Hello. First my background: I was just diagnosed a few months ago with GERD. I woke up in December 2011 with a sore throat and my doctor treated it as a sinus infection. When it didn't clear up, I went to an ENT who diagnosed severe acid reflux and then onto a GI who did all the tests with the same conclusions. He recommended a surgeon, however the surgeon said I am a 1-2 with 10 being the worst and needing surgery. So for now, I treat my heartburn with TUMS, Titralac (antacid) and watch my diet and exercise. I still get daily heartburn, (some days less than others), lump in throat feeling but for now it's manageable.
I travel to Vegas yearly and wasn't sure how I would be able to do such a "party" vacation with heartburn. Here's how I did it: Before the flight, I ate breakfast (eggs, toast) 1 hour before and 8 ounces of water. While on the flight (5 hours from PA to Vegas) I drank as much water as I felt I could. I brought on my own water bottle that I sipped throughout the flight and took water from the flight staff the 3 times they came around.
For my on-flight lunch, I bought a chicken cheesesteak hoagie (just chicken and cheese, no peppers, etc) that I bought in the airport before I boarded.
Once in Vegas, I drank a bottle of water a night and took sips of water anytime I woke up during the night.
As for eating, I tried to not eat like I used to. I would stuff myself at the buffets. This time I ate what I wanted but not EVERYTHING! I would have eggs, home fries, toast, bacon (2 slices instead of the 5-6 I liked to have), one pancake, and some fruit. Bananas don't bother me so I'd have a banana. For dessert, I'd allow myself one muffin or one parfait. Beverage was water again and hot tea.
I used to pig out at buffets and skip lunch completely. This trip I didn't skip meals. Lunch was sometimes just some pretzels or a half of a turkey wrap. Another lunch I had a cuban pork sandwich (pulled pork with ham/cheese) and chicken soup.
I splurged on unsweetened ice teas instead of soda which I haven't had since being diagnosed.
Dinners: I had pastas but with white or light sauces, pork chops, lobster, diver scallops and rosotto (this was over 5 days). For appetizers, I kept it light. I would just eat a slice or two of the bread they brought and a third of the salad I ordered. I had lobster/crab rolls one night. But if I had a big dinner one night, I ate less the next morning.
One time I had antipasto with my husband. I had a few pieces of bread and cheese and 2 pieces of salami. Normally, I'd eat 3 times that much.
and again -- water, water, water. If you go to Vegas, drink the ice water the offer. It's filtered. Don't pay $12 - $15 for bottled.
Desserts: I did mostly sorbets. One night I had a banana split but asked the server to substitute the pineapple/chocolate sauce with extra bananas. I also had a cannoli --- 1 not 2!!!!
Now for the big problem: Alcohol. This was my first experience with alcohol since being diagnosed. I tried Malibu Rum and Club Soda. When I was in the room, I would make myself Malibu Rum with unsweetened decaf ice tea. Now granted I never was a big drinker so I would have 2 - 3 drinks a night with little or no problems.
I've read on websites that if you drink, Vodka is the purest alcohol someone with GERD can have, but I'm not a big fan of Vodka. The Malibu Rum was better for me.
Once or twice I would get back to the room and the lump feeling would start in my throat but I would just drink more water and it and the mild heartburn went away rather quickly.
As for sleeping, I didn't look into a travel-wedge pillow since I sleep with one at home and just used the sofa pillows which are wide and harder to create my own wedge.
However -- I never wake up in the middle of the night at home with GERD problems, just sometimes a sore throat first thing in the morning.
Since I travel to Vegas twice a year, I wanted to find a way to still have fun but keep my heartburn episodes limited. When I got home, I stopped the alcohol and no cheating whatsover and seem to be fine. Granted, like I said earlier my GERD is considered a 1-2 right now.
If you have any vacation questions, please feel free to ask me or share your experiences with me.
Viva Las Vegas!!!!