What can I do to prevent or minimize motion sickness?

Once motion sickness symptoms have set in, it's much harder to regain equilibrium. The best plan is to engage in behaviors that may help prevent motion sickness. If you're prone to motion sickness, there are a variety of self-care measures you can use to minimize the risk of unpleasant symptoms.

Try these self-care tips to help you avoid motion sickness while you travel:

  • Seek out well-ventilated areas and avoid exposure to strong or unpleasant odors, fumes, smoke and carbon monoxide.
  • Keep your head steady during travel and use a headrest if you have one.
  • Focus on a stationary object in the distance, such as the horizon. Do not focus on objects that move by quickly and closely (such as telephone poles or waves) or on objects that must be viewed up close (such as books or television screens).
  • Seek out areas of lesser movement, such as near the airplane wing, near the front of the train with a view facing outside and forward or a cabin in the middle of a cruise ship.
  • Sit in a seat that faces forward on a boat, plane, bus or train.
  • Keep your mind occupied by listening to music, chatting with a neighbor, or engaging in some other distracting activity that does not involve focusing on objects up close.
  • During the 24 hours prior to your departure, avoid overeating. Choose light meals up until and through the time of travel.
  • Get plenty of rest before you go, so that you leave for your trip feeling refreshed and well-rested.
  • If you take medication to prevent motion sickness, remember to take it approximately one hour before departure.
  • Avoid watching or talking to other travelers who are experiencing motion sickness.
  • Don't eat spicy, salty or greasy foods or dairy before your departure or during your trip.
  • Avoid overindulging in alcohol for 24 hours before your trip and during your trip.
  • Don't smoke.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.