Travel sickness: Travel tips from Dr Handford

Travel, or Motion, sickness can be a really dreadful start to a holiday. If you have suffered before, you will be keen to avoid it, and there are some simple things that you can try to reduce the chance of being affected.

Prevention is better than cure!

Like with most things, once you have developed symptoms, it can be a bit too late to reverse it. Consider ways you can prevent the onset of nausea in the first place.

  • If it is possible, try to lie flat. This helps reduce the feeling of unpredictable motion and eases nausea.
  • If you are sat up, try to look at the horizon rather than at passing objects, and try not to look around too much.
  • Sip water and eat small snacks regularly during long journeys. Mint and ginger are good for preventing nausea.
  • Avoid reading whilst travelling – even map reading. Looking down and concentrating on words or images is a sure fire way to develop nausea.
  • Listening to music, radio or talking books whilst travelling can be an excellent distraction from nausea, and can make the journey go much more quickly.
  • Fresh air is vital – avoid confined, stuffy environments and smoking areas, or places where food if being cooked or eaten. The smell can really set motion sickness off. A light breeze across your face can be really helpful. If this is going to be difficult, for example on a plane, consider investing in a small battery operated fan – it can make all the difference.
  • Some people find travel wristbands helpful. These are thought to work using acupressure on a point at your wrists. They are cheap to buy from chemists and supermarkets, and if you put them on in advance of travel, can be really good at preventing nausea.

If you struggle to control your motion sickness despite using the tips above, try some anti-sickness medication from the chemist. Make sure this is not sedating, and that it does not interfere with any other medication you may be on. If you aren’t sure, ask your GP.

About Dr Ruth Handford

Dr Ruth Handford is a GP with over 10 years' experience of working in both hospital and primary care. She is particularly interested in caring for the elderly in the community, child health, and family planning. Ruth lives and works in a rural community, and is kept very busy by her job and young family.

Important Information: These travel tips are intended to provide general information for those with heart conditions and do not replace a visit to your doctor. If you are planning a holiday you should consult your doctor to ensure that you are fit to travel and discuss any specific health requirements you may have.

Travel Insurance for medical conditions

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommend that you have travel insurance in place every time you travel abroad. Make sure that your travel insurance covers any medical conditions you may have. is proud to be able to provide cover for all types of medical conditions.