A rocking ship, a rocking bus or a winding car ride makes the journey a real challenge for some people because motion sickness sets in. Children are most often affected by nausea when traveling, but adults can also have a bad trip on vacation. Around five to ten percent of people react particularly sensitively to fluctuations while driving. Statistically speaking, women are affected more often than men. How motion sickness occurs and how you can get it under control.

The nausea is just a symptom of motion sickness, which is known in medicine as kinetosis. Other symptoms that may occur: headache, sweating, dizziness, paleness, rapid breathing and vomiting. These symptoms can be triggered by car rides, a turbulent flight or a boat trip. Seasickness, a subtype of motion sickness, is particularly difficult for many travelers.

However, why people get sick quickly when traveling doesn’t depend on their stomach. If there’s a lot of shaking on the bus or taking curve after curve in the back seat of a car, it can upset your sense of balance. The result: motion sickness. In order to maintain balance, the body relies on information from the sense of balance in the inner ear and what the eyes see. But if the eye and inner ear send contradictory information, then the annoying companion goes along for the ride. This means that if the eyes perceive that I am sitting still and reading a book in the back seat of the car, while the vestibular system reports vibrations, the brain cannot combine these two pieces of information into a suitable picture. Nausea or headaches while traveling are not a classic illness. It is a reaction of the body to the many contradictory stimuli.

Anyone who notices the first signs such as headaches or increased salivation while driving on vacation can take immediate countermeasures: It is better to look out the window at the street or fixate on a fixed point on the horizon. However, reading a book or using your cell phone can increase nausea and dizziness.

If you already know the annoying symptoms from your last vacation, you can take ginger as a preventive measure. Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that the tuber can relieve and prevent motion sickness. Two grams of fresh ginger should be consumed daily several days before departure. This also works in the form of a ginger tea. Fresh ginger should be steeped in a cup of hot water for six minutes. When traveling by car on vacation, travelers can take ginger tea with them in a thermos and drink it when they feel sick. It can also help to distract yourself or open the windows in the car. It is best to eat light and digestible food before the journey.

If the motion sickness doesn’t go away, it can help to lie on your back on a quiet surface and close your eyes so that the balance system can calm down again. There are also medications that can help with motion sickness. Stiftung Warentest recommends these two active ingredients for prevention in adults and adolescents: diphenhydramine and scopolamine. These active ingredients can prevent nausea and vomiting.

Choosing the right place can also play a role in whether you get sick. If you travel by bus, it is best to sit in the direction of travel and by the window. The pendulum movements are lowest in the middle of the bus – that can help. In the car, the passenger seat is preferable to the back seat. On an airplane, a seat near the wings can help. If you hate long flights or car rides, the best way to spend them is to sleep. Not only does time pass faster, motion sickness is also not a problem. Visual stimuli disappear and the sense of balance is largely inactive.

Read more:

– Why do many women grow hair on their chins as they age?

– Why coffee drives us to the toilet

– What’s behind the annoying twitching in the eye?

– Why your stomach growls – not just when you’re hungry

Sources: AOK, Netdoktor, Stiftung Warentest, University of Michigan study