Motion Sickness? – 20 Remedies

Motion Sickness

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You’ve been planning this trip for months. You are so excited to get to your destination and enjoy this much-needed vacation. And then, as the plane begins to take off, your motion sickness sets in leaving you sweating, nauseous and feeling terrible! Not a great way to start your trip. I feel your pain! I feel awful when on planes, on boats, and sometimes on car rides. If you’ve ever been air sick, car sick or sea sick, you know how it can ruin a good time.

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So, what are we to do? Sadly, I suffer from motion sickness and my son has started to as well. So, I went on a mission to find the best remedies for all types motion sickness for kids & adults alike. It turns out there are MANY things we can try. No doubt you’ve tried some of these, but I bet there are several here you’ve never heard of. I've done all of the digging for you! I searched far and wide, got recommendations from frequent travelers, and read a ton of reviews to put together a comprehensive list of things to do to prevent motion sickness (and I added the Amazon links for your convenience).

Some, I’ve tried myself, many are all natural motion sickness remedies, some are over-the-counter medications for motion sickness, and some are just random things fellow travelers have said worked for them. Nothing seems to work for everyone and some have unpleasant side affects so, you’ll just have to try some and see what works best for you. (Read the update at the bottom to see what worked best for me on our last trip).

Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional. I’m not a “health care” anything. I’m just a girl who loves to travel and hates motion sickness. I have no idea how any of these may interact with anything you are currently doing or taking. Use your common sense. Do your own research and talk to your doctor. Also, because some of these remedies may have unwanted side effects, I recommend you try them out BEFORE your vacation.

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What To Do For Motions Sickness:

These are some tips, tricks, and natural things to try to avoid car sickness, sea sickness, and air sickness.

  1. Get a seat over the wing when flying – The plane ride is a little more stable over the wing and you won't feel turbulence as much. The back of the plane wiggles the most, so avoid those seats whenever possible.
  1. Sit in the front seat of the car – From the front seat of the car you can see and focus on things that are not moving. This is especially useful when going around curve after curve. Focus on something up ahead that isn't moving, such as a tree or electrical pole.
  1. Distract yourself – This can be especially helpful on a plane. Watch a movie, listen to music, meditate, play sudoku…do anything that will keep your mind occupied.
  1. Eat a little, but don’t over do it – You shouldn’t head out on an empty stomach, but being too full can add to the problem, especially if you load up on greasy foods. Have a light fresh meal before your adventure.
  1. Limit alcohol – This one is debatable. I saw many recommendations to drink very little or none at all. Then again, I also had many people say that a stiff drink, glass or two of wine, etc. is exactly what gets them through. I tend to agree with the latter argument myself. I’m a big fan of a Bloody Mary or two before take off.
  1. Avoid reading (especially for car sickness) – If you ever get motion sick, you probably already know this one, but I decided to mention it just in case you never made the connection. Personally, I have found that I can read for a short period of time in the car, but only if we are on a long stretch of mostly straight roads (like the highway). As soon as we exit, start making turns, stopping & starting, etc., reading is strictly off-limits.
  1. Acupuncture for motion sickness – Some say that getting acupuncture can help. This is essentially the same principle as using Sea Bands or the Reliefband (mentioned below).
  1. Eat Granny Smith apples – I’ve actually heard this from several people. It seems to be especially effective for sea sickness. Bonus – it's super easy to do, so why not give it a try!
  1. Hypnosis – Some say a hypnotist can help cure you of your motion sickness, if you are susceptible to being hypnotized.
  1. See an Ear Nose & Throat doctor – An ENT is recommended specifically because of the role that the inner ear plays in causing motion sickness. ENT's have several techniques they can recommend , as well as prescription medications.
  1. Eat pickles or drink pickle juice – No idea if this one works, but several people said it worked for them. Certainly worth a try!
  1. Place a penny on your navel – My own mom swears by this one. Just use medical tape and tape a copper penny over your navel for motion sickness. It didn’t work for me when flying, but that’s how many of these remedies are. Some things work for some, but not others.
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What To Use For Motion Sickness:

