Seasickness can spoil even the nicest day. Nausea, dizziness, and a variety of other symptoms can strike those with even the toughest constitutions. And, sadly, unlike other forms of motion sickness, you don’t have the assurance of being able to stop and take a break. Yet people continue to take boat trips and cruises every year! So there’s got to be some way to beat it, right?
Medication and Other Seasickness Treatments
There are many different treatments available to help with seasickness. Some of the most common are in tablet form. Other are patches that you can wear behind your ear, or oils to rub into your skin. There are also physical aides, usually elastic wristbands which push into pressure points on your wrists.
For anything which involves drugs, it is very important that you consult your doctor first. This is especially the case if you are already on any medication. It can be a very good idea to try out the medication some time in advance, as you can never be sure which side effects you might experience.
Many of these remedies are most effective when taken before you get onto the boat. Be sure to check when you need to take them. It is much better to avoid seasickness altogether than to try and combat it as it arises.
Watch What You Eat
Anything that has the potential to make you feel queasy on its own should be avoided, as this can trigger seasickness or make it worse. The list of food to avoid will of course differ from person to person. Heavy, greasy foods are generally best avoided by all, however. These foods should be cut for the entire day beforehand, not just on the boat itself.
If you do become nauseated, think of the foods you would normally eat to help. Many people go for the old trick of dry saltines or other crackers. Peppermint or ginger helps others. Fresh ginger is often recommended by sailors as a seasickness deterrent.
Choose Your Drinks Wisely
If we are staving off nausea, then hangovers are to be avoided at all costs. This should be kept in mind for the day before you embark, and if it is a long trip, for the first few days of the voyage itself. Skip the farewell cocktails and opt for water instead. Hydration will be especially important if you do become ill, as you will be losing water through sweat and… other events. Ahem.
As with food, you will probably have go-to drinks to help you if you feel nauseated. Many people swear by flat cola. Others claim fizzy drinks in general help (watch out for the effects of that gas, though). The helpful properties of ginger make ginger ale a popular choice. However, if you want the real stuff, you might have to search, as many ginger drinks simply use flavorings.
Get Up On Deck
Motion sickness is generally caused by a confusing disconnect between your inner ears’ balance and the visual input you are receiving. While I could not explain why or how that happens (the limit of my scientific knowledge is that diet-coke-and-mentos trick) I do know that one of the best ways to avert motion sickness is to look at an object that is stationary. On the ocean, out of sight of land, the only really stationary thing to look at is the horizon.
This has the added bonus of getting you out into the open as well. Fresh air, especially if it’s nice and cold with a bit of a sea breeze, can be immensely effective against seasickness.
…No, really! As strange as it may sound, many experienced sailors and cruise-takers claim that simply declaring that you will not be sick can help you. Staying focused on other things will also help. If you do begin to feel ill, try to think about something else (maybe while chewing on some ginger.)
It is also worth remembering the old adage, “misery loves company”. If you are surrounded by people complaining about how sick they feel (or worse, demonstrating it) make your excuses and find somewhere else to sit.
Size it Up
If you are very concerned about potential seasickness on a long cruise, you might not have as much too worry about as you think. The movement experienced on large vessels is not nearly as extreme as on smaller ones. If you are on one of the largest types of cruise ships, you might not even be able to tell that you are on the water at all after a few days.
Ride it Out
Seasickness, while obviously unpleasant, is not often something that lasts. If you are taking a long trip, you might feel ill or dizzy over the first few days. Your body will soon adjust, however. You have probably heard the term “sea legs” before. There is a reason the phrase has stuck around; you really can develop them yourself.
It is always best to think and plan ahead against anything that can draw your energy and focus away while you are traveling. Of course, you want to be able to enjoy your experience as much as possible. In addition to this, however, we are always thinking about safety. Being ill and distracted in a new place can leave you vulnerable. By staying fresh and focused, you can be as safe as possible while still having a fabulous time.