Moving vehicles almost always make me woozy if I’m not in the driver’s seat, but flying tends to bring on the worst cases of motion sickness. So before embarking on my backpacking trip around Europe, I knew I needed to find a way to combat motion sickness before it started. Facing four 6+ hour flights, along with half a dozen short flights and train rides, I knew I needed a motion sickness remedy that would really work. For me, no amount of ginger ale or pretzels can cure the nausea once it’s set in.
If you’re plagued by motion sickness while traveling in planes, trains, or automobiles, below are some tips to make traveling a little less sickening, and a lot more pleasant.
- Armbands – These cloth bands that you wear on both wrists have a button that sits in the middle of each inner wrist. If you feel a bout of travel sickness coming on, press down on the button and it triggers a pressure point that takes the queasy feeling away. I bought the Sea Band brand at a pharmacy, and used them on about half of my flights. They worked all right, but I have a feeling it may not have been acupressure in action, but psychosomatics instead.
- Bonine Pills – These chewable motion sickness pills totally worked! I took one tablet an hour before each of my flights, and didn’t have any flight sickness problems. And even better, they didn’t make me drowsy and groggy the way Dramamine always does. 10 points for landing at your destination bright-eyed/bushy-tailed, and not a walking zombie!
- Don’t sit by the window – Discovering that my plane seat preference could be a factor in my flight sickness was hard for me. As a creative, nature-loving person, I read this article which perfectly describes my romanticism and love of window seats. However, I then found another article that revealed that the thing I loved the most that was actually making me sick. Although, studies show that focusing on the horizon line can help some people prone to motion sickness, it’s the changing of the horizon line during take off and landing that always set off motion sickness for me. I decided to err on the side of caution and booked aisle and middle seats on all my flights to prevent motion sickness when traveling. And wouldn’t you know, I didn’t get motion sickness once. Could’ve been a coincidence, could’ve been the Bonine, could’ve been the armbands, could’ve been the seat change, or a combo of all of the above, but my advice is to try to figure out what works for you.
- Sit forward facing on the Eurostar and other trains – This may go without saying if you’re a long-time motion sickness sufferer, but another way to prevent motion sickness when traveling is to sit facing forward. This will help keep you from wanting to puke on a train. As far as scoring a forward-facing seat on the Eurostar? Take Mez3000’s advice on this topic on Trip Advisor (3rd comment from the top). Using the Eurostar seating map, and the knowledge of which car was the first one headed to Paris, helped me choose a forward seat. But if you’re traveling alone, try and avoid 4-seater booths, if possible. Sitting in a regular row can save you from awkwardly having to share an infinitesimal amount of legroom with an annoyed French woman…but that’s a story for another day.