Get ahead of motion sickness

Updated at: Jan 11, 2011
Get ahead of motion sickness

Sick of that familiar feeling of nausea washing over you each time you're ready for a holiday? Chase that feeling right out the car (bus or plane) window with these practical tips.

Tunali Mukherjee
Travel HealthWritten by: Tunali MukherjeePublished at: Jan 11, 2011

Get ahead of motion sicknessSick of that familiar feeling of nausea washing over you each time you're ready for a holiday? Chase that feeling right out the car (bus or plane) window with these practical tips

Ready for that dream vacation, but dreading the journey? You're not alone. Motion sickness is a relatively common ailment that's caused by a disturbance in the inner ear due to repeated motion.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, and an overall sense of uneasiness.

Symptoms of motion sickness include nausea, vomiting and dizziness

While the condition can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for sufferers, solace can be found in the fact that it can be easily tackled. Here are 7 ways to beat motion sickness.


Avoid spicy foods


Steer clear of spicy and oily food right before the trip. Food that you don't have a tolerance for should not be on the menu either. Opt for a light snack like fresh fruits or yoghurt prior to departure, and stay well hydrated. Strong food odours and alcohol are strict no-nos.


Grab the best seat


Choose a seat where you're likely to feel the least motion. On an airplane, those are the seats near the wing, in a car it's the front seat. Avoid sitting in the back.


Travel at night


Travelling at night significantly reduces motion sickness, as you can't sense motion in the darkness.




Sit still, with your head against a headrest and keep your attention focused on objects in the distance. If that doesn't work, try staring at a stationary object. It's the same technique used by dancers while doing a pirouette.


Get some fresh air


Fresh air will help you breathe more easily, and prevent motion sickness. If you can't roll a window down, open the vents. Even a fan helps.

Don't smoke when in the car and, if necessary, request co-passengers to refrain from smoking as well, as strong odours will only make things worse.


Carry your meds


While it's best to try and combat motion sickness naturally, don't forget to carry your medicines.

Over-the-counter meds usually do the trick, but try not to self-medicate.


Be the only one


Motion sickness is contagious, so if a fellow traveller suffers from it too, it's best to sit far from each other.

Watching another passenger suffer is more likely to trigger the same reactions in you.




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