Holidays & Travel

Prevention and treatment

Travel sickness - Stop, I want to get out

Holidays & Travel

The sickness that occurs during a trip is called motion sickness (cinetosis). It sets on when the movement observed is different from the one that is felt by the inner ear and occurs repeatedly (for example, in a car while passing over bumps or curves and, in a boat, while feeling the swaying caused by the waves). 

It can occur when travelling by car, train, boat, and plane.

Anyone at any age can be susceptible to travel sickness, but children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable.

Depending on the transport that is used, you can take some simple precautions during the trip to prevent travel sickness.

Travel sickness - by land
Travel sickness - by land

Travelling by land (car, bus, or train):

  • Avoid making sudden movements with your head. If possible, keep it still and leaning against the seat head support;
  • Choose to sit facing forward (avoid sitting backwards);
  • Open the window to get fresh air or turn on the air conditioner.

Travel sickness - by plane
Travel sickness - by plane

Travelling by plane:

Sometimes when travelling by plane, especially when there is more turbulence, there can be sickness. It is rare, but some passengers are more susceptible. If that is your case, you should:

  • Seat next to the aeroplane's wing and / or window;
  • Always keep the sickness bag close to you;
  • If necessary, take a suitable medicine for sickness beforehand.

Travel sickness - by sea
Travel sickness - by sea

Travelling by sea/river (boat or cruise)

When travelling by boat, people often experience sickness and nausea. In this situation, you should take special precautions to prevent sickness:

  • If you get easily sick while traveling by boat, try to stay in a ventilated area, avoiding enclosed spaces;
  • Always keep the sickness bag close to you;
  • Keep your eyes closed or focus your vision on a fixed point;
  • Try to rest and sleep well the night before;
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, even the day before;
  • Avoid heavy foods, caffeine, or fats. You can opt for simple cookies and water;
  • Try to breathe deeply and in a rhythmic way, keep your head still to avoid swaying with the boat;
  • If necessary, take a suitable medicine for sickness beforehand.

How to prevent it?

If you are susceptible to motion sickness, travelling can be a difficult time for you.

Medicines are the most effective method of preventing motion sickness.


  • Dimenhydrinate - effective antihistamine to prevent motion sickness. It should be taken 30 minutes to 2 hours before starting the trip. It often causes drowsiness; you should not take if you are planning to drive.
  • Ginger - in the form of capsules, tea or lozenges can help to reduce the feeling of sickness.

What you should not do

  • Do not read or watch movies;
  • Avoid using electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, among others;
  • Do not look at moving objects (such as passing cars);
  • Avoid eating heavy meals, spicy foods or drinking alcohol before or during the trip.


Farmácia Distribuição Magazine



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