Top tips to beat motion sickness

Do you ever feel queasy when riding in a car, plane or boat? It is thought that everyone is potentially vulnerable to motion sickness, but some people are more vulnerable than others. It’s not always motion that triggers the sickness, smells such as food or petrol and the anxiety that it’s going to happen can all contribute. Don’t let motion sickness ruin your holiday, read on for our top tips on how to beat it…

Travelling by car
Firstly, ask the driver to take bends gently and not to accelerate and slow down repeatedly. It’s also a good idea to make hourly stops throughout the trip so you can get out for some fresh air and stretch your legs. Reading or games that encourage concentrating downwards should be left until the journey is over, instead try singing along to music or playing games that encourage looking ahead as this helps to prevent queasiness. A well ventilated car is a must to beat feelings of nausea, so consider opening your window for the car journey.

At sea
Get as much fresh air as possible away from the smell of fuel fumes and foods. Take deep breaths and drink plenty of water. Going out on deck is ideal, but make sure you focus on the horizon or something that isn’t moving – don’t watch the waves! Try to avoid looking down into your lap such as trying to read a book or playing a game as this can make people feel queasy. Try taking part in an activity or something to keep you busy on deck. This will keep your mind occupied so you will not be concentrating on feeling ill. The worst thing that you can do is go below decks with no land or horizon to look at!

Air travel
Ask your airline for a seat over the wing, where the plane is most stable. Tilt your seat back, rest your head on the headrest, and close your eyes. Music helps some people relax and takes their mind off feeling unwell. Focusing on a nearby object like the TV screen, might help to take your mind off of the feeling of nausea. Some people know they’re going to be sick whatever they do. If this is the case, ask for a seat near the toilets. Being worried about suffering from motion sickness during a flight can raise levels of anxiety especially in those who are already scared of flying.

Prevention and treatment
As well as the advice above, the following can help to reduce the chance of travel sickness:

  • Avoid heavy meals and alcohol before travelling.
  • Keep still with eyes closed.
  • Anti-sickness medicines – should be taken before travel so they have time to be absorbed by the body. You can buy them from pharmacies or get a prescription from your doctor.
  • Ginger or peppermint remedies – ginger can be taken as a biscuit or tea while peppermint can be sucked as a sweet or taken as a tea.
  • Acupressure – can be applied using a wristband or by pressing your finger against the middle of the inner wrist about three finger widths above the crease where the wrist joins the hand.

Source: BBC health

Travel insurance
If you are prepared to chance the motion sickness, don’t forget your insurance. Cover for a short break to anywhere in the world with 24/7 travel insurance costs from just £15.94* and frequent travellers might get better value from an annual multi-trip policy starting from £56.09* – so you can really enjoy seeing the world without worrying about unforeseen expenses!

*Premiums include Insurance Premium Tax, based on an individual aged 18-54 taking out “standard” policies for worldwide travel excluding personal possessions and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (Sep 2009) and are subject to change.