How to Prevent Motion Sickness While Traveling: Practical Methods

Feeling nauseated, dizzy, and uneasy is never fun, especially when you're traveling. This uneasy feeling is known as motion sickness. Motion sickness is a temporary ailment, not an illness. It's believe that it's your body's natural reaction to sensory confusion and conflicting signals between your eyes and inner ear. Motion sickness can occur in any type of moving vehicle: planes, boats, and automobiles.

Luckily it's easier to prevent motion sickness than dealing with the symptoms as it's happening. Let's take a look at nine ways to prevent motion sickness for a more enjoyable travel experience.

How to Prevent Motion Sickness While Traveling

sick in plane

Eat Before You Go

You might think this is counterproductive, but traveling on an empty stomach can make you more likely to develop motion sickness. Swiss Medical Services even notes that you shouldn't travel without a light snack like an apple, banana, or granola bar.

Eat Light

Now that we’re talking about food, eat light snacks to refrain from bloating and having frequent trips to the bathroom. Pack foods that are bland and low in fat and acid and avoid eating greasy and spicy foods as they can cause nausea.

Additionally, avoid drinking alcohol (a diuretic), coffee, and tea and stay hydrated by drinking water or a sports drink with electrolytes.

Choose Your Seat Wisely

plane seating

Deciding where to sit can make all the difference when it comes to motion sickness. It's important to sit a sit where you'll feel the least amount of movement.

  • In an automobile this means the passenger seat.
  • On a train sit in a window seat towards the front of the train (facing forward). If the train has two levels, sit on the first level.
  • If you're on a boat, sit near the middle at water level.
  • On an airplane sit in the middle so you can see the wings outside.

Your Eyes

The American Academy of Otolaryngology recommends that people who are more apt to get motion sickness should sit forward facing and shouldn't read or play on their phone.

Instead, pick a fixed point on the horizon like a mountain and focus your eyes on it. If you start to feel uneasy, you should reduce your sensory input by laying down and closing your eyes.


While research has yet to show that certain acupressure wristbands can help nausea, you might experience a placebo affect by wearing one. These wristbands are said to apply pressure to the Pericardium 6 point. However, more high-tech options do exist that can send electrical current through the wrists to help ward off motion sickness.

Get Some Air

Motion sickness can cause the body to heat up and sweat. If you are in an automobile, train, or bus you can roll down the window to get fresh air. If you're on a boat, going on the deck in the fresh air can help tremendously.

Eat Ginger

Studies have shown that ginger can help in preventing motion sickness woes. All types of ginger can work, ranging from candy to ginger ale. Before traveling pack some ginger candy or buy a ginger ale from the convenience store.


If you suffer from severe motion sickness and the tips above don’t help, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with your Doctor so that he/she can prescribe medication that you can take before traveling.

There are a few over-the-counter options like Dramamine or Bonine. Both are taken an hour before traveling to help alleviate motion sickness.

Breathing Technique

When none of the above works, the University of Maryland Medical Center suggested focusing on your breathing can help to prevent motion sickness.

To do this, take slow and calm breathes to distract your sensory functions. Keep yourself calm and relax as much as you can.

Robert Woods
At POP, we strive to provide practical preventative advice. We strive to figure out ways to prevent problems that people might have trouble grasping. We've found that other sources have trouble articulating concepts in a way that regular people can understand.
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