Traveling is one of the best forms of relaxation. You get to see places, wander around and spend quality time with your family, friends or even time for yourself. A change of environment is a good de-stressing activity. However, whenever you hop on a plane, a car or a ship, this stresses you the most, motion sickness.
Motion sickness is caused by repeated motion that affects the inner ear. The inner ear contains a fluid chamber known as vestibular system. Moving the head causes the fluid to move, that signals the brain of the movement.
Its symptoms include nausea or vomiting, dizziness, sweating and a sense of feeling unwell. Some also feel excessive saliva production, and headache. These symptoms occur when there are changes in the person’s sense of balance and equilibrium.
How do you combat motion sickness? Here are the ways to get rid of motion sickness and sail away to wherever place you want to go.
- Watch what you eat and drink before and during travel. Do not indulge in excessive alcohol or food that will make you feel unusually full. Spicy or fat-rich foods may worsen motion sickness in some people. When going on a short trip, try not to eat anything, while during long trips, eat and drink often but sparingly.
- Avoid food with strong odors as this can cause nausea. Eating crackers or dry toast is more advisable than eating greasy food with strong odor.
- Do not sit facing backwards from your direction of travel.
- When getting on the car, avoid the back seat. Instead, sit in the front seat of the car so it will be easier for you to focus on an object outside the vehicle. Looking at a stationary spot outside the vehicle can help your inner ear and brain get in sync.
- Gaze at the horizon to help regain the body’s sense of balance. Avoid staring at moving object for it will add to your sensory confusion.
- Do not read when traveling if you are susceptible to motion sickness. If you need directions while driving, do not read maps or in-car navigation system. Instead, use the voice commands of the electronic navigation system to help you get to your destination.
- Open the car windows to get a source of fresh air, if possible. Fresh air directed on your face slightly relieves you from motion sickness. Alternatively, you can turn the air vent on full above your seat on the plane or on a train. On a boat, stay outside the deck as long as possible.
- Isolate yourself from others who may be suffering from motion sickness. Hearing others discuss about motion sickness or seeing others becoming ill can trigger your motion sickness.
- Choose a seat where you will experience least motion. When traveling on an airplane, sitting at the middle over the wing is the calmest area of the plane. When riding a ship, those in lower level cabins near the center of the ship experience less motion than occupying the passengers’ area in higher or outer cabin.
- Take a nap. Whenever your eyes are closed, this will help in eliminating sensory confusion while on the road.
- Take over-the-counter medicine or anti-dizziness pill before traveling. Take this medication before you start your trip so they are in full effect when you start driving, sailing or flying.
- For those who prefer herbal remedy for motion sickness, ginger tames nausea. Taking them before the trip can make you less nauseated than those who did not take one.
- If you will have longer travels, some doctors prescribe the use of prescription patch. Worn behind the ear, it works like an antihistamine by interfering with the communication between the nerves and the part of the brain that controls vomiting. This patch releases a steady dose of medication over three days. Apply the patch at least four hours before you head off to your destination.