Travel Sickness

Travel sickness happens when the brain receives mixed messages. Visual messages from the eyes tell the brain that the immediate surroundings are stationary, but a delicate balancing organ in the ear tells the brain that you are moving. This conflicting information triggers the nausea (feeling sick) we associate with travel sickness. Try to avoid this conflict by focusing on the scenery outside, rather than inside the car or coach.

What else can you do?

• NEVER read. Sit with the head tilted back to stabilise the balancing mechanism in the ear.
• Ensure the vehicle you are in is well ventilated. Avoid strong smelling food, smoke, perfume, or petrol fumes.
• Have a bite to eat before the journey to help keep the stomach settled, but avoid greasy food or a heavy meal.
• If you travel by car take regular breaks for exercise, fresh air and refreshments. Try to give passengers a clear view of the window.
• In an aeroplane you can ease the pressure on your ears by sucking a boiled sweet during take off and landing.
• On a boat gaze at the horizon - DON'T watch the waves. Keep in the fresh air and shade.
• Never talk about travel sickness, as the mere thought of it can trigger an attack.
• Always sit where there is least motion. Avoid anywhere near the wheels of a coach or in the front of a boat.

Travel sickness medications:

All can cause drowsiness.

Stugeron tablets : Adults and children over 5 years, taken two hours before travel. Medium drowsiness.

Sea-Legs tablets : Adults and children over 2 years, taken one hour before travel. Low drowsiness.

Avomine tablets: Adults and children over 5 years, taken the night before or two hours before travel. Medium drowsiness.

Joy-Rides chewable tablets : Adults and children over 3 years, taken 20 minutes before travel. Raspberry chewable flavour. Low Drowsiness.

Kwells melt in the mouth tablets : Adults and children over 10 years, taken 30 minutes before travel. Low drowsiness.

Kwells Kids melt in the mouth tablets : Children over 4 years, taken 20 minutes before travel. Low drowsiness.

For much more information go to NHSDirect at www.nhs.uk

This page was last updated: Monday 25 September, 2017