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Motion sickness or travel sickness is common, especially in children and women. Symptoms can develop in cars, trains, planes and boats. So how to prepare yourself for longer trips when you have motion sickness?


Motion sickness is caused by repeated unusual movements during travelling. These repeated movements, such as going over bumps or round in a circle, send lots of messages to your brain. Your inner ear balance mechanisms feel different signals to those that your eyes are seeing which then sends your brain mixed, confusing messages. This then causes the symptom of feeling sick (nausea). Other symptoms you may experience include sweating, drooling saliva, headaches, feeling cold and going pale.

How can motion sickness be prevented and how to get ready for the journey?

Some general tips to avoid motion sickness can be divided into:

1. Eating habits

2. Seating

3. Medicines

4. Others

I. Avoid heavy meals, spicy and fatty food. Do not drink alcohol and high sugar drinks during and before the trip. It is advisable to drink tea with ginger. It is known to reduce the feeling of nausea even with pregnant women. Ginger sweets are also available for sale in most shops. And remember it is always better to have a sandwich with cheese or a slice of ham rather than a full meal which will make you feel heavy and can cause sickness. 

Before the journey it is better to prepare your own food. Do not use drive-through bars as the food served there may not be fresh. Avoid salads, raw meat, eggs, ice creams, deserts, etc. 

And always remember to wash your hands before any meal. Wet napkins are very useful when travelling. 

Drink a lot of water. Do not allow your organism to get dehydrated. You should drink frequently small sips of water.

II. When you have motion sickness it is very important where you sit inside the coach or a bus. You should sit in front of the vehicle as far from the wheels as possible. Always face the front of the vehicle. It is advisable not to stare at moving objects such as waves or other cars. Instead, look ahead, a little above the horizon, at a fixed place. Breathe fresh air if possible. Sit near a window or an air vent. Always have sick bags with you, just in case.

III. There are several medicines available which can reduce, or prevent, symptoms of motion sickness. You can buy them from pharmacies without the prescription. 

They can be divided into: 

a) pills – you have a variety of pills at your disposal. They are best to be taken before the journey, but may also help even if you take them after symptoms have begun. The price is from 5 to 10 zl;

b) an elastic wristband containing a small, hard object. A band is placed on each wrist so that the hard object puts pressure on a particular spot on the underside of the wrist. This device uses the principles of acupressure to relieve symptoms of motion sickness. The drawback is the price. A set of wrist bands costs around 110zl for 12 bands;

c) chewing gum – it can be used by children above 12 years of age. It contains 20 milligrams of dimenhydrinate. Price is around 13-20 zl for a pack of 20 pills 

d) drops – used especially with children; 

e) ginger root – is commonly known to be an effective anti-emetic. It is indicated that sucking on crystallized ginger or sipping ginger tea can help to relieve the nausea. 

f) sucking pills – usually contain ginger. Used with children. They have sweet taste. 

g) syrups for children – usually used with smaller children, have a sweet taste and reasonable price. 

IV. You should prepare yourself for a long journey. Have a long and nice rest before departure. Do not eat heavy meals. Exercise breathing techniques that will help you to alleviate the feeling of nausea. When travelling with children, who have motion sickness, don't allow them to read during travel or to play a video game. Sit your children facing front of the vehicle. All the aforementioned rules apply to children as well. Try to minimize medicines on children. There is one domestic way of reducing motion sickness symptoms. Place 2 pieces of crossed sticking plaster on a child's navel. The truth is nobody knows how this method works, but it really does.


To summarize, it can be said that there are many ways to deal with motion sickness. Of course we cannot avoid it totally, but at least we can try to alleviate its symptoms. We need to keep in mind that the driver will not always be allowed to make a stop every time a passenger gets sick. So try to fight motion sickness as least to the level you can! Before the journey make sure you know how to avoid motion sickness and use those tips.