Do you suffer from travel sickness?
What is travel sickness?
Travel sickness, sometimes described as motion sickness, is a feeling of nausea and dizziness. It is caused when the brain becomes confused by receiving differing information from your eyes and your inner ear.
If you do then you are in the right place.
Despite being a Professional Traveller I have suffered from travel sickness my whole life. However, I use a variety of techniques to ensure I can manage my travel sickness and carry on travelling.
Check out all the techniques I used to manage my travel sickness.
1. Travel Sickness – What Is It Like?
It’s pretty grim and it really does take the fun out of travelling because all your attention is on trying not to be ill.
Travel sickness symptoms include;
- Nausea (feeling sick) which can lead to being sick
- Mouth watering
- Feeling hot and sweaty
- Having a headache
- Burping (often feeling like you are going to be sick)
- Feeling tired
It can come on quite quickly and be difficult to shift.
Read on for my tips on how to prevent travel sickness in the first place!
2. Can You Cure Travel Sickness?
In my experience, you can’t cure travel sickness. Children may grow out of travel experience but for adults, it really is a case of managing the symptoms.
Good prevention techniques and a bit of planning will significantly reduce travel sickness symptoms.
3. How Long Does Travel Sickness Last?
Travel sickness can last longer than the time you are actually travelling. The fluid in your inner ear can be disturbed and this can take quite a while to settle down.
After journeys that have been long, or perhaps difficult because they have been bumpy or undulating you can feel like you are still moving even when you have stopped.
However, for most people travel sickness will stop soon after you have stopped moving.
4. How Do You Stop Travel Sickness?
You can’t really stop travel sickness but you can take steps to reduce the chances of getting it and minimise any potential symptoms.
Here are my tried and tested tips and techniques for preventing and managing various types of travel sickness.
5. Reducing Car Sickness
Here are the ways in which I avoid travel sickness when travelling in a car;
- Offering to drive – this is an easy way to never get travel sick in a car but it’s not always that practical if you are travelling with others.
- Avoiding getting too hot by turning the air conditioning down, pointing the air vents towards you so there is a breeze on your face, reducing the sun on your face and head.
- Using a handheld fan to ensure you don’t get too hot.
- Opening the window to get some fresh air in the car.
- Looking out the front window and looking straight ahead as much as possible.
- Avoiding reading whether that be books, online documents or even reading messages.
- Keeping hydrated with regular sips of water – too much water can make you feel a bit sick so be careful.
- Sucking on ginger sweets keeps any early feelings of nausea at bay.
6. Reducing Sea Sickness
Here are the ways I avoid seasickness when travelling by boat/ship;
- Finding a seat that is near the centre of the boat to avoid the extremes of movement.
- Focussing on the view at the front of the boat, but avoiding looking at the front of the boat itself as seeing this going up and down against the horizon can cause sickness.
- Keeping cool by staying out of the sun and finding somewhere to sit with a cooler temperature.
- Sucking on ginger sweets to keep early feelings of nausea at bay.
- Staying outside if the boat is moving around a lot – staying in the cold open air can often prevent nausea, but a coat and hat may be needed if the weather is rough.
- Avoiding moving around the boat when it is rough or bumpy.
- Checking if there are likely to be any bumpy patches during your journey and planning ahead. For example one of the Scottish ferries crosses a water channel which is always rough and bumpy. To avoid feeling ill I always go outside ahead of arriving at this water channel and come back inside once we have passed through it.
- Avoiding excessive drinking and eating. Eating and drinking too much can make any potential seasickness worse, although not eating enough can also increase feelings of sea sickness. If the journey is relatively short then consider your eating plans for the day and make sure you don’t end up being hungry on the boat.
- Drinking excessive alcohol can make travel sickness worse. Ginger beer and tonic water can really help minimise feelings of sickness so perhaps consider them instead of alcohol?
- Keeping a handheld fan available to help you stay cool.
- If you are travelling overnight on a ferry then I would definitely recommend a cabin. Being able to lie down is one of the best ways to deal with seasickness.
- Consider taking ginger tablets before you travel by boat/ship. These can really help manage feelings of sickness.
7. Reducing Coach Sickness
Here are my tried and tested ways to deal with coach sickness;
- Sit at the front of the coach if possible or sit towards the front of the coach, ideally ahead of the axle on the coach.
