People love going on road trips, cruises or flying, but I dread them. I dread them because I am a frequent sufferer of motion sickness, and I’m not alone. According to a recent survey conducted by Gravol, 24% of Canadians suffer from occasional motion sickness. It is the feeling that occurs when the motion sensed by your inner ear is different from the motion you see. It affects some people when travelling by car, train, airplane or boat, and is also known as car sickness, sea sickness, and air sickness. It is something that I have personally suffered from since childhood and I consider myself to be part of the 89% of Canadians who suffer from it frequently.
It can be difficult coping with the effects of the condition, especially nausea and dizziness which affects 31% and 23% of motion sickness sufferers respectively. In fact, 35% of people avoid activities that cause motion sickness. This deprives people of taking road trips, flying for business or pleasure or even taking a cruise. Here are some tips for dealing with the condition that may help with the symptoms:
- Car sickness affects the most travelers (68% suffer from it on road trips and 65% while just traveling in the car). One of the simplest tips is to sit in the front seat. One thought is that by sitting in the back seat, you see more of the apparently stationary car around you making your inner ear feel the movement more. It is also easier to look out the window at the horizon when you are sitting in the front seat. If you are on a bus or streetcar, pick a forward-facing seat. Avoid reading in the car as this can also be a trigger. Getting some fresh air may also help alleviate some of the nausea.
- Sea sickness affects 66% of people traveling on large boats like cruise ships. Do some research if you plan on taking a cruise including looking at floor plans before you book a cabin. Ships tend to roll from side to side, so a cabin near the center of a ship is ideal. Lower decks, above the waterline also have less movement. Keep in mind the destination that you are going to. For example, Drake’s Passage on the way to Antarctica is known to have some of the rockiest seas in the world. Even if Antarctica is on your bucket list, you may want to consider a destination with calmer waters. A balcony may help so that if the seas are rocky, you can look out onto something stable like the horizon or land and get some fresh air.
- Air sickness can be tough, especially when you don’t know when turbulence or other triggers will strike. Seat selection is one way to help reduce motion sickness. Try to pick seats closer to the front of the plane or over the wing by the window – there is less motion than at the back of the plane. If you can take a night flight and sleep through it, that can also help. The air in planes can be very dry, so drink lots of water, and avoid salty foods. They can be dehydrating.
For all types of motion sickness, try to watch what you eat before travel. Eat smaller meals, avoid caffeine and alcohol, but make sure that you drink plenty of water. Also, if you can, relax, keep your head still and take slow, deep breaths. Taking a ginger tablet or lozenge like Gravol’s Natural Source Ginger a half hour before you depart can help prevent motion sickness. Ginger is a clinically proven ingredient used to treat digestive upset including the nausea, indigestion and vomiting associated with motion sickness. This natural source product contains certified organic ginger and is suitable for everyone in your family from adults to children – it’s all natural, so even pregnant women can take it. It also does not cause drowsiness.
Finally, if you are like me, and know what works for you, Gravol has a line of over the counter options from chewables to coated tablets and suppositories. I always take Gravol’s Easy to Swallow Tablets one hour before I travel to prevent motion sickness. Gravol is made in Canada meeting the highest standards of quality and has been around for over 60 years. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are on any other types of medication. Many people want to travel – don’t let motion sickness prevent you from doing something that you love.
In partnership with Gravol.