Motion sickness is a very common problem among travelers. Asking around in my close group of friends and relatives I realized that we are not the only unlucky ones. Over the years, I’ve gone from dreading every single second on a bus (or car) to chewing ginger pills. But, suffice to say, that sickly feeling is staying away from yours truly nowadays.
What are my trips to prevent motion sickness? Read on!
Get some good sleep the night before the departure
It may help to be well rested before the departure. So get your eight (7-9) hours of sleep and, please, don’t party. The last thing you want is to be hangover.
Choose an early departure
This is especially true during summer. You don’t want to be in a stuffy bus – with air condition or not- when it’s hot outside. You just don’t. So, wake up for that 5 a.m. departure and suck it up. On the plus side, you’ll be sleepy enough to not care about the curves in road. True story!
It may be a controversial approach, but I do fast before a bus (or car) ride. If it happens to be in the afternoon / evening, I fast for at least 4 hours before the departure. If I leave in the morning, the only thing I drink is black coffee (you cannot cure an addiction, seriously). You need to try and see what works for you. Some people do better with eating something dry an hour before travel.
Front row seat
Do whatever you can to snatch that seat on the right hand-side of the drive (or left, in UK, for example). You want to be able to look at the road in front of you.
Or back row seat … on ferries
High-speed ferries are a totally different animal than cars. You want to sit to the back where the “sway” is not as bad. Since they don’t allow you to stay outside or even have access to windows in front, you want to just try to minimize the discomfort if the sea is bad.
Focus on the horizon
Look ahead and focus on the horizon. Do not look to the sides. Do not follow the objects on the sides with your eyes.
If in the plane, sit over the wings
I love to pre-book my seats and sit right over the wings. It doesn’t get too bumpy and I don’t feel the movement so badly. I tried the front or the back and hated both, by the way.
Sit facing the direction of travel
Guess how I got sick in a bus in a city? Yup, I wasn’t facing the direction of travel. So, I know better. I apply this even for train rides.
I know it’s a hard one but just don’t. I used to be able to years ago but not anymore. I vividly remember a bus ride crossing mountains in Italy and I was reading off my tablet. Once I took my eyes from it and looked through the window, I felt my stomach wanted to empty its contents. Several deep breaths later and I spared the driver of surprises.
If you crave reading a book, the alternative is to listen to an audio book.
Don’t close your eyes
You read correctly. Closing your eyes only makes the symptoms worse.
They don’t work for everyone but they do for me. With my new FitBit Charge 2 HR‘s Relax function, it’s even easier to focus for 2 minutes to take deep breaths.
Or get some ginger pills. Read the instructions and take them accordingly. Of course, it depends on the person and they may not always work. Ginger is a traditional medicine for nausea but make sure to check with your doctor if you are pregnant or take blood thinners.
If I forget my ginger pills I pray I have some minty chewing gum handy. Ideally, chew on some mint leaves. It may interact with medications so check with your doctor before you much on it. You can even brew some mint tea and put it in your water bottle.
OTC motion sickness pills and patches