Tips for Avoiding Motion Sickness


Road trips, cruises, and airplanes might serve to get us from Point A to Point B but are truly a huge part of the adventure. However, many travelers find the transit dizzying, nauseating, and very tiresome. This group of symptoms are commonly known as motion sickness and is caused by a disturbance in the inner ear which disrupts the sense of balance by sending conflicting signals to the brain. Although you may not be able to eliminate motion sickness, there are a few things you can do to reduce the full impact of motion sickness.

Choose Your Seat

To avoid the brain-body disconnect that causes motion sickness, find a seat where you will feel the least amount of movement or where you can find something unmoving to look at. On a plane, choose a seat situated over the wing or in front. On a ship, book a cabin near its center, and when you are above deck, look to the horizon. In a car, sit up front or take the wheel, and on a train, pick a seat that is facing forward. In any scenario, stay hydrated, keep fresh air flowing, and avoid reading or looking down at your phone or tablet.


You can find pills and chewable tablets that last from 8 to 24 hours in most drugstores, gas stations, and even airport shops. The efficacy of antihistamines in combating motion sickness is supported by research and doctors have been recommending them from decades. They are a great solution for prolonged turbulence and rough waters, but they also have the tendency to make you incredibly sleepy, which can be frustrating when traveling on a scenic route or cruising through open waters and it can be downright dangerous if you need to drive.


A pharmaceutical solution to motion sickness is the scopolamine medicine-based patch, Tranderm Scop. A growing body of research suggests that scopolamine works to reduce the “neural mismatch signal” and makes it easier for the brain to reorient. The patch is placed behind the ear an hour prior to your trip and can remain on for a few days. Although, advantages of this method include not having to remember to take a pill and that there are no symptoms of drowsiness, this method can cause excessive dry mouth.


Ginger root is used in Aryuveda and traditional Chinese medicine to treat gastrointestinal ailments, and it has become a proven stomachache remedy. Ginger can outperform over the counter drugs and has no marked side effects while it works to inhibit serotonin receptors and break up and expel gas from the digestive tract. You can find ginger lozenges, chews, and even gum in drug stores.

Sea Bands

Sea Bands are affordable and reusable elasticized bracelets that relieve nausea by exerting pressure on the pericardium 6, an acupressure point that traditional Chinese medicine believes can help harmonize digestion. However, clinical reports and research trials on the efficacy of acupressure bracelets have mixed results with some claiming that it is a placebo while other studies show a significant reduction in symptoms.

There is no one remedy that works for everyone when it comes to motion sickness and so it’s worth exploring multiple options. Whatever you choose, remember it’ll work best if you take it or put it on one to two hours before the start of your journey.

In case of a travel emergency during your next trip, make sure to download the Global Travel Plus Mobile App. With just a tap of a button, you can be connected to our 24/7 Operations Team. The app also includes many features that may be helpful during your travels such as Pre-Trip Information, U.S. Pharmacy Locator, and Global Embassy Locator.
Posted: 12/27/2019 9:00:00 AM