Best Ways To Prevent Motion & Travel Sickness

16 September 2015

Best Ways To Prevent Motion & Travel Sickness

When talking about motion sickness, you may immediately picture car or sea travel. Whilst it’s true that motion sickness is very common in these forms of travel, it may surprise you to learn that air journeys can also affect certain people.

If you’re lucky enough to have avoided suffering this feeling during travel, you may not know a lot about it.

What causes motion sickness?

In some instances when we are unable to control motion (such as in a car, on a boat or an airplane) our sense of balance is knocked causing symptoms of travel sickness which arise from disturbance of our inner ear (or labyrinth).

Whilst anyone can develop it, motion sickness is more common in children, pregnant women and people that tend to suffer frequent migraines.

The symptoms of motion sickness can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Pale skin
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Drowsiness
  • Erratic breathing

It’s important to note that not every sufferer will necessarily vomit when feeling ill on their journey, but sometimes the feeling of nausea alone can be strong enough and prolonged to such an extent that it ruins a person’s enjoyment of their journey.

How to avoid motion sickness

So what steps can you take to avoid motion sickness in your next journey? Here are our top do’s and don’ts:

Do…

  • Sit by an open window and try to get fresh air, where possible. When onboard a plane this obviously isn’t possible. So instead try turning your seat’s air nozzle towards your face to ensure you receive a continual stream of cold air
  • Try to walk around every now and again to ensure you get some exercise, but…
  • Be sure to keep still when you are sat down; don’t shift about too much
  • Distract yourself; try eating some small, healthy snacks or listening to music
  • If you’re on a plane, try and sit in the aisle seat – sometimes the fear of being sick surrounded by other people can be enough to make you feel worse. By sitting in the aisle, you can be sure of easy access to a nearby toilet if necessary
  • Sometimes the smell of the seats or interior can be enough to set things off, particularly if they’re well worn. Why not carry something small – such as a handkerchief that you have spritzed beforehand with your favourite perfume or aftershave – that you can pull out if interior odours become too overpowering? Not only will reverting to a comforting, familiar scent help cover unpleasant odours, smells help to invoke memories which could even distract you from feeling ill
  • Try to keep your gaze on a fixed point; too much eye movement can cause dizziness which can set off your nausea
  • Watch what you eat beforehand; opt for light meals rather than anything fatty or heavy
  • Try and choose a seat with little motion; on a plane, for instance, choose a seat in the centre, over the wing to encounter the least movement

Don’t…

  • Don’t sit facing backwards; it helps to be able to see which direction you’re going
  • Don’t read. Sometimes, looking at smaller screens (such as those on a mobile phone or a tablet) can also set off your nausea, but sometimes they can help to distract you; this completely depends on the individual, so you must ascertain for yourself whether this is a help or a hindrance
  • Don’t travel on an empty stomach; sometimes we start to feel nauseas in the pit of our stomachs when we haven’t eaten for a while and this can lead to feeling worse when you start travelling. Be sure to eat something small beforehand
  • Try to avoid alcohol
  • Above all else; don’t panic! Relax and stay calm. Try a few breathing exercises to calm yourself and relieve the symptoms

If your motion sickness is particularly strong and no amount of steps you take can prevent it, there are other methods:

  • Ear patches – Containing a treatment called scopolamine, these are available from most pharmacists. Place them behind your ear a few hours before your journey and they should relieve your symptoms as they are believed to block a portion of the nerve signals that are being sent from the vestibular system
  • Pressure bands – Used on your wrists, these bands push down on pressure points located between the tendons on the inside of your wrist which can relieve symptoms of motion sickness in some cases
  • Ginger – Whilst there is nothing to prove that ginger definitely relieves symptoms of travel sickness, it has been used as a remedy for many years. Try snacking on a couple of ginger biscuits, sipping on a cup of ginger tea, or simply investing in ginger supplements before embarking on your journey.

If you’re nervous of travelling because you suffer from motion sickness, rest assured we go that extra mile to put your mind at ease. Just let your driver know about your concerns before the journey and we will be sure to drive extra carefully. Not only that we will also discuss comfort stops before we head off and we’re more than happy to stop as many times as you need.