I’m one of those people that can’t even think about a long car journey without feeling sick. A travel blogger who gets travel sick is pretty ridiculous, but I’m afraid I can’t even look down when I’m in a car without wanting to hurl. Long journeys through winding roads are my idea of hell but over the years I’ve found a few great ways to make the trip more bearable.
Travel sickness, or motion sickness, usually leaves you feeling queasy and dizzy and extreme cases will result in vomiting. It occurs when your brain gets confused because it’s sent mixed signals from the eyes and the ears. It’s all to do with perceived movement and balance (something I’m not even going to pretend to understand) and, thankfully, most people grow out of it by their early teens.
If you’re like me and you never managed to grow out of motion sickness then keep reading to find some great ways to prevent it.
ViBan is similar to a visor but is worn lower down so it blocks your view of anything other than what is directly in front of you. The theory behind this is that if you can’t see the motion, your brain won’t get so mixed up and you won’t feel sick.
This is a great little device if you want to read, write or play games while in a vehicle. These are the kind of activities that make a lot of people feel ill while in a car and solves the motion sickness problem immediately. You will look like a bit of an idiot but it’s brilliant for car journeys with friends and family but you might feel silly on a coach full of people.
Travel sickness medication
This is an obvious one but with travel sickness medication there is one thing you have to remember: Prevention is better than a cure. Take the tablets at least half an hour before leaving and the tablets will stop you feeling ill once the journey begins. It’s too late to take them once you start to feel ill because they won’t work.
I always find that travel sickness tablets make me very thirsty but chugging on water during a journey isn’t always an option, especially if you don’t have a toilet on board, so try eating juicy sweets or chewing gum instead.
>> Read Candice’s post about Gravol.
Choose your seat wisely
Apparently you’re less likely to suffer from motion sickness if you sit in the middle of the vehicle. The vehicle is steadiest in the middle but you’re also less likely to see the movement outside and seeing it is just as bad as feeling it.
The middle aisle on an aeroplane or the middle cabin of a boat should help, as will the aisle seat on a bus. If you’re on a small boat, I would always recommend sitting at the back of the boat. If you’re feeling ill it can be tempting to sit in your cabin or stay close to the toilet but being in a small, confined space is the worst. Get outside in the fresh air and maybe keep a paper bag handy!
Eating and drinking
I’ve read conflicting reviews about what you should do when it comes to food and drink when you’re suffering from motion sickness. A lot of people say you should eat a small meal, sip on water and avoid alcohol. I’m going to be controversial here and say the complete opposite.
I spent six months working on a small island in Australia and the only way to get to the supermarket and back to civilization was a 30 minute ride on a tiny boat. At first it was hell but eventually I figured out a few tricks to make the journey more bearable.
- In my experience, eating a large, stodgy meal before getting on the boat is the best.
- Sipping water makes me feel worse and I’d rather sip something sweet like a fizzy drink or juice.
- If I’m feeling awful, alcohol is a total ‘no, no’ but if I’m just a little queasy then alcohol actually helps. I don’t know if it just takes my mind off the motion sickness or it counteracts the swaying, but either way, a small beer or a refreshing G&T works wonders.
Ginger is a traditional remedy for travel sickness and many people still swear by it today. The best ways to take it are in the form of a tablet or ginger tea but I’m also partial to a few ginger biscuits and a cup of tea.
>> Read about Alouise’s kick-ass cold remedy involving ginger.
There may not be so much scientific research to back up lemon as a treatment for motion sickness but a lot of people find it to be a great cure once they’re feeling sick. Slice up some lemons before your trip and every time you have a wave of nausea, suck on a slice of lemon to banish the sickness.
When all else fails…
It can sometimes be best to get it over and done with and just be sick. A lot of people feel better immediately after being sick and continue the rest of their journey nausea free.
>> Check out the acupressure wristbands as another motion sickness prevention.