Travel sickness Q&A

Did you know one in three holidaymakers (31 per cent) experiences nausea when travelling? Read on for more facts on motion sickness.

Q: What is travel sickness and why do we get it?

A: Motion sickness (also known as travel sickness, car sickness, air sickness or seasickness) makes you feel dizzy and/or queasy, and can even induce vomiting. It is caused when the brain receives mixed messages while on the move. What your eyes see doesn't necessarily match what's going on in the inner ear, which controls your sense of balance.

Q: Are children more likely suffer from it?

A: Anyone can suffer from motion sickness in theory, but it is more common in children aged three to 12. The good news is that they will often grow out of it in their teenage years.

Q: Are there any cures for motion sickness?

A: There are quite a few self-help measures to try if your symptoms are mild. For example, look for a spot on the horizon and concentrate on that, get some fresh air, or use distraction techniques such as listening to music. There are more self-care tips on the NHS Choices website.

Q: Can I take tablets for it?

A: You may want to consider medication if your symptoms are more serious. Hyoscine, also called scopolamine, is a common over-the-counter option and needs to be taken before you travel. Alternatively, antihistamine tablets (usually used to ease the symptoms of allergies) can reduce nausea and vomiting. Ask your GP or pharmacist for advice.

Q: What about alternative therapies?

Should you prefer to go down the complementary route, then ginger (in tea, biscuit or supplement form) has traditionally been used to counteract nausea. Another option is to wear acupressure wristbands, which are thought to work by pressing on an acupressure point on the inside of the wrist.