the importance of actual relaxation.

There’s always going to be the risk of migraine, but following these steps will help you reduce the odds of experiencing an attack.

Putting in the Miles

Whether you’re looking forward to that long-awaited Bahamas vacation, that Alaskan cruise, or aiming to close the deal in Chicago, migraine shouldn’t get in the way. As unpredictable as it can be, as debilitating, it’s always worth being truly active in your approach. Managing migraine, it seems, is more of a journey than a destination, but so long as you’re moving forward, you’ll get there.

If you’re suffering from chronic migraine, talk to an expert at Migraine Treatment Centers of America. The team here employs the latest technologies to help thousands of people take on the condition every day. Find out more by calling (855) 300-6822 today! 


  1. “10 Tips For Taming Migraines While Traveling”. 2017. Com. Accessed April 25 2017. http://www.everydayhealth.com/headache-and-migraine/taming-migraines-while-traveling.aspx.

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