Seasickness or motion sickness is a common challenge faced by cruise goers and sea travelers. It occurs when the body, particularly the organ responsible for maintaining equilibrium, is unable to cope with the continuous motion on a floating vessel. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, cold sweats, and an overall sense of weakness.
The good news is that, with the right precautions, you can enjoy your voyage with minimal or no seasickness. This article provides practical tips to help you prevent or at least minimize the effects of seasickness during your sea travels.
Before You Set Sail
Choose Your Vessel and Cabin Wisely
When booking a cruise or any sea voyage, consider the vessel’s size and the location of your cabin. In general, larger ships tend to provide more stability, reducing the chances of motion sickness. Therefore, choose a large vessel where possible.
As for the cabin, opt for a centrally located one on a lower deck. The central part of the ship is closer to the vessel’s center of gravity, and thus experiences less motion compared to the bow or stern. Moreover, a lower deck cabin offers less vertical motion compared to the upper decks.
Consult Your Doctor
Before making any travel plans, consult your doctor, particularly if you have a history of motion sickness. Your physician can recommend suitable preventive medications or alternative remedies that can alleviate seasickness symptoms.
Pack the Right Medications
Bring suitable anti-seasickness medication with you on your trip. Remedies like Dramamine and Bonine (antihistamines), Scopolamine (transdermal patches), and antiemetic medications (e.g., Zofran) can help prevent or minimize seasickness. Keep in mind that some of these remedies may cause side effects, such as drowsiness, so take them as advised by your doctor. Additionally, always carry your medications in your carry-on bag so you can access them easily.
Be Mentally Prepared
The human mind is a powerful tool when it comes to overcoming seasickness. Studies have shown that mental conditioning or being mentally prepared plays a crucial role in managing motion sickness. Consider doing research on seasickness and its remedies as part of your planning process. This knowledge will help to mentally condition yourself for the voyage and might reduce the chances of feeling seasick.
During Your Voyage
Maintain a Strategic Position on Board
When on board, avoid areas that tend to intensify the feeling of motion. Usually, these are the bow and stern of the ship, and the upper decks. Choose an area in the center of the vessel and on a lower deck, where motion is reduced.
Additionally, keep your gaze on the horizon or distant objects. By doing so, your brain will have a stable reference point, and this can help ease the symptoms of seasickness.
Optimize Your Environment
If you’re starting to feel queasy, make sure your cabin environment is conducive to alleviating symptoms. Open your cabin window or turn on the air conditioning to ensure good airflow. Also, maintain a cool room temperature to avoid becoming too warm, which can worsen symptoms.
Keep Your Stomach in Check
An empty stomach can exacerbate motion sickness, but so can an overfull one. Instead, eat light, easily digestible food, and refrain from consuming alcohol, caffeine or gas-producing products. Ginger has been known to alleviate nausea, so consider drinking ginger ale or nibbling on ginger biscuits.
Seasickness can cause dehydration, especially when vomiting is one of the symptoms. It is essential to drink plenty of fluids, preferably water or electrolyte-replenishing drinks. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration.
Mind Your Activities
During your voyage, refrain from strenuous physical activities or watching moving objects for prolonged periods, as these can trigger or worsen seasickness symptoms. Opt for less intense activities like reading, listening to music, or engaging in pleasant conversations.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
In some cases, relaxation techniques like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can help alleviate seasickness symptoms. By focusing on your breath, you give your brain something else to process, potentially reducing the impact of the ongoing motion.
Seasickness doesn’t have to deter you from enjoying your sea voyage if you take the right preventive measures. By choosing the right ship and cabin, packing appropriate medications, and following the tips mentioned, you can considerably reduce the effects of seasickness and enjoy a comfortable, memorable journey on the sea.