If you're someone who suffers from travel sickness, then you know how any kind of motion can bring on nausea, dizziness or, even worse, vomiting and hyperventilating.
Luckily, there are lots of over-the-counter solutions on the market to alleviate symptoms, but there are also certain things you can do to overcome travel sickness for good. Here are five tips to avoid queasy stomachs and sweaty palms no matter what mode of transport you use to get to your destination.
Curbing calories before your journey and avoiding fatty, rich and spicy food can help stop the onslaught of travel sickness. Some people swear by eating a small piece of ginger before travelling, and it's always best to avoid alcohol and soft drinks to avoid feeling nauseous.
If you can choose where you'll be seated, then follow these general rules. For car travel, sit in the front seat, or even better, be the driver as this will give you a feeling of greater control. For air travel, choose the seat over the wing of the plane to experience less motion. The same goes for ships – cabins in the centre of the vessel are less likely to subject you to a rolling motion. Be sure to sit facing forward on trains and, if you are feeling sick, keep your eyes on a fixed point on the horizon.
Being stuck in a stuffy, hot confined space surrounded by other people can bring on travel sickness. Getting some fresh air and taking a few deep, soothing breaths to relax can help alleviate symptoms. If you're on a boat, head out onto the deck and strike up a conversation with fellow passengers to take your mind off it. If you're in the back seat of a car, wind down a window and find out when the next scheduled pit stop is so that you can get out, breathe, and stretch your legs. Whatever you do, don't read or check emails on your iPhone as looking down will make you feel sick.
If none of the above works for you, then buy some travel sickness tablets or pastilles from your local chemist. These should be taken before starting your journey, depending on instructions, and may cause drowsiness and allergic reactions; pregnant women should avoid them. While over-the-counter medications may not work for everyone, taking medicine sometimes has a calming effect and convinces the brain you're not going to get sick. They can also be helpful for children who aren't always able to control their environment as easily as adults.
Another common method for avoiding travel sickness is to wear wristbands that apply pressure to acupressure points on your wrists. If you're reluctant to take medication or are pregnant, then this is a non-drowsy, drug-free option to control nausea and other symptoms. Acupuncture, anti-motion sickness exercises, special music recordings and even hypnosis are all further options to try, especially if you suffer from chronic travel sickness.