How to Prevent Motion Sickness Whilst Traveling

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Believe it or not I suffer from motion sickness. Ironic really, isn’t it, for a travel addict?

I actually didn’t realize I suffered from motion sickness until a few years ago when I went on a friend’s boat for the day and turned a funny shade of green.

Since then I have countless stories involving vomiting from motion sickness whilst on the road: there was the infamous incident where I burst off a London tube and vomited in the station, the time I had to get out of the car at every service station between Chester and Leeds, and the horrendous boat trip on rough seas between Santorini and Mykonos….

The thing is, I won’t let motion sickness stop me from exploring the world. I’ve learnt to prevent it and make sure it doesn’t affect me too much. Thankfully now I pretty much have it under control.

Before I go on any sort of journey I make sure I’ve eaten something, and I usually carry a bottle of water with electrolytes as well as some plain snacks. I never read books or magazines, or use my laptop when I’m in a moving vehicle and instead i put my iPod in, close my eyes and try to get some sleep. On trains I sit facing forwards, and if I’m in a car or on a bus, I sit at the front. If I’m going on a boat, like when I went shark cage diving in Port Lincoln, I start taking anti seasickness tablets before I get on the boat.

Whether you are prone to motion sickness or not, there are bound to be times where you feel a little nauseous….whether it’s because you partied a bit too hard the night before, or you have to catch a ferry when the seas are rough, or you’re taking a car journey along a windy road. Here are some motion sickness remedies and tips for preventing motion sickness:

Motion Sickness Bands

Motion sickness bands can be worn on the wrist to help reduce the symptoms of motion sickness. The bands work by putting pressure on a specific point on your wrist, which alleviates feelings of nausea.


It’s important to keep yourself hydrated when going on a long journey. You can buy sachets of electrolytes in different flavours and dissolve one in a bottle of water to hydrate your body. Alternatively you could buy Powerade, which does a similar thing.

Ginger for Motion Sickness

Some people believe that ginger supplements or ginger products such as ginger tea, crystallized ginger or ginger biscuits can help reduce the symptoms of travel sickness. In fact, throughout history ginger has been traditionally used to treat nausea and vomiting.

Sit in the Front Seat

If you’re in a car, sit in the front seat, or if you’re on a bus, try to pick a seat that’s as close to the front as possible. When travelling on trains, choose a seat that’s facing forward in the direction you are moving. On planes, choose a seat that’s over the wing and on boats, sit somewhere in the middle.

Look out onto the Horizon

If you’re on a boat and the seas are a bit rough, or you’re in a car driving along some windy roads, try to focus on a fixed point on the horizon.

Close your eyes and try to sleep

For me I find it to be mind over matter sometimes with travel sickness. I tilt my head back, close my eyes and try to fall asleep. Some people suggest listening to music can help relieve motion sickness symptoms, so perhaps take your iPod with you. The best thing to do is reduce your head movements and try to sit as still as possible.

Don’t read whilst moving

If I read a book or magazine, or try to use my computer whilst in a moving vehicle, my motion sickness is 10 times worse. If you suffer from motion sickness then it’s wise to keep looking out the window or straight ahead, not down at your lap.

Get some fresh air

Fresh air will do you a world of good. If you’re in a car then wind the window down, or if you’re on a boat, go out onto the deck. If you’re taking a long bus journey, make sure you get out and stretch your legs if the bus makes a stop.

Take Medicines to Prevent Motion Sickness

If I’m going on any sailing trips or long boat journeys I always carry some sort of anti-motion sickness tablets with me like Travel Calm. You can buy them at the chemists, and whilst they can make you a bit drowsy and sleepy, I have found them to work like a charm. You have to start taking the medicine several hours before your trip though to prevent any symptoms from developing. The tablets usually prevent me from feeling sick, even when the seas are really rough. Medicines used to prevent motion sickness often contain the ingredient Hyoscine, which is thought to work by blocking the signals that are sent from the vestibular system in your inner ear that can cause nausea and vomiting.

Don’t travel on an empty stomach

They say you shouldn’t eat a heavy meal or drink alcohol before traveling if you suffer from motion sickness. But equally you don’t want to be traveling on an empty stomach because it will just make the symptoms worse. Eat little and often, and carry some plain snacks with you like digestive biscuits.

If you need to throw up, just do it

If there’s a chance you might be sick on the journey, assess the toilet situation in advance. Make sure you know where the closest toilets are so you can make a quick getaway, and if possible, pick a seat close to them.

If you think you might be sick, go to the toilet in advance…don’t wait until it’s too late. Carry a plastic bag or something that you can throw up into so there’s no risk of projectile vomiting over someone else!  If you’re in a car, inform the driver so they have a chance to pull over.

Whatever you do, don’t sit there turning green. If you feel sick it’s better to get it out of your system- you’ll probably feel much better afterwards.

8 thoughts on “How to Prevent Motion Sickness Whilst Traveling”

  1. I feel your pain, I’m another one who seems to have developed worse motion sickness as I’ve got older. I totally swear by the motion sickness wristbands though. I got them for a boat trip but since an awful road trip through twisting and turning roads (the day after a wine tasting…) I carry them all the time – no idea how they work but they are amazing, I felt better straight away. Other than than staring at the horizon and extra strong mints help for me too.

  2. I’m exactly the same. I always knew I got a bit queasy when in cars and buses but it wasn’t until I started travelling that I realised I also get really bad sea sickness. I lived on an island for 5 months too and even though I had the opportunity to leave I never did because it made me so ill.

    I find that the best thing is seasickness tablets. I was reluctant to use them for a while but got some brilliant ones in Thailand and stocked up. They do make you a bit drowsy but I’d rather be asleep then be sick!

    1. Those seasickness tablets make me soooo drowsy but they are great. Only problem was I spent my entire time asleep on a boat in the Whitsundays instead of snorkelling and partying with everyone else! Doh!

  3. Am enjoying reading through your site!!

    I swear by Kwells for travel sickness. I live in Chicago and can’t get them here, but stock up everytime I’m back in London with family. And they don’t make me tired.
    All the standard ones I used to try back in the dark ages had absolutely no effect on me- I just puked those up immediately. Ick, sorry. TMI.
    Safe travels!

  4. Last time I went to visit Ireland I realised on the fast ferry I feel sick. I don’t feel sick on the slow ferry, but this time we’re going on the fast way there and back. I start to feel woozy, and feel unbalanced. It’s said that people with the best balance get worse motion sickness. I got some tablets and discover they make me feel a lot better! I go on the dock and just breathe. Last time I was sick all over my dad, so maybe it’s better to be on the deck…

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