Many of us face a huge obstacle when we go on holiday: travel sickness. Whether you’re travelling by coach, car, boat, train or plane, the motion of the vehicle can cause horrible symptoms of nausea, dizziness, vomiting and general discomfort. Some sickness-prone travellers have found relief in solutions such as consuming ginger (in the form of teas, tablets, chews or biscuits), wearing acupressure bands, or sitting on a sheet of brown paper. While these methods have little scientific backing, there are some simple techniques that have been proven to help our coach travellers feel calm, steady and content during their coach trip.
Sit in the middle of the coach, or right at the front
Travel (or motion) sickness is caused when your eyes register that you’re moving really fast, but your inner ears think you’re sitting still. This confusion puts the brain out of balance. One of the best things you can do to ease this is to sit in a seat that enables you to keep as still as possible, so as to not muddle the brain further. The middle of the coach is a good place to sit, as it’s generally where the engine’s vibrations, and the swerves of the road, are felt the least. Saying this, you might prefer to sit at the front of the coach so that you can look directly out the windscreen, rather than seeing the landscape whizzing past beside you.
Let your eyes relax
Many travellers think that reading a book or watching a film will help them take their minds off feeling unwell. This is generally not true: forcing your eyes to focus on a page’s small font, or moving images on a screen, is likely to make you feel worse. While distraction is great, you also need to let your eyes relax – perhaps by closing them and listening to some calming music, or by focusing on horizon when you look out the window. Putting a pillow behind your head is another good idea, as it helps you keep your eyes, head and mind still.
Focus on your breathing
If you start to feel nauseous or dizzy, the key is not to panic. A lot of people get worked up about feeling sick, and this only makes the symptoms more intense. Focus on controlling your breathing – for example, by counting slowly back from 100 with every breath. Remember, the coach driver can always pull over if you feel really bad.
Talk to people
You’d be amazed by how engaging in a simple conversation with a fellow passenger can take your mind off feeling unwell. Often, a majority of the sickness is mental. If you’re travelling alone and don’t want to chat to other passengers, you can always make a phone call.