Sydney Headache & Migraine Centre

Headache & Migraine Holiday Tips

The Summer Holidays are always such a special time to relax & rejuvenate, however for Headache & Migraine sufferers it can be a challenging time. Our Physiotherapists have put together some great tips to help you not just survive but THRIVE throughout your summer holidays.

HOLIDAY TIP #1 – Plan ahead for special needs

Plan ahead and don’t wait until the last minute to pull all the plans together. Make a packing list and slowly begin packing days in advance.
Give yourself plenty of travel time in case you need to rest. By putting extra effort into the organisation of your holiday travel plans, you may be able to keep your stress levels down to avert an attack.
For example, changing time zones is a very important consideration. Research tells us it is better to make a slow transition into a new time zone. So a few days before leaving, if possible, start to change your sleep times to slowly align with your destination. Once on the plane, your wake and sleep pattern should be the same as your destination’s time zone.

HOLIDAY TIP #2 – Prepare for good sleep

Sleep is a key area for most headache and migraine sufferers. Consider taking your own pillow so that you keep consistency in this part of your sleep routine!
This also helps if your neck is contributing to your headaches. Taking your pillow on a plane is easier than you think. Scrunch it up into a smallish bag and sit it on your carry-on luggage. Using your pillow whilst flying can avoid poor postural positions of your neck.

HOLIDAY TIP #3 – Drink lots of H20

Staying hydrated is a key when traveling, especially in summer or on planes. It’s easy to get out of routine, and particularly easy to forget to take that water bottle with you!
Being on a plane leads to dehydration due to a low humidity environment, usually around 10-20%. Consequently, it’s important to drink more water than normal and consume minimal amounts of alcohol and coffee.

HOLIDAY TIP #4 – Pack an Emergency Migraine Relief Kit

Visit your GP a few weeks before you leave on holiday and check you have all the necessary medication required for your trip. Remember to pack any other self-treatment aids you may need.
This could include ice/heat packs, a small snack to eat with your meds and any over-the-counter medications that could be useful. If you’re doing a road trip, it is important to check that any of these medications don’t cause drowsiness.

HOLIDAY TIP # 5 – When it comes to medications, pack a bit extra

The last thing you want is to find yourself at the bottom of your medication bottle, mid-holiday, when you’re away from home and your local pharmacy.
It may be worth packing these in a different section of your baggage. If you lose a bag or its placed on the wrong flight, you won’t have the added stress about medications – this might cause a headache!

HOLIDAY TIP #6 – Get the team together to get organised

If you are traveling with your family, don’t try to take on all the responsibility of packing and arranging travel plans alone. It’s a great time for your children to learn that they can help get organised for a holiday.

Delegate responsibilities to your kids. Challenge them to complete their own packing lists and make sure you let your spouse know what you need from him or her.

HOLIDAY TIP #7 – Avoid Triggers

Irregular eating and sleeping patterns are two major triggers for Migraine. Avoid too much coffee, alcohol, processed meats and any other common travel food items that have been known to influence your attacks.

If you’re driving a particularly long distance, take breaks to rest your eyes or break the trip into more than one day so you can stop and sleep. Travel with migraine or headache gets easier the more rest time you can make into your plans.

HOLIDAY TIP #7 – Carpool

Long stints behind the wheel can strain your eyes and lead to an attack. Having an hour to keep your eyes closed, even if you’re not sleeping, can be a really helpful way of letting your nervous system calm down.

Long trips can be stressful enough, especially if you have a few young ones crammed in the back seat!
Be kind to yourself and share the driving load. It will get you to your destination more relaxed and ready to enjoy your break!!