While there are numerous triggers that exist for a traveling migraineur, it's always best to know what yours are specifically. This will help prevent your migraines from appearing as often and keep you from missing out on life’s biggest moments. Here’s a few tips we put together to help you plan your next trip.
When on a plane, try to keep yourself in a comfortable position, as best as possible. It's been known that pain in the neck and spine areas often lead to migraines. Other triggers that are commonly found when flying are loud noises, too much caffeine and dehydration. For these initiators, we suggest you choose a seat near the front of the plane, as there is less noise that can be heard during takeoff, and drink plenty of water as opposed to coffee or a caffeinated beverage, as increasing caffeine levels can trigger migraines and make you dehydrate very quickly. Traveling by car or boat can also cause migraine pain, which usually stem from motion sickness and being exposed to bright lights for a long period. Invest in a good pair of UVA and UVB protected sunglasses to prevent such migraines, and if motion sickness happens to take hold of you, position yourself in an area with the least amount of movement and lie down.
As exciting as trying new cuisines can be, it can also be risky if your specific trigger foods and ingredients are included in the meal(s). While MSG, or monosodium glutamate is a common trigger for a number of migraineurs, it's best to take a food allergen test, to first be aware of the types of food to avoid and second, to determine if your migraines diminish in frequency and intensity based on the selected foods. Make a note of what those foods or ingredients are, and choose your entrée’s carefully.
Another thing you'll want to be cautious of is your itinerary. While vacations are mostly spent with the idea in mind that you can fit any and every activity into your schedule, too much activity can also cause migraines and keep you from enjoying what was supposed to be a fun, relaxing trip. The best thing to do is take one day at a time, and be mindful of the types of activities you can actually partake in, given your trigger history.
We hope these tips help you prepare for your next exciting trip, one that is migraine-free!