Overcoming Motion Sickness: A Guide to Enjoying Travel by Car, Train, Boat, and Plane

Overcoming Motion Sickness: A Guide to Enjoying Travel by Car, Train, Boat, and Plane

One thing that can nip travel in the bud for a lot of people is, well, travel. Motion sickness is a common condition that affects many people when traveling in a car, train, boat, or plane. The symptoms of motion sickness can be unpleasant and can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, and fatigue. So in order to help you make the most of travel, let’s talk about how to prevent and manage motion sickness when traveling by different modes of transportation.

Car Travel 

When traveling by car, motion sickness can be caused by the vehicle’s movement and the constant change in direction. To avoid tossing your cookies into a coffee can, try the following:

  • Sit in the front seat: Sitting in the front seat can help reduce the symptoms of motion sickness, as it allows you to see the road ahead and reduces the amount of motion you experience.
  • Focus on the horizon: Focusing on a fixed point in the distance, such as the horizon, can help to reduce the mismatch between what the eyes see and what the inner ear senses.
  • Avoid reading or looking down: Reading or looking down can worsen the symptoms of motion sickness, so it’s best to avoid these activities when traveling by car.
  • Take breaks: Taking breaks to get out of the car and stretch can help to alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness.

Train Travel 

When traveling by train, motion sickness can be caused by the rocking motion of the train. To prevent motion sickness when traveling by train, try the following:

  • Sit in a forward-facing seat: Sitting in a forward-facing seat can help reduce the symptoms of motion sickness, as it reduces the amount of motion you experience.
  • Focus on a fixed point: Focusing on a fixed point in the distance, such as the horizon, can help to reduce the mismatch between what the eyes see and what the inner ear senses.
  • Avoid reading or looking down: Reading or looking down can worsen the symptoms of motion sickness, so it’s best to avoid these activities when traveling by train.
  • Take breaks: Taking breaks to get up and walk around can help to alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness.

Boat Travel 

When traveling by boat, motion sickness can be caused by the movement of the boat and the rocking motion of the waves. To prevent motion sickness when traveling by boat, try the following:

  • Sit in the middle of the boat: Sitting in the middle of the boat can help to reduce the symptoms of motion sickness, as it reduces the amount of motion that you experience.
  • Focus on the horizon: Focusing on a fixed point in the distance, such as the horizon, can help to reduce the mismatch between what the eyes see and what the inner ear senses.
  • Avoid strong smells: Strong smells, such as diesel fuel or cooking odors, can worsen the symptoms of motion sickness, so it’s best to avoid them.
  • Take breaks: Taking breaks to get up and walk around can help to alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness.

Plane Travel 

When traveling by plane, motion sickness can be caused by turbulence and changes in altitude. To avoid using the airline barf bag, try the following: 

  • Sit in the middle of the plane: Sitting in the middle of the plane can help to reduce the symptoms of motion sickness, as it reduces the amount of motion that you experience.
  • Focus on a fixed point: Focusing on a fixed point in the distance, such as the horizon, can help to reduce the mismatch between what the eyes see and what the inner ear senses.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Alcohol and caffeine can worsen the symptoms of motion sickness, so it’s best to avoid them.
  • Take breaks: Taking breaks to get up and walk around can help to alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness.

Befor you travel, there are several ways to avoid motion sickness. There are several products that can be used to prevent or alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness, including:

  1. Anti-motion sickness medication, such as Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), Meclizine (Bonine, Antivert), Cyclizine (Marezine), Scopolamine (Transderm Scop)
  2. Ginger supplements, teas or candies
  3. Acupressure wristbands, which apply pressure to specific points on the wrist to alleviate nausea and vomiting
  4. Aromatherapy products, such as essential oils of peppermint, lavender or ginger
  5. Herbal supplements, such as chamomile or valerian root
  6. Specialized glasses that use prisms to stabilize vision and reduce motion sickness symptoms
  7. Seat cushions or pillows that absorb motion and reduce the amount of jostling

It’s important to talk to a healthcare provider or a pharmacist before using any products for motion sickness, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or take other medications.

Rebecca is the founder of Sightseeing Sidekick travel blog and the publisher of both a lifestyle and a bridal magazine. Living in Northern Virginia, she’s a 50+ mother and grandmother who started travel blogging to share her “new to her” experiences as she has more time to travel. She hopes to “inspire women who previously may not have been able to travel due to career or family obligations to plan, sightsee, and create memories.” You can follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and YouTube