Traveling with Migraines - Plan Ahead

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

Coping with a migraine can put a serious damper on travel. Use this advice to stay headache-free and enjoy your trip.

  • Make a packing list and slowly begin packing days in advance. Write a list of everything you need to travel, including all your documents, medications, vitamins, devices or therapies you need to prevent or treat a potential attack.

  • Secure your travel arrangements well in advance. Print the details and keep a copy on you while traveling.

  • Refill your medications. If you’re away for a week or a month you’ll need a ready supply of medications. Refill your current scripts and ensure you have sufficient stock. That way you are prepared if the worst-case scenario erupts.

  • Pack a Migraine Emergency Kit. Pack all of your necessary migraine medications and refills in your carry-on bag, not your checked luggage. Other items to include: vitamins or supplements, healthy snacks, water or water bottle, anti-nausea products, sickness bags, eye mask, ear plugs or headphones, charcoal face mask (if you are sensitive to smells), polarized sunglasses, instant cold packs, essential oils, wet wipes, pill cutter, etc.

  • Prepare a Mobile Emergency Kit. In addition to your migraine bag, carry a small pill box or small plastic container that contains everything you need to survive one migraine attack or a close encounter. This is something to keep in your purse, wallet, jacket or backpack. Along with a water bottle.

  • Carry several copies of a letter from your doctor. Different countries have different rules and regulations. Customs officials may be highly suspicious and try to confiscate the small pharmacy packed in your luggage. A letter from the doctor listing their contact information, all your medications, devices, vitamins and supplements and explaining that you have been diagnosed with migraine or chronic migraine is very helpful for these situations.

  • Allow extra time and avoid rushing. Leave with plenty of time to arrive at the airport, train or bus terminal. Rushing is stressful and it’s what makes it easy to forget or lose items.

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