It’s summertime and so it’s time to travel. And what can be better than a nice and relaxing voyage on a ship gliding through a blue sea or an endless ocean? It’s true that sailing can be an amazing and calming experience, but not if you’re prone to seasickness.
No trip can be enjoyable when you’re constantly fighting against nausea and have to spend most of your time too busy feeling terrible to enjoy your trip.
Indeed, seasickness is a very common problem, and it’s not caused just by sea. The reason many people feel sick on a boat is actually quite natural – this is how your body reacts when it thinks that something is wrong.
In this case, this “wrongness” comes from the fact that your inner ear can feel that you are moving, but at the same time your eyes and legs don’t detect any movement.
This is why symptoms of the seasickness can be caused by a wide variety of situations.
Plane flights are one common reason many people may feel nausea, and same goes for a car ride, especially on bumpy roads.
In fact, quite a number of people get seasick from wearing virtual reality headsets, as they too trick your brain into thinking that you are moving, while in fact your body is standing still.
If you are seasick(or have never been out at sea before) you shouldn’t just quit on your dream of sailing through the ocean, because there is a number of ways to reduce and control the onset of seasickness, which can allow you to enjoy a good boat trip without it turning into a nightmare.
So here are a few tips that would help you prevent seasickness, and they range from simple tricks to actual remedies.
1. Avoid things that make you nauseous.
This may seem rather basic(and it is), but try to avoid things that make you feel nauseous on land. Simply put, if you feel slightly nauseous when you eat a large meal on land, then it will get much, much worse once you’re out at sea. Same can be said for heavy drinking. In fact, it’s probably better to avoid drinking at all, as alcohol generally makes you more susceptible to motion sickness.
It also obviously includes anything that can make you nauseous in daily life, these triggers tend to be subjective and can differ from person to person.
And while it can be hard, try to avoid seeing other people getting seasick, as it can trigger an adverse reaction for you as well.
2. Look out at the horizon.
Usually, when you’re getting motion sickness in a car, a good tip is to focus on something in the background that remains stationary (like a building).
Of course, the problem is that out at sea you generally won’t have stationary objects, except for the horizon.
If you’re feeling bad, then looking out and focusing on the horizon can help you prevent seasickness, or at least ease the symptoms.
It’s also a good idea to stay in a cabin that has a port window, because then you can look at the horizon without having to go out on the deck.
3. Get some fresh air.
This tip can be easily combined with the previous one. Many people feel a lot less seasick when they’re breathing fresh air and for many it’s also helpful to feel the wind on their cheeks or neck.
And just like in the previous tip, having a window can let you get some fresh air without having to leave your cabin.
4. Eat something light.
Surprisingly, eating light foods, like salty crackers can be of help when you want to prevent seasickness.
While it may seem like you shouldn’t eat anything, keeping your stomach completely empty may just make the symptoms worse.
Just make sure to steer clear of foods that are greasy, as they will likely make your condition much worse.
5. Drink some water.
Drinking water, particularly cold and carbonated, can help ease the symptoms.
Other carbonated drinks should also work, but make sure to avoid anything with caffeine in it, as it can cause dehydration which only worsens your nausea. Some have also said that drinking chamomile tea can help.
This herb is commonly thought to have medicinal properties, and you can prepare it before going on your trip and just carrying it with you in a bottle.
6. Use pleasant smells to your advantage.
While some smells can easily trigger your nausea, other smells can actually prevent it. In particular, ginger or lavender seems to be good at stopping you from getting seasick.
Aside from products with ginger in it, you can look into getting yourself a portable oil diffuser, which will heat up essential oils and spread their pleasant fragrance throughout your cabin.
7. Rest well before setting off.
One thing that will make you more likely to catch seasickness is being tired. So if it’s possible, try to plan ahead and get some nice sleep before your cruise. Not only will it help reduce the likelihood of getting sick in the first place, but if you do get sick the symptoms will be much worse if you’re also tired.
8. Have a few sticks of gum with you.
A lot of people report using gum to relive or even prevent seasickness entirely.
Some say it helps because you can focus on chewing the gum, thus distracting you from the motion of the ship, while others say it’s because of the flavor.
Still, it can be a useful and easy remedy, particularly if you want to chew on something but don’t feel like eating at all. If you do decide to try it, look for mint or ginger gum, as their flavor alone can help with nausea.
9. Use anti-nausea medication.
Anti-nausea drugs(also known as antiemetic medication) can be used to prevent seasickness completely. Antihistamines, found under brand names like Dramamine and Antivert can help you deal with motion sickness and can be purchased over the counter without prescription.
You’d want to take them about an hour before going on a ship, but they tend to be quite effective. Note, however, that antihistamines tend to make you drowsy as a side effect, so take that into account before deciding to take them.
Another antiemetic drug is scopolamine or hyoscine.
This one is a bit stronger(and can keep you free of motion sickness for up to three days) which means that it can only be purchased if you have a prescription from your doctor’s office.
If you’re not sure which drug works best for you then you should visit your doctor and consult him before your voyage.
10. Increase your levels of vitamin B-6.
This is more like a long-term solution, something that you can do if your ocean trip is still months ahead or if you travel by sea a lot and seasickness is an ongoing issue for you.
While more research is needed, taking more B-6 might make you less susceptible to motion sickness, while providing other health benefits as well.
11. Take herbal supplements.
As was already mentioned above, ginger is associated with motion sickness relief, so taking herbal supplements that contain it can be helpful.
Same applies to peppermint as well, but it’s certainly a long-term solution, just like vitamin B-6 above.
12. Try to avoid reading or looking at a digital display.
Focusing on an object that is close to you can make seasickness even worse, so reading or using your laptop might be a bad idea.
If you’re prone to seasickness and love reading, then it might be a good idea to listen to audiobooks on your trip instead.
Practitioners of this ancient practice swear that there is a point(called Nei Guan or P6) on your wrist, and that applying pressure to it can help ease the symptoms of nausea.
Whether or not you believe in alternative medicine, it can still be worth a try. If you don’t feel like doing it yourself, you can look into buying a wristband with a small metal stud that will always pressure that point.
14. Stay as close as possible to the middle of the ship.
Ships are the most balanced at their center, which means that getting a cabin close to the midpoint can make your experience much better and help prevent your seasickness(at least until you decide to wander off from your cabin).
15. Choose your route carefully.
While any shipping route can be engulfed by storms, some are calmer on average than the others.
If you want to reduce the chance of being seasick and aren’t all too picky about your destination, then you can look around and find those routes that go through relatively calm waters.
So there you have it – 15 tips on how to prevent seasickness or ease its symptoms. Seasickness can easily ruin your vacation, but you shouldn’t just take it as an unavoidable part of the oceangoing experience.
Take all the precautions you can and have a few remedies with you and you’ll get to enjoy your voyage without nausea.
Anytime I’ve been on the Ferry from Dublin to Holyhead or Rosslare to Fishguard and the weather has been over force 5 I’ve one method that’s saved me from hours of horrible vomitting- Lying down.
Lying down prevents motion in your stomach going back and forth.
There’s not always seats available to do this, but it’s so effective I find room on the ground.
That’s perhaps why cabins are a necessity if you suffer from seasickness.