My Experiences of Travel/Motion Sickness
There are many theories about the cause of travel sickness, and as someone who has suffered pretty badly from it from the moment they were put in a car as a baby, I can testify that if you suffer from travel or motion sickness then it can really affect your life.
Some say it is psychological (say this to me and my hackles rise whilst I think of as many ways to inflict pain on you as I can!), others that it is an imbalance in the inner ear. I am not a medical person, all I know is that I have tried most things out there to help prevent motion sickness and some work better than others.
I personally suffer from travel sickness in pretty much any mode of transport that you can name, be it cars, buses, planes, boats, trains to the slightly more obscure lifts (elevators), rides in waterparks and in the IMAX screen at the cinema! I also had a problem when I once went in a Formula 1 simulator car and had to get out after about 30 seconds as I thought I would throw up!
I don’t know whether travel sickness is hereditary but I do know that my Dad also suffers very badly and cannot be driven anywhere so he is even worse off than me. People say that you grow out of it but I haven’t really found this to be the case – perhaps it has got a bit better or maybe more manageable with age as I am no longer as sick as I used to be as a child – I remember pretty much every holiday that we had I would have to stop on the way to be sick.
Anyway, the truth is there doesn’t seem to be any magic cure so us sufferers just have to do what we can to manage it.
Different Methods of Motion Sickness Prevention
So here are some of the methods I have found and tried to help prevent motion sickness:
Before You Travel
Try not to eat a really heavy meal before travelling, particularly greasy or friend foods. Have something light and have some water to take with you.
Make sure if it is at all possible, that you have plenty of fresh air when travelling. Wind down the window slightly in a car, go up on deck in a boat and make sure the air vent director is turned on and pointing towards you on a plane. Also if you are in a car or a bus then try and sit somewhere you can see where you are going and can see the horizon. Focusing in front of you and watching where you are going really helps to stop motion sickness.
When trying to prevent motion sickness, make sure that you do not read anything, or in extreme cases don’t even look down when you are travelling. As soon as you do this (for example to send or receive a text message) and your focus is taken off the horizon, you will probably start to feel worse and motion sickness will kick in. Trying to keep your head still and going with the motion of the vehicle helps so if you can, lean your head against a headrest. I have also found on a boat that when i felt bad, if I actually lad flat on the deck I felt better but this was a last resort!
One other thing that I have found to help prevent motion sickness is to chew gum whilst you are travelling. Whilst unfortunately this may be banned on some forms of public transport I have found that it really helps on things like short car journeys where I don’t want to take a travel sickness tablet.
Motion Sickness Tablets
I tend to take a motion sickness tablet only if I am going on a long journey or a particularly rough one – for example by sea. I have tried many types of motion sickness prevention tablets and most of them work pretty well but they do tend to have some side effects so it is worth trying different ones to see what suits you. I find a lot of travel sickness tablets give me a dry mouth and pretty much all of them make me drowsy, which is fine if I am getting on a long flight but not good if I only have a short trip and need to be alert at the end of it. Once I took a tablet and fell asleep at my boarding gate which was not a good idea!
Travel Sickness Wristbands
These can be bought from health shops and often from airports and chemists. The way that travel wristbands work is based on acupressure points on the inside of your wrists. Each band has a semi-spherical type bead that puts pressure on this point in your wrist and so is supposed to help prevent motion sickness. I use these wristbands quite often when I am travelling in a car and also combine these with tablets when on a boat or plane. I feel that they can help a little bit but if the motion gets extreme then only the tablets can help. They do have the obvious advantage though of not making you feel drowsy or to suffer from any other side effects.
Motion Sickness Patches
OK so this is one thing that I just discovered when researching this article. I have to admit I hadn’t heard of these motion sickness patches before. However, at present I am not able to try then out as they appear to only be available in the US and I am in the UK. So if anyone has tried these out it would be interesting to hear from you. They say they are 100% natural so this may mean that they don’t make you drowsy like the tablets do, although they do appear to have some side effects. there are a few good reviews for them but when there are less than a dozen reviews I guess you have to take them with a pinch of salt.
Ginger has for a long time been known to have properties that help with stomach upsets. For this reason I find that they are good to take if motion sickness has already set in – they can settle your stomach and prevent the nausea. I have used these on boats and planes and they have worked for me.
You can also take them before travelling which I recommend if you think it is going to come over you suddenly as sometimes I find I am too sick to take anything so it’s too late.
Hypnosis and Subliminal Suggestion
This is something that I have not tried and I would be interested to hear from others who have tried this – feel free to leave your comments below as to whether it has worked or not. I know that there are subliminal albums available that you should listen to for at least a few weeks, but again I have not experienced these yet, although think I might well try this soon, as I feel like I have tried everything else!