If you’re susceptible to car sickness, you’ll need to find ways around the problem before your next road trip — assuming you’re a passenger. The affliction normally affects passengers rather than drivers. But don’t worry — any of these 10 little tricks will help steady your stomach.
Some may suit you better than others, and one or two require a little planning, so check them out before you go. You can buy travel sickness tablets, too, but you shouldn’t need those with all these natural solutions at your fingertips.
Avoid eating beforehand
Try to resist eating a meal before your journey. The emptier your stomach, the less nauseous you’ll feel. If you’re really peckish, just eat a light snack, such as fresh or dried fruit. Take a bottle of water and some peppermint candy or chewing gum, as these will help stave off nausea.
Sit in the front
If you have a choice of seats, sit beside your driver. The front passenger seat of a vehicle usually provides a smoother ride than the rear ones, and this in turn will help keep your tummy calm. The clear view through the windscreen will also benefit you, as visual experience can influence stomach activity.
Don’t look at screens or books
Tempting as it may be, to browse messages on your phone or watch a video on your laptop, these activities are highly likely to trigger a sense of nausea, even if you were feeling fine beforehand. The same applies to reading a book or even writing postcards, so leave all these pastimes until you reach your destination.
Let in fresh air
Cars can get hot and stuffy, often triggering feelings of nausea. Avoid this situation by screening out the sun, especially from the back of your neck, and opening windows or setting the air conditioner to cool, with the fan up high and directed toward your face.
A tight belt or sash around your waist can trigger car sickness, as can any tight clothing. Remember to bear this in mind when you dress for the day, and undo any tight buttons, ties or zips in the car.
Listen to entertainment
Listening to music, comedy or a chat show will relieve boredom and take your mind off your stomach. Plan ahead to ensure you have all the audio entertainment you could want on your journey.
Lie on your side
If you’re feeling very unwell, lean your head and shoulders over to one side and close your eyes. This will bring some relief. If space permits, lie down on your side along the back seat with your knees drawn up under your tummy to steady it.
Stop for breaks
Don’t struggle against the impossible. If you can’t control your nausea, ask your driver to pull off the road as soon as it is safe to do so. Get out of the car and take a good, long breather. Then drink some cold water or pop a mint in your mouth, and you’ll be fit to carry on.
Let your driver help
Ask whoever is driving to take the journey more slowly and smoothly. If there’s a choice of routes, suggest the option with straighter roads.
Drive the car yourself
The act of driving seems to prevent nausea so, if you have a valid driving license and the vehicle is insured for you to drive it, swap places with the current driver. If the car is not insured for you, the owner may be able to arrange temporary cover for you beforehand, so plan ahead.
Still suffering? If the sheer sight of the car makes your stomach turn over, avoid it. There are plenty of other modes of transport. Got a bicycle?