How to Travel with Migraine: Tips and Packing List
I often get asked how I travel with migraine. The truth is, I always have migraine. There are many ways I manage migraine. In this post, I’ll tell you a bit about how I do it. I’m not always successful, but with preparation and experience, I have learned how to deal with it better. I often have a migraine attack before, during, and after my travels. I live with chronic migraine so there is not a vacation from migraine. But that doesn’t stop me from traveling with migraine. It’s part of My Migraine Life and something I try not to let hold me back.
Recently, I took a trip and it was a doozy. I’d like to share my traveling experience with you and some tips on how to manage migraine and living with a chronic illness. I don’t have a cure or something that works for me after time, but I do have some ideas that may help.
5 Ways to Travel with Migraine
I saw 3 doctors the week before I left. I was on a 20 day antibiotic and was taking sinus medication. With that, I had acupuncture, got a massage, made trips to the pharmacy, and made a follow-up the week I returned home. Preventative treatment care is crucial! I was able to make it until day 4 before my migraine spiked. Typically, I get a migraine attack on day 2 so this was good for me.
Migraine Travel Preparation List
- Appointments with doctors and therapists
- Refilling medication
- Good sleep routine
- Controlling my diet
- Exercising Regularly
- Managing Stress
- Making Lists
- Giving time to pack
- Make Copies of travel documents, insurance, and doctor’s note
Pack a Migraine Bag
I had a suitcase and carry-on filled with natural products that I use. I didn’t take a picture but check out my migraine reviews and it will give you a good idea of some things in my purse.
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- Healthy snacks (avoid processed food)
- Polarized Sunglasses (avoid light trigger)
- Eye Mask
- Ice Pack
- Neck Pillow
- Essential oil
- Migraine Device
- Preventive Treatment
- Ginger Chews
- Water and hydration tablets
- Scarf (to put over my face to prevent smell triggers)
Avoid Migraine Triggers
I had a few days of migraine symptoms but only my evenings were consumed with pain. I was able to stop a level 7/8 from going to a 10 and was able to enjoy the next day at a reasonable level with varying symptoms. These are all victories for me!! I battle many triggers while traveling.
- Jet Lag
- Loud Noises
- Ear Pressure
- Lack of Movement/Too Much Movement
- Strong Odors
Adjust to Returning Home
I usually plan a day after I get home to recover. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option and sometimes that’s not long enough. Remembering to get back into my self-care routine and back to normalcy is important.
I have now had a migraine for 12 days straight with no relief. My pain fluctuates between 4 and 7 most days but mostly is constant never-ending full-body fatigue and heightened stimulus sensitivity with brain pains. My cravings have been out of control and I’ve been packing on the weight that makes me even more uncomfortable.
It’s hard to describe to someone who has not lived like this. It is tough mentally as much as physically when I am in a cycle that isn’t being broken at all. For me, it’s like this wet blanket over me that I really only feel in my downtime. Priorities of my spoons are the best way I can describe it.I had to cancel plans this week, was like a rag doll this weekend and generally just felt crappy since I’ve been home.
Traveling comes at a huge cost for me but one I’m willing to pay. When I live with a migraine daily, traveling and spiking, it seems bad but I’d rather get a few days of glory than a week missed in my hole.
Migraine Travel Feelings
I always get a range of emotions after I travel. Gratitude for the ability and opportunity to go. Anger at how I felt and continue to feel after. Joy from the experiences I got to live. It all is emotional and exhausting!
More Traveling with Migraine Posts