Tips for beating car sickness

Nothing ruins a road trip like car sickness. Here are some tips to beat it.

Suffering from motion sickness can put a serious damper on your road trip. Luckily there are a number of ways to treat it.

Don’t drive on an empty stomach

If you have the tendency to get car sick, try to have a small meal before long trips. Make sure the meal is low fat. Large amounts of fatty foods will only increase your chances of car sickness and contribute to the development of nausea. Take a small food pack with you on the road so you can eat small amounts of food every couple of hours.

Focus on a fixed point

Motion sickness occurs when there’s a mismatch in the way your inner ear and your brain perceive movement. Your inner ear can sense you are in motion, but if you are focusing on something within the car, say the dashboard or the back of a seat, your mind believes it isn’t moving. Keep your eyes focused on a spot outside of the car, say a building or mountain in the distance, helps your inner ear and brain get in sync.

Take the front seat

Sitting in the back increases your chances of car sickness. When possible, request to sit in the front seat or even better, the driver’s seat. The driver is the least likely to get motion sickness as they are concentrating on controlling the car and can predict its motion. If you don’t have the option of driving.

Pre-treat with ginger

Studies suggest that ginger can be used as an effective preventive measure for motion sickness. Take a ginger tablet or two about an hour before your trip. It is important to note that ginger can thin your blood, so consult your doctor before use if you are on blood-thinning medication.

Wrist bands

According to traditional Chinese medicine, wrist bands help to prevent motion sickness by applying pressure to the ‘p6 point’. If you don’t have wrist bands, try applying pressure to the area with your thumb. The correct spot is located on the inner arm about four centimetres above the crease of the wrist between the two tendons. A device called the ReliefBand sends a small electric current through this same spot. The band sells for roughly $100.

If your motion sickness is really bad and none of these natural remedies work, there is always the option of medical treatment. Talk to your doctor before attempting to use any of these more serious motion sickness treatments.