1. Health

Vacation Headaches

Figurative or Literal -- They All Hurt

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Updated February 26, 2009

Just like headaches caused by the holidays, plenty of people suffer from vacation headaches. Of course, plenty of figurative headaches come about by vacation and travel, but there are some “real” headache causes to consider as well. Here are some tips to help you travel a bit more headache free in the future.

Plan Ahead

A spur-of-the-moment getaway can be great, but if you are taking a lengthy holiday be sure to do your planning well ahead of time. By thinking about your vacation months before it happens you can better take advantage of a wide variety of deals on airfare, lodging, or rental cars. Travel sites such as Travel Zoo and Travelocity offer email updates on preferred itineraries and travel dates. They can even keep you abreast of last-minute offers that may come in handy.

Planning ahead also gives you time to think about how you’ll pay for this wonderful vacation of yours. Being able to pay for most of the trip before you even leave can help you enjoy the time you’re away without worrying about the credit card bill that will inevitably show up after the fact.

Stay Hydrated

Many people don’t drink enough water in the first place, but lots more forget to keep hydrated when away from home. Besides being preoccupied with enjoying the vacation, time away gives you ample opportunity to enjoy “alternative” beverages, many of which contain caffeine or alcohol, two substances that can dehydrate you quickly. Dehydration can lead to headaches for many individuals, especially those prone to developing headaches in the first place. There is some thought out there that drinking plenty of water can help prevent jetlag, as well, so there are other benefits to getting plenty of H2O.

Think of All the Travelers

If you are traveling with others, especially children, try and keep them interested and involved. Take time to explore events and activities that may be interesting to individuals in your group and find a way to enjoy as many as is possible and reasonable. You don’t need to cater to every single person’s whims when you are away, but the effort to include them will not go unnoticed. There is nothing worse than feeling left out, except maybe being reminded repeatedly that you’ve left someone out.

Take Your Pharmacy Along

Whether you use prescription treatments or non-prescription remedies for your headaches, be sure to have what you need if a “real” headache should hit you. This is your time to relax so I’m sure you don’t want to be spending it in a dark room while the rest of your party parties on. Contact your physician in plenty of time to get a prescription refill if necessary, and check to make sure that your over-the-counter products are still before their expiration dates. And most importantly, keep them in a safe and secure place so curious children can’t get to them when they are rummaging through your suitcase.

Be in the Moment

Vacation should be a time to enjoy each moment as it occurs. Be sure to take time to be mindful and recognize how wonderful it is to get away from it all. Mindfulness is a skill that takes a lifetime to master, but you can begin practicing it in your daily life so you can get the pleasure of experiencing a centered life. If you’ve planned ahead, hopefully you can really relax when that vacation time comes.
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