- If there is a toilet and door in the middle of the coach then the seat behind the toilet has a better view out of the window. This seat can have less legroom sometimes so beware. If the toilet is being used on the coach then this may not be a good option because over time the toilet can smell which can increase the chances of sickness.
- Sit in the middle of the back seat on the coach. This seat has a view right down the aisle of the coach and this can often help with coach sickness. However, if the coach is travelling along a twisty or bumpy route then sitting at the rear of the coach can be extremely bumpy so is likely to make you feel worse. Also, beware that sometimes the engine is at the back of the coach and this can make it warmer or noisier.
- Sit in an aisle seat as it is easier to see out towards the front of the coach rather than looking out of the side windows.
- Keep cool by using the air vents which should be located overhead. If the temperature is too hot then tell the guide/driver so they can adjust this. If air is not circulating around the coach very well it can help if everyone has their air vents open and they can point them at the window if they don’t want air blowing on them directly.
- Have a handheld fan so that you can keep yourself cooler.
- Avoid sitting in the sun on the coach.
- Have layers so you can adjust between the temperatures inside and outside of the coach.
- Sucking on ginger sweets can help keep early feelings of nausea at bay.
- Consider taking ginger tablets, especially if travelling on twisty or bumpy roads, as these can really help. If you are unsure about road conditions check with your driver or guide – they will be happy to help.
- Keep some headphones with you. Having headphones in can help reduce feelings of sickness.
- Avoid reading if it is likely to make you feel sick – this includes books and being online.
- Watching something on a tablet like a TV show or a film can often help with travel sickness by helping you to avoid the moving horizon or the view out of the side window.
- Avoid alcohol and eating too much as this can make feelings of travel sickness much worse.
8. Travel Sickness – Things That Have Helped Me
These ginger sweets are the best I have found. They are travel sweets so they won’t all stick together and they are not too strong. If ginger sweets are too strong they can make you feel quite sick which is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.
This fan might look tiny but it certainly puts out a pleasant breeze and it can operate for quite a long time on one charge. It’s very small and compact. It can easily be tucked into the seat back infront of you or easily held in your hand. It charges using a USB cable.
This is on my list for my next trip to somewhere that is likely to be a bit warmer and sunnier. It’s a rechargeable fan that blows air into your face and also around your neck. It’s ?23.99 but if it is as good as it looks then it is well worth it! It’s got great reviews and it also seems to help really well with hot flushes too.
These ginger tablets are strong, but not too strong that you leave you getting ginger flavoured indigestion all day long. They are Vegan society approved and ?5.99 for 90 tablets. They are also available for Prime Delivery.
I haven’t tried these yet but have just ordered some. They have good reviews and look to give relief from travel sickness without any side effects.
There are very reasonably priced wireless earbuds. They really help me with travel sickness.
Travel Sickness FAQs
How do you stop travel sickness?
Medication can stop travel sickness. Some medications can cause drowsiness. There are various other options including ginger tablets, sweets, fans, wristbands, patches and using headphones.
How long does travel sickness last?
You can experience travel sickness symptoms for up to 4 hours after you have stopped moving.
Travel Sickness Tablets
Many people I have travelled with over the years have tried travel sickness tablets. However, the vast majority have advised that they often feel as bad or sometimes worse when taking these tablets.
They have given my guests a low level of nausea which has affected their enjoyment of their day and this nausea has often continued after we stopped travelling.
Often people will wear travel bands. These wrist bands use acupressure and are worn around the wrists. Some people swear by these and some people report no effect at all.
At £3 for 2 pairs they are probably worth a try if you haven’t done so already.
These travel bands come with full instructions to help you position them correctly on your wrist. They are also available for Prime Delivery.
Travel Sickness – NHS Help and Information
If you want to know more about travel sickness (motion sickness) then check out the NHS website. This gives more information on symptoms and treatment, plus medicines available for severse sickness.
If you have find my Travel Sickness article helpful you might like my tips if you suffer from a fear of flying as well.
You might also like some tips for other things to help you travel more comfortably – check out my Travel Essentials page.
If you have trouble sleeping when travelling then check out my Sleep App for Travelling (and just great for travellers when not travelling too!)
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