Avoiding Travel Sickness

Travel or motion sickness is a general term for an unpleasant combination of symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea and vomiting, that can occur when you are travelling by boat, car, train or plane. Travel sickness occurs when repetitive small movements mean the brain is sent mixed messages; the eyes say one thing about the position of the body, while the delicate inner ear balance mechanisms are reporting something different.

How to avoid travel sickness?

Though they may differ depending on your mode of transport, there are a number of preventative and effective measures that you can take in order to reduce the symptoms and risk of travel sickness.

Plane
  • Do not have a large meal before your plane journey
  • Try to take a seat near the wings of a plane where the plane is more stable
  • Avoid reading, as this is sometimes linked with travel sickness
  • Remain in your seat as much as possible
  • Close your eyes and relax
  • Listen to some music to distract you from being unwell
Plane travel sick

Car

  • Look out the front window and focus on a non-moving object in the distance, such as the horizon
  • Sit in the front. This can alleviate the symptoms of travel sickness
  • Close your eyes and sleep if you can to take your mind off your motion sickness
  • Open the window to allow fresh air into the vehicle
  • Take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and get fresh air
  • Use medication that prevents car sickness
Car travel sick
Sea
  • Avoid eating junk food and alcohol the night before
  • Go out on the deck
  • Focus on the horizon or something that doesn't move. Do not watch the waves
  • If you have to stay inside, sit in the middle of the boat/ ship
  • Lie down and close your eyes
  • Take travel sickness medication
Sea sick
Train
  • Sit in the middle of the train to minimise shaky movement
  • Remain seated
  • Do not read
  • Keep hydrated and drink fluids such as water
  • Sit near a window and focus on the horizon to distract from any feelings of nausea
  • Try to sit in a seat that is facing in the same direction as the train is travelling
Train sick

Although these techniques may relieve the symptoms of travel sickness, more serious symptoms of motion sickness can be treated with medication. Hyoscine is an effective medication for travel sickness. This medication comes in the form of patches (Scopoderm) for those who do not like to swallow pills or tablets (Kwells), allowing to you to conveniently take this medication in your preferred form.

Promethazine, known as Avomine, is another antihistamine, which can sometimes be used to treat travel sickness. It is only available in tablet form to alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness and is most effect when taken a few hours before your journey.

Treatment for travel sickness

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