Happy travels – natural ways to prevent motion sickness

 It’s not only too much chocolate that may cause you to feel unwell over Easter; motion sickness en route to your holiday destination can also spoil the fun. Fatigue, dizziness, nausea and vomiting affect about half of travellers during road, sea or air travel. It’s most common in pregnant women and children.

To prevent motion sickness misery, eat a light meal before you set off, avoiding fatty, spicy or heavy foods. Keep a ready supply of water and padkos available, including light snacks, such as crackers and fruit.

Looking outside at a fixed object (such as a tree or building) can help; “Games like I Spy, that encourage you to look out are a good idea,” says Dirna Grobbelaar, mother of three. “Reading, checking your phone, computer games or anything else that involves looking at a fixed screen or page, are not!”

It’s best to sit where you’ll feel the least movement; the front seats of a car, the middle of a boat or next to the wing of an aeroplane. Place your child’s car seat facing forward and high enough that they can look out. Open a window for fresh air, unless it brings in unpleasant odours, such as petrol or exhaust fumes, as they may trigger nausea.

Acupressure wristbands and copper bracelets are said to help. Some people swear by ginger and mint. Trip Ease (available over the counter at Dis-Chem and pharmacies) is a homeopathic remedy. Simply chew a tablet before setting off and every hour thereafter to prevent motion sickness.  In really severe cases consult a doctor or pharmacist as there are medications available.

Even when you take precautions it’s best to be prepared. Take a supply of wet wipes, paper towel and plastic bags in the car. “A potty or empty ice cream container can also be an invaluable ‘travel aid’!” says Grobbelaar.

For further information visit www.tripease.org. Drive safely and enjoy the ride.

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