Most people who are on the road a lot have experienced the horrors of car sickness at least once in their lives. The hurting head, dizziness and waves of nausea can ruin just about any road trip. Car sickness is caused when your body feels like you’re in motion, but what your eyes see indicates that you’re stationary. This can happen, for instance, when you’re in a moving car but your eyes are fixated on the unmoving seat in front of you. The good news is that car sickness is usually preventable. Here are our tips on how to avoid car sickness.
Sit up front
Passengers in the front seat are less likely to experience car sickness than those in the back as they have more unobstructed views through the windscreen of the outside world. Sitting up front and focusing on the road or passing scenery can go a long way towards preventing car sickness. If taking the front seat isn’t possible, try to position yourself beside a window. The worst possible seat is the one in the middle of the back seat.
Look out the window
Try not to focus on any stationary objects in the car, such as the seat in front of you or your fellow passengers. Instead, look out the window as much as possible. This will enable the sensation of movement to correspond with what your eyes see, and stop your body from experiencing that awful sensation of dizziness.
Close your eyes
When it’s not possible to get a good view of the outside world, the best recourse is to close your eyes. This works best if you shut your eyes the moment the car starts navigating a potentially dizzying path, or the minute you feel the first signs of car sickness. If you fall sleep, all the better. Keep your eyes shut until the car has stopped and you’ll find that you’ve managed to escape the full onslaught of car sickness.
Don’t read or stare at a screen
Reading is a sure-fire route to car sickness, as focusing intently on an unmoving page at such close range can easily produce headaches and dizziness. The same goes for staring at screens of any sort. This includes your mobile phone, e-reader or laptop computer. Unfortunately, this means no watching movies on your iPad or catching up on the latest novel on your Kindle.
Open the window
Opening the car window can help to ward off the symptoms of car sickness because of the blast of fresh air and increased oxygen. A lack of oxygen can exacerbate headaches and nausea, and can end up perpetuating car sickness.
Watch what you eat
Car sickness tends to take any incipient feelings of nausea or dizziness and make them ten times worse. Eating to bursting point before getting in the car can result in car sickness. On the other hand, starving yourself or skipping breakfast can also cause car sickness as the hunger and weakness can manifest in dizziness and nausea. A light, healthy meal before the start of your road trip is the best prevention of car sickness.
Make frequent stops
Car sickness doesn’t have to last the entire ride, and often a rest stop and some fresh air will have you feeling much better. Stop frequently, get out of the car, walk around and grab a bite if you’re hungry. This will help to alleviate the symptoms of car sickness and prepare you for the next leg of your trip.
Pop a pill
There are several types of drugs that can prevent car sickness, and you might want to consult your doctor and get advice or a prescription if you still continue to experience car sickness despite following all the above tips. However, most people find that just being aware of how car sickness occurs and taking steps to prevent it are enough to enable them to completely avoid the symptoms of car sickness.
Avoiding car sickness is simply a matter of making sure your eyes do not fixate on anything stationary when the car is moving, and can be achieved by looking outside or closing your eyes. Learning how to avoid car sickness can make road trips a joy rather than a pain.