  1. Sea-Band – Also known as pressure point bands or acupressure bands. They work by pressing on a pressure point (the Nei Kuan) with a little plastic stud. There are many off brands out there, but people overwhelmingly recommended this brand specifically. These seem to work really well for many people, especially for mild motion sickness. I have used them many times myself. 
A photo of gray sea band.
  1. Reliefband – This one is pricey, but there have certainly been times I would have paid this and more for some relief. It seems to work on the same pressure point as the Sea-Band, but with a pulse instead of the plastic stud.
A photo of Reliefband Premier.
  1. MQ Motion Sickness Patch – Just place this patch behind one ear or below your navel 10 minutes before the activity. You can keep it on for up to 3 days.
A photo of motion sickness patch.
  1. Motion Eaze Oil – Just rub a couple of drops behind each ear for motion sickness relief. It is said to begin working within 5 minutes.
A photo of motion sickness relief oil.
  1. Motion Sickness Glasses – Ok, I may have laughed out loud when I saw these, but several people said they worked wonders, so here you go!
A photo of motion sickness glasses.
  1. Take Ginger To Prevent Motion Sickness – it has long been thought of as a preventative and treatment for motion sickness. You can eat raw ginger, take ginger root pills beginning a few days before your trip, and/or get ginger gum to chew.
A photo of ginger capsules for motion sickness.
A photo of anti-nausea ginger gum.

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What To Take For Motion Sickness:

  1. Dramamine – Certainly one of the most well-known medications For motion sickness. Dramamine is a pill that you take 30 minutes to an hour before the event (flight, boat ride, etc.) There are various types available nowadays (less drowsy, non-drowsy with ginger, etc.). The original formula can definitely make you drowsy or just knock you out completely – which might be nice on a long flight, not so nice if you want to be alert and looking around.
A photo of Dramamine motion sickness relief.
  1. Bonine – An over-the-counter chewable you take once every 24 hours. This one had great reviews. Many people said it worked as good or better than Dramamine and did not make you feel drowsy.
A photo of non-drowsy Bonine for motion sickness relief.
  1. Prescriptions For Motion Sickness (I know, I said 20 remedies, but I decided to throw in a bonus) – If your motion sickness is so bad that none of these help, you can talk to your doctor. There are several prescription medications for motion sickness you can try as well. Just be careful of side effects. One popular prescription is the Scopolamine patch. Several people said they had bad blurred vision and some even experienced one eye dilating (on the side the patch had been placed) – yikes! Another popular prescription is Zofran. Some reported severe constipation with that one – not something you want to deal with on vacation.

And there you have it – 20 things to try to keep your motion sickness at bay. I plan to try out several of these on my next trip. Did I miss your favorite remedy? Let me know in the comments below!

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Update On My Experience:

What worked for air sickness? Before a recent trip to Hawaii, I took the ginger pills beginning one week before our trip & kept taking them throughout the trip. I took the natural non-drowsy Dramamine before our flight & it was the BEST flight experience I have ever had! I will never fly without doing these two things again!

What worked for sea sickness? We also did a 5-hour snorkel trip while in Hawaii (I get particularly sick on smaller boats). I took the Dramamine again (while still continuing to take the Ginger Root pills each day), used the MQ Motion Sickness patches AND the sea bands & I still felt absolutely awful. I tried adding the Motion Eaze Oil & chewed some ginger gum and it did not improve.

In fact, I felt SO horrible that a fellow seasick snorkel-tripper offered me one of her prescription motion sickness pills and I took it gratefully…and I still felt awful. So, it seems that for me, small boats are just to be looked at from the shore, unless I want to get more serious and consult a doctor before the next trip.

Different things will work for different people and different situations. Try some out for yourself and see what works. Don’t forget to comment to let us all know what works best for you!

PRO TIP: Make sure you grab your free packing checklist! It has everything you'll need in an easy-to-use PDF checklist that you can use over & over!

Now What?

If you loved this, head over to read my tips on How To Find Cheap Flights – now that you know you can fly without feeling so awful😊. Then go ahead and plan that family trip to Hawaii you've always wanted to go on. Check out The BEST Family Friendly Vacation Rentals in Kauai, Hawaii! Check out these 21 Inspiring Travel Quotes That Will Make You Want To Travel Now.

Until next time…

Until next time…

About The Author

Jody Phifer has been a travel blogger & travel planner since 2019. With her husband and son by her side, she takes on incredible adventures all over the world. She especially loves hiking through the mountains & soaking in breathtaking views. Jody is passionate about sharing her experiences and love of travel, by offering valuable information and inspiration! Learn more about Jody here.

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3 thoughts on “Motion Sickness? – 20 Remedies”

    1. I took those for a week before our last trip (and throughout the tip). It was the easiest flight I’ve ever had – must be something to it 🙂

  1. The one remedy that works for my and has worked for several of my friends is: Using white athletic tape, tape a penny to your belly button. Something about the copper in that area makes it work. Dramamine has not been my friend. We were on a cruise, I was downing Dramamine like candy but still so very sick and had been told about the penny thing before we left so I had some with me. Finally decided I had nothing to lose and went to our cabin, taped the penny to my belly button and almost instantly the nausea was gone. Now I never go without it.

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