What Causes Seasickness and How to Avoid It-Travel Guide

how to avoid sea sickness

Are you planning to go on a cruise or to spend some time traveling in a boat or other watercraft? If yes, this article will come in handy as we discuss “What Causes Seasickness and How to Avoid It.”


What is Seasickness?

Seasickness is a type of motion sickness where there is a feeling of dizziness, wooziness, lightheadedness, and/or nausea during or after travel on a boat or watercraft. Seasickness may cause cold sweat and vomiting.

What Causes Seasickness?

Seasickness is when the motion of the sea causes your brain to experience conflict and it cannot interpret information that is sent to the motion-sensing parts of the body which include the ears, muscles, eyes, and joints. The inner ear is where the body regulates its balance mechanisms. When there is motion caused by the sea, the eyes and other sensory parts of the body perceive a stable condition whilst the ears sense the up, down, and side to side movements. This results in the brain being agitated with an incongruous feeling which results in stress-related responses such as feelings of queasiness. The brain is essentially confused as to whether you are in motion or not.

what causes seasickness
What Causes Seasickness?

How Long Does Seasickness Last?

Seasickness usually lasts a few hours. In rare instances, it may last for a day or two. Seasickness can occur within a few hours of being in motion on the sea. In most cases, once the body is acclimatized to the motions of the sea, the effects dissipate.

What Are the Symptoms of Seasickness?

what is seasickness

The symptoms of seasickness may include some of these symptoms

  • Fast breathing
  • Cold sweat
  • Pale skin
  • Increase in the production of saliva
  • Dizzyness
  • Headache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting
  • Uneasiness in the stomach
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feelings of tiredness

12 Tips on How to Avoid or Minimize the Effects of Seasickness

Here are some tips on how to avoid or minimize seasickness.

Relax and Get Fresh Air

Anxiety causes and increases the effect of seasickness. When traveling on water, it’s important that one relaxes to avoid seasickness. If you are on a boat where you are in an enclosed space, try to go to an area where you can get fresh air.

Avoid Using Particular Objects and Engaging in Certain Activities

Avoid reading for long length and using devices such as your phone, tablet, camera, or binoculars. These objects are usually stable, so using them could trigger the brain to respond with seasickness.

Avoid Excessive Consumption of Food and Alcohol Before, During, and After Going on a Boat or Watercraft

Having a belly full is a recipe for disaster when the motions of the sea are in full effect. Excessive consumption could cause vomiting. One should not go on the sea with their stomachs hungry either as this can also intensify the effects of seasickness. Persons should ensure that they have eaten an adequate amount, not too much or too little before, during, and after venturing on the sea.

Certain Types of Food Should Be Avoided

Spicy, fatty, and acidic food should be avoided as they are known to make seasickness worse for some persons.

Stay Away From Strong Smells

Whether it’s the strong smell of food, perfume, engine oil, etc, stay away. If you are on sea and exposed to a strong smell, it can trigger seasickness and the symptom of nauseousness. In addition to staying away from strong smells whilst on the sea, one should wear a minimal amount of perfume or cologne, as even the slightest smell can seem overwhelming with the onset of seasickness.

Identify and Stay in an Area That the Effects of Motion Are the Least

In the case of a ship, try to stay in the lower level cabins near the center of the ship as the effects of motion are lesser there than in high-level cabins.

Stare at a Fixed Point

Gazing at a fixed point such as the horizon can help with preventing and minimizing the effects of seasickness.

Sit and Face the Direction of Travel

When on the sea, sit facing the direction of travel, this prevents the feeling of disorientation.

Keep Hydrated and Stay out of the Sun

Dehydration can cause symptoms of seasickness. In order to prevent this, stay away from the sun so that your body does not get overheated. It is good to sip water or a broth or juices that are low in acids such as apple.

Close your Eyes

Since seasickness is caused by signals between the eyes and the ears. Closing your eyes can limit the conflicting messages between the sensory parts of the body.

Bring Remedies and Take Over the Counter Medication 24 Hours Before Trip

Bring remedies and take over-the-counter medication in preparing for your trip to the sea. The best type of remedies will be discussed in the section below.

Avoid Panic and Carry a Plastic Bag

The panic that is experienced when there is an onset of seasickness can cause nausea and vomiting. The panic and the extremities of seasickness can worsen knowing that there is no bag or something prepared in case one has to vomit.

What are the best Medications and Remedies for Seasickness?

seasickness medicine

There are a number of medications that are proven to prevent or limit the effects of seasickness. There are also home remedies that have been touted as highly effective although they have not been proven scientifically.

Natural and Home Remedies for Seasickness

Over the Counter Medication and Accessories for Seasickness

  1. Dramamine
  2. PSI bands
  3. Motion sickness patches


Now that you have learned all about seasickness it’s time to set sail.

<strong>Lori Lewis, The Travel <span class="has-inline-color has-pale-pink-color">Virgin</span></strong>
Lori Lewis, The Travel Virgin

Content Writer and Researcher

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