Factor 1. Sleep changes: My flight left at 7 am in the morning, which means I needed to be at the airport by 6 am.
--Solution: I set my alarm for the latest possible time that I could in order to get to the airport and check-in on time. This meant I had my bags packed the night before with the exception of items I needed to use the morning of the flight. My work bag was packed and ready to go, all chargers, phones, and laptops were packed up and all I had to do was put them in my car. I attempted to get to bed earlier than usual to try to offset the early awakening. This may have been a great idea had I been successful in getting to bed sooner. My net sleep lost ended up being one hour.
Factor 2. Airplane travel: Flight travel means changes in altitude, barometric pressure, cabin oxygenation, and humidity. Cabin humidity levels are usually 10-20% and normal indoor humidity levels are 30-65%. My little migraine brain likes stability in all these things. Changes in altitude alters blood oxygenation making my vessels compensate by constricting and expanding depending on barometric changes, potentially initiating a headache.
--Solution: I hydrated well in order to fend off dehydration and hoped for the best. I avoid caffeine and alcohol while flying.
Factor 3. Unpredictable food selections: When traveling on business or even for pleasure for that matter food options are different from those I keep in my home. Meals are eaten out and I can't control whether or not lemon is squeezed onto my grouper or whether or not my spinach is cooked with parmesan cheese (I think I was tyramined and glutamated last night).
--Solution: I pack snacks and try to pick the most migraine-friendly selections offered. I stuck some snacks in my checked luggage and I passed on the alcohol last night.
Factor 4. Being stuck next to a woman on my flight who overdosed on her perfume bottle. I hadn't counted on this factor.
--Solution: I hold my breath for the 2 hour flight. Ok, that wasn't a possibilty. Lucky for me, I was wearing a scarf this day. In hindsight, I may make this a travel staple. I was able to pull my scarf up over my nose and create a barrier between myself and her offensive odor. My need to be migraine-free trumps the need to look cool.
I did the best I could to prevent a headache from creeping into my trip. As you can see it's almost impossible to control all the factors, but I did the best I could. Around 7 pm on my travel day a headache started to appear and I immediately took some ibuprofen. On day 2 of my trip I woke up without a headache and feeling good...another migraine avoided!