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How to Prevent Travel Sickness


Traveling offers a thrilling opportunity to discover new places, cultures, and cuisines. However, the unpleasant symptoms of travel sickness, also known as motion sickness, may hinder the excitement of travel for some individuals.

How to Prevent Travel Sickness

Nausea, dizziness, and general discomfort can mar the enjoyment of any journey, whether by car, plane, or boat. However, do not despair, as this comprehensive guide is designed to provide you with practical strategies to effectively prevent travel sickness, allowing you to fully embrace your adventures. Planning serves to prevent or ease the symptoms. Other contributing factors include:

  • Sitting in the back seat of a car without a clear view of the horizon
  • Insufficient air circulation in the vehicle
  • Reading in the car

Older people, pregnant women, and children aged 5 to 12 commonly experience travel sickness, as do individuals who suffer from migraine headaches. There may be a genetic tendency to it. After the symptoms of travel sickness subside, gradual relief typically follows.

Symptoms of Travel Sickness

The symptoms of travel sickness include:

  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Yawning
  • Headache
  • Mild unease
  • Sweating
  • Drooling
  • Drowsiness

Causes of Travel Sickness

  • The brain detects travel sickness through various pathways of the nervous system, including the inner ear, the eyes, and the body's surface tissues. When we intentionally move the body, such as when walking, the brain coordinates input from all these pathways.
  • The symptoms of travel sickness appear when the central nervous system receives conflicting messages from the sensory systems: the inner ear, eyes, skin pressure receptors, and muscle and joint sensory receptors.
How to Prevent Travel Sickness

Diagnosis of Travel Sickness

Most cases of travel sickness are mild and self-treatable. Extreme cases and those showing progressive deterioration require the expertise and care of a physician who specializes in ear, balance (equilibrium), and nervous system disorders. To help diagnose travel sickness, a doctor will ask about symptoms and find out what usually causes the problem (such as riding in a boat, flying in a plane, or driving in a car). Laboratory tests are generally not necessary to diagnose travel sickness.

Prevention of Travel Sickness

  • Take travel sickness medicine one to two hours before traveling.
  • Choose the appropriate seat. The front passenger seat is the best in the car. If you are on a boat, position yourself at the center of the boat. Face forward while aboard a train. Opt for a seat adjacent to a window on the train. These seats have fewer bumps. If you are on a cruise, book a cabin in the front or middle of the ship. Request a room that is closest to the water level.
  • Ensure proper ventilation, as fresh air can help alleviate feelings of nausea.
    How to Prevent Travel Sickness
    Turn on the air conditioner or open the window in a car. Direct the vent toward yourself on the plane. Select a seat close to a window when traveling in a covered boat.
  • Entertain and distract yourself by keeping your eyes focused on the horizon, especially during periods of motion.
    How to Prevent Travel Sickness
    This helps provide a stable visual reference point. Engage in activities that divert your attention, such as listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks. Reading a book or playing games can also be effective distractions.
  • Reduce head movements, as these can contribute to feelings of dizziness. Keep your head still and focus on maintaining a stable posture. Lie down when you feel sick.
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal before or during travel. Instead, consume small portions of plain food. Don't eat greasy, spicy, or acidic foods before or during travel. Consider incorporating ginger into your pre-travel routine. Ginger has anti-nausea properties and is available in various forms, such as ginger candies, capsules, or ginger-infused beverages.
    How to Prevent Travel Sickness
    Strong odors can trigger or worsen nausea. Be mindful of fragrances, and avoid sitting near sources of strong smells during your journey.
  • Drink an adequate amount of water. Dehydration can exacerbate feelings of nausea and discomfort. Ensure you remain well-hydrated before and during your journey.
    How to Prevent Travel Sickness
    Pack a reusable water bottle and take small sips regularly to stay hydrated without overwhelming your stomach.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they both can contribute to dehydration.
    How to Prevent Travel Sickness
    It's advisable to limit their consumption, especially before and during travel.
  • Talk to your doctor about different therapies. This might involve wearing pressure bands on your wrist.
  • If your symptoms persist for more than a few days, consult your doctor.


Managing and preventing travel sickness is crucial for ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, such as choosing appropriate seating, planning rest breaks, and utilizing medication or natural remedies, travelers can significantly reduce the likelihood of experiencing motion-related discomfort. Furthermore, proper hydration, abstaining from heavy meals before traveling, and practicing relaxation techniques can also help prevent travel sickness. It's essential to listen to your body's cues and take proactive steps to address any symptoms that may arise during travel. With careful preparation and mindful attention to personal well-being, travelers can embark on their journeys with confidence, knowing they have the tools to minimize the impact of travel sickness and fully enjoy their adventures.

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