How to Avoid Sea Sickness: 8 Tips for Travelers in 2022
There’s nothing worse than feeling ill when you are traveling. Especially when the reason for feeling ill is the traveling.
Sea sickness, or motion sickness, is a common phenomenon when traveling on a cruise, ferry or boat. Or indeed, on any type of vessel that moves along the water. Sea sickness can make you feel nauseous or a little bit ‘off’. It may even cause you to vomit and become dehydrated.
It’s unpleasant and it can be draining, but what causes sea sickness?
Sea sickness occurs due to a mismatch of information between your eyes and your inner ears. Your eyes see one thing, but your ears, which are in control of balance, believe another. For example, when you are traveling on a ship, you can be sitting still, but your eyes see that you are moving. This imbalance of senses can cause the unpleasant symptoms associated with sea sickness.
If you feel dizzy, sick, or have cold sweats, you are likely suffering from sea sickness.
Anyone can experience sea sickness, but some people are more susceptible than others. For example, if you are prone to suffering from headaches and queasiness in day-to-day life.
There are various things you can do to avoid sea sickness. Or at least to help ease some of the symptoms, if you’re already suffering from sea sickness.
Check out the tips below on how to avoid seasickness:
1. Gaze on a fixed point in the distance
You can usually ease mild symptoms of sea sickness by gazing on a fixed point in the distance. This will help to restore the balance of your senses and should make you feel instantly better. It’s important not to focus too long on an item in front of you. This may make your symptoms worse. It’s the same idea as for why some people can’t read a book when traveling in a car as it makes them feel queasy.
Another option to try is that rather than focusing on a point on the horizon, simply close your eyes. By closing your eyes you won’t be focusing on anything. You may even be able to sleep it off to feel better.
2. Get fresh air
If you are inside a ferry or ship, try opening a window to feel the benefits of the fresh air blowing in. Or, why not move to the top deck so you are out in the open. The fresh air will cool you down and can help to relieve feelings of nausea. Take deep breaths and relax. If you have a deck chair to lie down and close your eyes, even better!
It’s surprising how much better you will feel by being out in the fresh air.
3. Face forward in line with the direction of travel
Most people find that facing the direction of travel can ease the feelings of sea sickness. You can use the horizon as your point of reference. This should settle the confusion your inner ears are experiencing. You can also take your mind off feeling unwell by focusing on the wonderful views. A word of warning; using binoculars or a camera may make your symptoms worse.
4. Choose to sit where there is the least amount of motion
It makes sense that the more movement you experience, the more you will suffer from sea sickness. The trick is to find a spot where there is the least amount of motion, and then wait for the nausea to subside. The center of the ship is a good position to choose, as is a lower deck cabin if you are able to get one.
You may find it comfortable to use a pillow to keep your head as still as possible.
Again, if you can lie down and close your eyes, you may fall asleep. This should make the time go quicker!
5. Keep busy to take your mind off feeling sick
This one is easier said than done. As we explained above, reading a book or playing a game may make symptoms worse. You could try listening to some music on portable speaker to distract yourself. Music can also make you feel more relaxed.
Or, how about striking up a conversation with a stranger, if you are traveling solo? Having an interesting chat with someone will help you take your mind off the sea sickness.
6. Watch what you eat and drink
It is important to stay hydrated when traveling, especially if you know you are prone to sea sickness. Drink plenty of water(keep your water filter bottle handy) and avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Alcohol can dehydrate you, which can make you feel even worse.
It’s also important to eat something so you don’t travel on an empty stomach, but make sure it’s only a small but healthy meal or snack. You don’t want to feel too full - especially if you are feeling sick! It’s a good idea to avoid fatty foods and spicy flavors as well.
Some people swear by Ginger. For example, ginger tea or ginger biscuits can be a remedy to ease nausea as an alternative method.
The final 2 tips focus on preventative measures you can take before traveling. So, if you know you are likely to suffer from sea sickness, you can plan ahead to avoid feeling unwell.
7. Take sea sickness pills
Your doctor or pharmacist can talk to you about the best medication to take for your needs.
8. Wear a sea sickness wristband
You wear a sea sickness band, or acupressure band, around your wrist. This is a complementary therapy that some people claim can help with sea sickness. The wristbands work by applying pressure to a certain point on your wrist.
Enjoy The Sea
It’s never nice to feel unwell, and sea sickness can put a real dampener on your trip. This is especially true if traveling by sea plays a large part of your itinerary. Yet, help is at hand with these tips and preventative measures to keep sea sickness to a minimum.
And don’t forget, if you start to feel really unwell when aboard a ship or ferry, don’t suffer in silence. Alert a member of staff or the ship doctor to assist you.
Once you have found a remedy to avoid sea sickness that works for you, it’ll be one less thing to worry about. Sea sickness may be unpleasant, but don’t let the fear put you off from traveling. There is a whole world out there beyond the sea, and you should experience it.
Written By Kate Mark
Kate is a mid-lifer who quit a growing corporate career to reawaken her passions and her lifelong dream of traveling the world.