Another busy holiday season is almost here, with millions of Americans hitting the road, taking to the skies or riding the rails to family and friends.
Unfortunately, some travelers can experience the uneasiness of motion sickness, which can strike suddenly and then quiet down as soon as the motion stops. Advance planning is the best step to a safe trip.
“Planning ahead is very important, as motion sickness can ruin any trip,” says Robert Wiprud, M.D., associate professor of family and community medicine at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and director of family medicine at Scott & White in College Station. “Once it starts, it’s difficult to control. Prevention is the best treatment.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health experts offer several tips to prevent or lessen the severity of motion sickness.
Watch consumption of food, drinks and alcohol before and during a trip, and avoid strong food odors to help prevent nausea. Don’t sit facing backwards from your direction of travel, and don’t read while traveling. Open a vent or source of fresh air, if possible.
In addition, meclizine (Antivert, Bonine, Dramamine) medication taken orally, a prescription scopolamine patch or similar preventive medications may be helpful. Some hospitals and health care clinics even have a travel clinic provider for advice and recommendations specific to your trip. Consult your physician.