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Travel sickness can take the fun out of car journeys and road trips. Motion sickness is feeling sick or being sick when you travel by car, boat, plane or train and about 1 in 3 people suffer from some sort of motion or travel sickness when on the road! If you are prone to travel or car sickness, you’ll more than likely dread long car journeys! It’s very common for children to get sick while in motion and is also possible to ‘grow out’ of motion sickness, however it is still a big problem for many adults.

What is travel sickness?

It is mainly caused by repeated motion that disturbs the inner ear. While travelling, your brain is receiving conflicting signals from your eyes and ears. If you are focusing on something stationary when inside a car then your eyes are telling you that you are not moving, but your ear is telling your brain at the same time that you are moving. This conflict in signals causes your body to react as if it has been poisoned. The body’s natural reaction to poison is to be sick, this ultimately is why you end up feeling bad.

“1 in 3 people suffer from travel sickness when on the road”

Symptoms of travel sickness:

Motion sickness can come on quite quickly and the symptoms can be very off putting for many travellers. The signs can start with a general feeling of uneasiness. You can then also start to feel dizzy, drowsy, nauseous, sweaty and have a headache. You could also physically become paler in skin colour and have an increase in saliva production. Travel sickness varies from person to person and can affect people in different ways. You may feel travel sick when travelling in a car but not on a bus. Or you may feel worse in a manual car as automatic cars are generally a smoother ride!

There are a few ways in which you can prevent travel sickness and there are a few things that you shouldn’t do when travelling:

Do: 

travel sickness | do's
  • Sit in the front of a car to reduce motion
  • Concentrate on a fixed point such as the horizon
  • Keep cool by opening a window or using air conditioning
  • Stabilise your head with a neck pillow to reduce motion
  • Take travel sickness tablets before your journey
  • Breathe slow and focus on your breathing
  • Use a distraction such as music or talking to other passengers
  • Take breaks during long journeys
  • Keep yourself hydrated with water
  • Stay relaxed as worrying can make you worse
  • Eat light but make sure you eat

Don’t: 

travel sickness | donts
  • Read, use electronic devices or watch films
  • Look at moving objects such as passing cars
  • Eat heavy meals
  • Drink alcohol
  • Drink caffeine and avoid tobacco
  • Take any sickness medicine without consulting a pharmacist or doctor

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