5 Ways to Deal with Motion Sickness

Is your middle name Mahiluhin sa Biyahe? Here’s how to beat the sickness.

By Arete Mequi
March 31, 2016


Motion sickness sucks. It’s that simple.

While all you want is to enjoy the road trip from point A to point B, you end up feeling like you have a massive hangover (and you don’t even drink) and accidentally getting sick all over your seatmate’s lap. The next thing you know, your travel companions are already gagging, followed by a chain reaction of nasty projectile vomiting left and right. Alas, the much-awaited trip that you’ve been saving up for since getting your first paycheck is off to a miserable start—thanks to motion sickness, which sadly has always been your most loyal travel pal. It really does suck.

If you’re one of those poor souls who gets wobbly quickly with anything that moves, here are 5 ways to save your upcoming trip from becoming an ultimate barf-fest.

1. Get a better seat.
The key to lessening your chances of suffering from motion sickness when traveling is to sit where you will experience the least amount of movement. If you’re flying, choose a seat near the front of the plane or next to the wing. In a ferry, go for a cabin near the front or the middle area. Meanwhile, always call shotgun if you’re travelling by car—a clear and wide view of the road is your friend if you get dizzy easily. Better yet, volunteer to be the driver if you can; experts claim that the last person to feel sick during a trip is almost always the driver.

2. Get enough sleep.
Much has been said about the effects of losing sleep, and planning to make up for it by taking naps during the trip can only make things worse if you’re susceptible to motion sickness. Include getting enough zzzzs in your preparations: that means packing your bags early so you don’t lose precious hours of sleep the night before. Believe us when we say that the last thing you want to happen while on the road is to feel the demonic wrath of motion sickness coupled with migraine.

3. Put down the phone.
A long trip can be draining and boring, and nothing can be more tempting than playing games on your mobile device or reading a good book to pass time. However, getting your eyes fixed on something while the vehicle makes random movements will only get you more nauseous than a pregnant woman. If boredom strikes, try other sources of entertainment like listening to music (check out our road trip playlist here).

4. Have light meals only.
Who can resist a big breakfast of buttered pancakes, sausages, and omelet before a long haul, or a scrumptious roadside meal of adobo or bulalo in the middle of an exhausting, leg-cramping bus ride? While pigging out is something to look forward to when travelling, foods that are fatty, greasy, spicy, and deep-fried must be avoided (why always our favorites?) to lessen the effects of motion sickness. Don’t starve yourself either as this could trigger dizziness as well. Go for light meals composed of bread, grains, and fruits instead. Crackers, hard candy, and soda are also effective in alleviating your stomach acids.

5. Travel more, seriously.
We’ve always wondered how bus conductors don’t show even the slightest hint of wooziness when dispensing tickets and counting money while the bus goes over bumps and turns. “Sanay na po ako,” said a bus conductor when we asked him about it. Apparently, developing some sort of tolerance to motion sickness is highly possible. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the more you travel, the more you get used to the motion. This is probably the reason why ballerinas feel fine even after doing countless spins, or why sailors develop “sea legs” over time (the ability to walk steadily and not feel sick on a boat, according to Merriam-Webster).