Right now I’m chronic and don’t feel I can travel at all. However, many years ago when i was episodic and wanted to travel cross country for a couple of weeks, my then doc (the famous Arnold Friedman — I’m that old) advised me that if I left the car vents open for fresh air while we were driving I would do ok. And I did!!! I still don’t know why that worked, but it’s certainly worth investigating.
I traveled to see my family last summer and was miserable the entire time. I’ve had chronic migraines since I was 16-17. I think the change in the pressure during the flight started the migraine that I was never able to get rid of. It’s unfortunate because I already have so much anxiety about traveling, I also have anxiety about when my next migraine will come, so I was doomed from the start.
I went to visit a friend and was misrable the whole time. I feel bad that i wasnt super fun to be with. My friend tried to show me around her town but i kept getting car sick and just wanted to sleep. I droved from oregon to montana and went through several mountains and altitudes. I am hoping to go see her again in march but would love ideas how to be a better guest by not having a migraine.
I travel a lot and this includes a few overseas trips per year. It is really frustrating when a migraine hits while being away, however I try to accept it and be as well prepared as I can.
I am lucky in a way that my migraines are very painful, but the actual pain doesn’t last much longer than 24 hours. Certain triggers can always cause migraines and I try extra hard to avoid them when going away- stress, skipping meals, bad sleep- yet, all those things can be worse when travelling.
Visiting a specialised physio practice I was told that my migraines can also be triggered by C2/C3 side shifting issue therefore I need to be extra cautious- luckily my hubby insists on flying business class these days so I can lay quite flat, but I find it is helpful to use a high-quality memory foam U-pillow to stabilize my neck.
In regards of stress- I tend to be super organised and pack things long before we go to avoid upcoming last minute stress.Little things and good planning can help to feel less tense.
My third secret tip that I find the best of all ( I will post it in the natural remedy section as well ) is the use of tiger balm.In a similar way to peppermint oil, tiger balm has cooling and soothing attributes that I use in the following way-at home or elsewhere: migraine approaches- I use the strong version of tiger balm and rub it generously on my shoulders, neck and even up to the hairline- naturally be careful not to get it into our eyes or mouth.And tie up your hair! I sometimes wear a shower cap! I use then a thin, wet towel and place it on my shoulders and neck where I applied TB. On top I place a soft large dry towel to avoid staining and drenching of clothes or bed linen. In a few minutes the magic starts ( at least for me!) – a strong cooling sensation (shouldnt be painful, more tingling) that numbs successfully the area , spreading all the way up to the head and also helps me with the nausea since it smells quite strong. Maybe it is not everyones pair of shoes but it helps me so much.