How to avoid motion sickness when travelling

Car sickness on the road, seasickness on the boat and airsickness on the plane – most of us have had one or more, and no one wants another bout.


What is motion sickness?

Motion sickness is a common term for motion sickness, airsickness and seasickness. It can affect anyone, but is more common in women and children. The discomfort occurs when the brain’s perception of the body’s movements is not the same as what our vision experiences.

The brain cannot interpret the conflicting information, which can lead to the discomfort of motion sickness and even dizziness. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to relieve the symptoms of motion sickness, seasickness, and airsickness.


Which medicine to take?

Antihistamines, hyoscine motion sickness patches and acupressure bracelets can relieve motion sickness completely or to some extent. Talk to your pharmacist about which ones suit your needs – most remedies will not require a prescription.

According to clinical trials conducted on the Skoleskibet Danmark and among Norwegian whale-watching tourists, ginger as a dietary supplement also has a reducing effect on seasickness and motion sickness.

NOTE: The debilitating antihistamines that counteract motion sickness are NOT a good idea to take if you’re the one driving. However, if you are able to sleep while driving, the antihistamines are also relaxing.


Tips for long-distance driving or sailing

  • No iPad and books! Instead, be actively engaged with your surroundings, as it helps to follow the horizon with your eyes as you go. You can also follow what’s happening outside the car or bus, without necessarily focusing on the horizon. If you or a child gets carsick easily, reading a book or sitting with an iPad is a really bad idea.
  • Never travel on an empty stomach. The risk of getting sick increases if your stomach is empty. Eat light, and preferably spicy, food before you go.
  • Sit in the front. When driving a car or bus, sit in the front of the vehicle so you can see the road and the horizon.
  • Sit still. You are less likely to get motion sickness if you sit still.
  • Make sure to get some fresh air. It is important to get some fresh air while driving in the car, it helps with nausea
  • No smoking. Cigarette smoke is the worse enemy if you suffer from motion sickness. Avoid it completely during the journey.
  • Put a band-aid on. You can buy a transport sickness plaster on prescription. The patch is only for long journeys as it works for three days. The substance in the plaster is a depressant and should not be used for children under 10.


Audrey Brown
A Pilot, well-traveled consultant, businesswoman and international speaker who has collected countless pearls of travel wisdom over many years.

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