Motion sickness is feeling sick when travelling by car, boat, plane or train. You can do things to prevent it or relieve the symptoms.
How to ease motion sickness yourself
reduce motion – sit in the front of a car or in the middle of a boat
look straight ahead at a fixed point, such as the horizon
breathe fresh air if possible – for example, by opening a car window
close your eyes and breathe slowly while focusing on your breathing
distract children by talking, listening to music or singing songs
break up long journeys to get some fresh air, drink water or take a walk
try ginger, which you can take as a tablet, biscuit or tea
do not read, watch films or use electronic devices
do not look at moving objects, such as passing cars or rolling waves
do not eat heavy meals, spicy foods or drink alcohol shortly before or during travel
do not go on fairground rides if they make you feel unwell
A pharmacist can help with motion sickness
You can buy remedies from pharmacies to prevent motion sickness, including:
- tablets – dissolvable tablets are available for children
- patches – can be used by adults and children over 10
- acupressure bands – these do not work for everyone
A pharmacist will be able to recommend the best treatment for you or your child.
Causes of motion sickness
Motion sickness is caused by repeated movements when travelling, like going over bumps in a car or moving up and down in a boat.
The inner ear sends different signals to your brain from those your eyes are seeing. These confusing messages cause you to feel unwell.
Page last reviewed: 11 September 2020
Next review due: 11 September 2023