Heading to the Caribbean, but worried about getting nauseous on a boat or plane? Here are 10 easy ways to beat motion sickness, so you can enjoy your vacation in paradise to the max.
What is motion sickness?
Also known as seasickness, this nauseating condition occurs when the inner ear is disturbed, affecting your sense of balance and equilibrium. Symptoms can include an upset stomach, dizziness, vomiting, sweating, and nausea. It is most common in women, and among children ages 2 to 12.
1. Be well rested
Did you know that you can beat motion sickness even before it starts? You can begin by getting a good night’s sleep. If you’re already exhausted before you get on that plane, train, car, or boat, you’re much more likely to suffer from motion sickness.
One way to combat this is to pack a few days in advance, so that you can get a good night’s sleep in the days before your trip.
2. Eat– but not too much
That feeling of an empty, growling stomach can put you over the edge once you’re in motion. So make sure you’ve made time to eat a healthy meal. Or, have a snack at the very least.
Avoid overeating, as this can cause motion sickness to be much worse. If your stomach is empty and you’re already feeling sick, try snacking on bland foods like saltine crackers and pretzels.
3. Don’t reach for the ginger ale
Contrary to popular opinion, ginger ale isn’t exactly the “cure-all” when it comes to upset tummies. In fact, chugging down a can of this sugary soda when you’re nauseous can actually make things worse.
However, there’s a reason why some people swear by it– the ginger. Research has shown that ginger does have anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease stomach pain and queasiness.
Yet, there’s just one, teeny-tiny problem– the ginger ale you love probably doesn’t have any actual ginger in it. In fact, Canada Dry lost a lawsuit in 2018 because they advertised the drink as being “Made with Real Ginger” when the ingredient label said otherwise.
According to USA Today, the woman who filed the lawsuit said she bought Canada Dry for her children when they were sick, thinking the “ginger” in it would help them.
4. Avoid triggers
Everyone’s different when it comes to triggers. Some people feel motion sick while reading in a moving vehicle. Others are triggered by certain smells. The key is to figure out what triggers your sickness, and avoid it at all costs. Alcohol, greasy foods, and strong odors can all cause nausea.
In addition, keeping your mind off sickness can really help. Distracting yourself and telling yourself “it’s all in your head” can really work. Don’t believe us? It works the same way that thinking about vomit, strong smells, or disagreeable events from your past can make you feel sick to your stomach.
5. Stay in the middle of the boat
The rocking motion you may feel on a boat can be minimized in the center. If you start to feel sick, stay away from the sides, and head to the middle of the ship. If you’re on a cruise, you might request a room close to the ship’s center.
6. Take medication
There are plenty of medicines available to control the effects of motion sickness, like Dramamine or Meclizine. Most of them work by counteracting chemicals released by the brain when you start to feel sick.
Keep in mind that most of these drugs only work if you take them before you get in the car, plane, or boat. In addition, some of them might cause unwanted side effects like drowsiness or dry mouth.
7. Crack open a window
This common strategy actually works. Stepping outside or cracking a window and getting some fresh air can ease queasiness. The fresh air can get rid of smells that might be making you nauseous a breeze on your face can soothe anxiety. It also helps to distract yourself with some sort of activity. Like they say…mind over matter!
8. Look to the horizon
If you’re riding in a car or boat, look out toward the horizon. This tricks your brain into feeling in “control” of the motion instead of just feeling it. Or, as some put it, you’re enhancing “sensory congruence”.
In simple terms, you want your eyes to see the same cues that your inner ear is feeling. When this happens, motion sickness is less likely. That’s why you probably don’t feel sick while driving, but you suffer from nausea while in the back seat.
9. Sit looking forward, not backward
Occasionally, you’ll find seats placed with their backs toward the direction in which the vehicle is moving. These are common on subways, buses, and in limousines. While they might be great for holding conversations with your travel mates, backwards seats can cause some people to feel sick. Even if you’re not sure whether you’re one of those unlucky folks, sit looking forward, just in case.
10. Try a motion sickness band
A fairly new, trendy accessory called the “sea band” uses acupuncture on the wrist to stop nausea in its tracks. Sea bands consist of a plastic band with a stud on the inside that puts pressure on a certain area of the wrist. While it’s unclear whether they are actually scientifically proven to work, there’s nothing wrong with trying them out. If anything, wearing one might give you the confidence to just get on that boat and go, even if your lack of sickness is just due to the placebo effect.
Like these tips? Get more traveling tips and tricks from Key Caribe! Check out the following articles:
- 10 Weird Tips to Make Your Flight More Comfortable (Almost Nobody Does #9)
- 8 Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling in the Caribbean
- Money Tips for the Caribbean
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