Can you prevent travel sickness?

After a long time at work or at school, you can finally leave on a trip! It is something most people look forward to. However, sometimes it can be less fun than expected. Do you know the feeling when you are reading a book in the car and suddenly the letters start spinning, your head starts spinning and you feel nauseous? Then you probably have a form of travel sickness. But what is it exactly and what causes it? Read it below.

Travel sickness: what is it?

Kinetosis is another name for travel sickness. Kinetosis is a collection of symptoms that occur when you are in a moving vehicle. Therefore another name is motion sickness. You can suffer from these symptoms when you are in a car, bus, boat, plane and even when you are on animals like horses and camels. Most people who suffer from motion sickness also suffer in fairground attractions and amusement parks.

The symptoms are:

  • Dizzy
  • Feeling weak
  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches

Did you know that constant exposure to movement makes the motion sickness go away? For example, if you go on a boat trip, the motion sickness will reduce or even disappear after about 2 days. But do not think that you are rid of it forever. The next time you go on a boat trip you may be affected again.

Causes of motion sickness

The cause is a problem between sending and receiving information at the level of your brain. If there is an unexpected movement, not caused by your body, a ‘short-circuit’ can occur between the information sent and the receptors in your brain. What is the result of this? Your brain panics and produces a substance called histamine. This substance signals the stomach to vomit, although there is no reason to do so. 

Tips against travel sickness

Unfortunately you cannot prevent travel sickness 100%. However, you can use some tips that may help you.

Before departure

  1. Do not eat a large meal before you leave so that nothing can weigh you down.
  2. Travelling by car? Then drive slowly and calmly. It is important that there are no large fluctuations in speed.
  3. Sleep well before you leave. Being tired increases your sensitivity to motion sickness.

During the trip

Is the time finally ripe? Here are a few tips to make your journey as comfortable as possible.

  • Are you travelling by car? Then choose to sit at the wheel yourself. No driving licence yet? Then sit in the front and look ahead so that you can focus on the road.
  • Travelling by plane? Then sit by the wings. This is the most stable position in the entire plane.
  • Do breathing exercises and try to keep yourself calm. If necessary, put on some quiet music that can also help.
  • Focus on things that are far away, because they seem to stand still. It is actually a ballerina’s trick. By focusing on one stationary object, your body barely notices the movement.
  • Take a medicine against travel sickness. Ask your pharmacist or GP for advice.

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