Dealing with Travel Sickness

Most of us have suffered with travel sickness at some point in our lives… whether it was going on a family holiday as a child; on a bus journey along that winding, mountain road in South America; or on a particularly choppy boat trip! But is there anything you can do to help (or to at least ease the suffering!)?

Here are some of my tips for helping avoid/minimise travel sickness:

  • In a car, sit in the front if possible so you can see what’s happening… Remember: the primary cause of travel sickness is our brain receiving confused messages. Basically, our eyes don’t see much movement (if we can’t really see where we are going) but our inner ear detects movement, which confuses our brain and makes us feel nauseous.  Thus, sitting in the front of a vehicle means our eyes see what’s happening and therefore our brain is not confused by the discord between what it’s seeing and what it’s feeling…
Ready to go…
  • Likewise, if you’re travelling by bus, sit next to the window or, if possible, sit right at the front where you can see out of the front windscreen.
Bus travel Indian style
  • If you are on a boat and feel unwell, go outside on deck and look towards the horizon.  The fresh air will help and seeing the movement as well as feeling it will also help (as explained above).
Ferries at the Port of Dover
  • If you are travelling by plane, request seats over the wing, as this is the most stable part of an aeroplane.
  • If you are on a plane and you experience turbulence, tighten your seatbelt and relax – if you go with the movement of the plane it won’t feel so bad.
If possible, sit over the wing
  • On a bus or in a car, don’t sit and read or do anything that involves looking down as you are looking away from the road.
  • Sip water (to stay hydrated) and suck a mint or chew ginger – both mint and ginger are supposed to be good for relieving nausea.
  • It sounds obvious, but avoid spicy or greasy food (and too much alcohol!) when travelling as they are not easy for your body to digest.
Give the McDonalds a miss…
  • If other people are suffering, try and stay away from them if possible… there’s nothing more likely to make you feel sick than watching someone else being sick!
  • I find listening to music helps as it relaxes me and takes my mind off feeling queasy… give it a go and see if it works for you!

I hope you find these tips helpful in dealing with travel sickness…

Do you have any tips? Let me know in the comments if you do.

Happy Travelling!


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30 thoughts on “Dealing with Travel Sickness

  1. Good advice Kate. I always go for the fresh air, no reading, looking forwards approach. Seems to work. Also, can’t believe what some people eat when they are travelling.

    1. Thank you – these tips have always worked for me! I always try and control what Freya eats now when we’re travelling as we’ve been caught out before!
      Kate x

  2. Apparently on boats, looking at the horizon doesn’t always help, because like you said, looking at something still sends mixed messages to your brain. Some advise to try to just move with the motion of the boat. Not quite sure how much I believe it though, haha! On a marine field course I went on we would lose marks if we got seasick because it’s totally preventable… have some extra sugar in your tea/ coffee, drink TONS of water (“If you’re not sprinting to the bathroom after each dive, you’re not drinking enough water”), eat well and take seasick tablets!

    Rachel ||

    1. There are various remedies for travel sickness – some work others don’t! It’s definitely trial and error…
      Kate x

  3. All of this is great advice! My oldest son used to get motion sickness. Last year when we drove from Houston to SW Florida (17 hours) he got sick 6 times. But he’s too little to sit in the front. We’ve learned to take his glasses off, no kindle or anything to look down at (as you mentioned) and he doesn’t really eat much at all. Luckily, this summer, we’ve already spent more than 48 hours in the car on various trips and he hasn’t gotten sick! Kids Dramamine was also great to help relieve him.

  4. Thankfully I’ve never had to deal with this but there are a lot of great tips here. We always use those wrist bands when we cruise to prevent seasickness. I bet they’d work for carsickness too.

    1. Thank you! I’ve never had any success with the travel bands to be honest, but I know a lot of people swear by them… different things work for different people!
      Kate x

  5. Nice information. When I go to travel outside country I really apply this. I’ve never been ride an airplane before. Thanks for sharing this idea.

    1. So many people find they get travel sick when they’re not doing the driving! I guess when you’re driving you’re concentrating not the road ahead (as advised!)…
      Kate x

  6. Great advice! I would definitely avoid too much reading and using your smartphone/tablet (except maybe for the plane).

    1. Thank you! I always avoid anything that involves looking down when in the car or on a bus… it always makes me feel queasy!
      Kate x

    1. I’ve tried the bands but I didn’t really find they helped that much… but different things work for different people.
      Kate x

  7. This is so helpful! I’m actually traveling to New York City tomorrow so I will definitely be using these tips!

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