TIPS TO AVOID TRAVEL SICKNESS
If it’s as much about the journey as it is the destination, what do you do when your journeys are usually spent trying not to be sick?
Travel sickness is caused by the brain being over stimulated, becoming confused and then unable to track your bodies movements.
Travel or motion sickness causes dizziness, nausea, as well as the feeling of dread you get when the return journey is getting nearer.
If you’re unlucky, it can also take days to recover from, which isn’t very conducive to a good holiday or relaxing break. And so, if you suffer from travel sickness, whether it be in a car winding round the Corniches or a tilting train hurtling through the countryside, which is very common, read our handy tips to help cure you.
HOW TO AVOID TRAVEL SICKNESS
If you’re prone to travel sickness, it’s best to try and focus on a fixed point such as the road ahead (equally handy if you’re the one driving!) or the horizon.
Avoid having any sort of big meal before travelling and take plenty of fluids to drink on the way. Also, try and avoid reading, however much you’re needing to know what happens in the next chapter, save it for the sunbed/ski lodge/edge of volcano*
*delete as applicable.
"If you’ve ever tried ordering a train ticket with a ginger chunk wedged in your cheek, you’ll understand..."
Ginger has been a tried and tested way of curing nausea for centuries. Apparently, Chinese mariners would set sail with a piece of raw ginger in their mouth to prevent sea sickness, a good idea which is none too practical these days. If you’ve ever tried ordering a train ticket with a ginger chunk wedged in your cheek, you’ll understand.
These days it’s slightly easier as, although chewing a chunk of raw ginger is still an option, you can start taking ginger supplements a few days before travelling, either in tablet or tincture form.
You can also take ginger tea to drink on the journey, and some people swear by a couple of ginger biscuits, although if you’re prone to being sick, it might be wise to try the supplements first.
TRAVEL SICKNESS BANDS
Usually in the form of a knitted band with a plastic ‘button’, these work by applying pressure to your P6 acupuncture point, which is said to relieve the feelings of nausea. Some people love them, whilst for some they have no effect whatsoever.
However, they are definitely worth trying and, in fact, got one of my friends through three months of morning sickness.
They have no side effects and start working as soon as you put them on (if you’re one of the people they work for!).
Sea Bands: http://www.sea-band.com/
Although Tim Flaxton’s ‘travel shades’ are not on sale yet, the story of how Tim realised that putting a tube ticket in front of one eye cured his travel sickness is definitely worth a read, and possibly even a try if you’re travelling with people who aren’t easily embarrassed.
In the same vein, wearing an ordinary pair of sunglasses is said to help nausea as it reduces the amount of motion your eyes take in, which in turn cuts down the work your brain has to do, helping with the actual cause of travel sickness.
Read about Tim’s discovery here: http://www.travelshades.com/
"Half an hour after taking it, she was at dinner..."
Although smells are something you mostly want to avoid when feeling queasy, some people swear by essential oils whilst travelling.
The best ones to try are ginger or peppermint. Either dilute it in a carrier oil and massage into your wrists or temples, or sprinkle a few drops onto a tissue to inhale every so often.
For car journeys, there are specific diffusers such as the one from Easy Scent.
TRAVEL SICKNESS MEDICATION
Travel sickness tablets are usually one of two types of medication, one works by blocking the signals to your brain that cause the nausea and sickness, and the other is an anti-histamine which works by increasing the blood flow to the inner ear and blocking the clashing messages that are making you feel sick. Either can be very effective, providing you find the right one for you.
When I was a child my parents would give me a travel sickness tablet every time we travelled. Each time I was violently sick, until one day it was decided was no point whatsoever in taking it, and funnily enough, although I still felt sick, I wasn’t actually sick.
These days, we tend to use a brand recommended to my mother by the crew of a cruise liner she was travelling on.
She was so sick that even though her cabin was flooded (technical fault, not the ship sinking) and people were trying to get in, she couldn’t even get out of bed and thought she was going to die. Half an hour after taking it, she was at dinner.
Most travel sickness medicine does have a tendency to make you drowsy though, so it’s always best to start off with a smaller dosage than recommended on the packet. I find that a quarter of a tablet is sometimes enough for me, as it works and doesn’t make me sleepy. As with any medication, read the instructions thoroughly and watch out for side effects.
And, if all else fails, you have my total sympathy, but why not try the subtly named ‘Vom Travel Bag’, which can also be used if you’re desperate for a wee. Although, please do try to find a place where no one can see what you’re up to!