Back of a woman clutching her face and staring overwhelmed at an open suitcase with a plane whirring around her brain

Vacation Planning Stressor

Vacations are supposed to be fun and relaxing. Though when you are living with chronic health conditions, those vacations can be stressful. I am a creature of habit. I have always liked my routine, but when I developed chronic migraine, my routine became a tool for managing my condition. Over the years, I have learned that consistency is key to avoiding some migraine triggers.

Is my calendar too chaotic?

This year we already have three trips on the calendar. If you are thinking that three trips are crazy, I agree! It is even more so when you consider that I am very much a homebody. I also have multiple chronic health conditions.

Trip #1

My first trip this year is right around the corner at the beginning of February. I am flying from Texas to Ohio to spend a week with my mom and stepdad. I am staying the whole week because I do not get to see her very often. Since my mother will be on vacation while I am visiting, she has planned things such as trips to local vineyards and other activities.

I am worried about how my body will handle wine tastings. For now, I am planning to take an abortive pill prior to starting the wine tasting. My hope is that this will prevent me from a migraine starting due to drinking wine.

Aside from that, I am not too worried about how my body will handle this trip. Mainly because I know my mom and stepdad will understand if I start to feel bad. They will not become frustrated with me if I need to take the day to manage my pain.

Trip #2

My second trip is to Atlantic City with my boyfriend in March. This is not a trip with a solid purpose. He and his friend both received a promotional trip that was a crazy good deal. They decided to accept the offer.

The only thing I know that they will want to do is spend time in the casino. I do not mind spending some time in the casino, but I do know that I am not interested in spending five days in the casino. That is a lot of lights and sounds for my poor head to be subjected to. This has me a little worried about how enjoyable these days may or may not be for me.

Trip #3

The one that I am most nervous about is the third trip. We have a six-day cruise scheduled in August. This will be my first-ever cruise. Part of my stress over this cruise is knowing that if I forget something, I am either out of luck or will have to pay highly for it. Additionally, I am worried about all the sun that I will be exposed to during one of the hottest months. While I do occasionally have an adult beverage here or there, I am sure that I will feel pressured to have more than one or two. I am hopeful that there will not be too much pressure to go drink for drink with everybody else. My body just does not respond well to it.

How do I prepare for a vacation with migraine?

The most important thing I do to prepare for a trip is to create a list of things I need to pack. I start my list as early as I possibly can start it. For example, I already have a list started for what I need to bring on my third trip, which is scheduled for August!

One of the most helpful tricks is to go over my list with one of my girlfriends that also live with chronic health conditions. I do this because sometimes they think of something I need to add to my list. It is always helpful to bounce ideas off another person. It will help lower my stress to have somebody else’s approval for my list.

Do you get pre-vacation stress? What parts of vacations are stressful to you? What do you do to prepare for a vacation?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.