I read all comments on my posts, like this one in response to
Safe and healthy cruising-keys to an enjoyable vacation
As a physician, I tend to view experiences in medical terms and did on this cruise. I was impressed with the rules and procedures that were directed at keeping the guests and crew healthy and safe.Keep reading
Rhonda Gales (@RhondaGales) blogger
Your photos are great! I want to do a cruise to Alaska next year, but I’m a little leery. The last cruise that I took, I was sea sick the entire cruise. Any advice on how to avoid it this time, and thanks for sharing on Sunday’s Best.
Thanks Rhonda we’ve also cruised to Alaska, it was beautiful. You might look for a facility offering desensitization training for motion sickness. Otherwise drugs work but can cause unpleasant side effects. Talk to your doctor.
What is motion sickness?
Motion sickness is the unpleasant sensation of motion, either with or without motion actually occurring. Those of us prone to it wonder why some people seek out experiences like roller coasters. Symptoms include
- nausea with or without vomiting
- general unwell feeling
Fear of motion sickness causes people to forgo activities like airplane travel, boating, amusement park rides, and car trips. But sometimes these activities are unavoidable or people just want to enjoy them.
Preventing motion sickness
If you don’t want to completely forgo activities that might cause motion sickness, manipulating the situation to minimize or change the motion can help.
Sitting toward the front of a vehicle and facing forward will help.
- Airplanes- sit over the wings
- Boat- sit level with the water facing the waves
- Bus/Van/Car- nearest the front
- Train- lowest level
Use your eyes
- Don’t read
- Focus on the horizon if possible.
- Keep eyes closed (especially if not able to see the horizon) and/or wear sunglasses.
Maintain general wellness
- Be rested, sleep if possible
- Stay hydrated, eat lightly
- Avoid alcohol
- Keep the environment well ventilated, avoid strong smells
- Listen to soothing music
Using medications for motion sickness
One option is to use medication, either for prevention or to treat the symptoms once they occur (not as effective.)
Prevention- using the patch
There are herbal patches but this one is prescription only, and most likely to be effective.
Transdermal Scopolamine patch (Transderm-Scop)
- Apply behind one ear at least 4 hours before travel
- Replace patch every 72 hours
Other prescription medication
Promethazine (Phenergan) for nausea and vomiting
Available OTC- over the counter(NON-PRESCRIPTION)
(These affiliate links are for information only and are not a recommendation to use unless advised by your personal physician.)
Habituation and Desensitization
The more I travel , the less likely I am to suffer motion sickness without using drugs. I use the tips above- I don’t read in the car, I sit in the front of a bus. If an airplane encounters turbulence, I lean back, close my eyes, and direct the cool air toward me. I have gradually become habituated to motion, although I still do not ride roller coasters.
There are programs available to desensitize people to motion; the military uses these since pilots and sailors will constantly be exposed to motion and must be able to function.
A former NASA flight surgeon and fighter pilot developed such a method, naming it after himself. Dr. Sam Puma developed the Puma Method.
“The PUMA METHOD consists of a series of simple yet very effective warm-up and conditioning exercises.
These exercises raise your tolerance level to a variety of motion sickness producing activities such as reading in a moving vehicle, riding in a small boat or cruise ship, or flying in an airplane. This process is called habituation.
The exercises use your body’s own habituation mechanism to prevent motion sickness. You don’t need any drugs, so there are no negative side effects.”
(quote from the website)
Motion Sickness Treatment Makes Waves
This article from Scientific American explains how NASA and the U.S. Navy are finding new ways to help everyone overcome motion sickness.
“Researchers and those who work with pilots and the military’s most frequent flyers, are especially keen to find better ways to treat motion sickness. And the many civilians who face nausea in cars, planes, boats or even the tamest amusement park rides would welcome a cure without the common side effects of current medications, such as sleepiness, or the questionable efficacy of alternative treatments, such as pressure bracelets.
The path to those ends remains bumpy and filled with more than a few green faces, but new research is closer to finding the best treatments to keep both side effects and lunch down.”
exploring the HEART of healthy travelling
On the way back to Seattle, the ship stopped on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and we toured Bouchart Gardens, a must see on an Alaskan cruise.
Here’s what you should know about what to wear on Alaskan Cruises
Blogger Cathy Lawdanski offers these tips on what to pack for an Alaskan cruise, which is not as easy as packing for a warm weather cruise. Read her helpful tips based on her experience at this link.
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8 thoughts on “How to stop motion sickness and enjoy a cruise to Alaska”
I did not know there were no roads! That’s amazing. Looks like a great trip! Seasickness is the worst!
Thanks Lydia, yes it was amazing. No roads lead in or out of Juneau and there aren’t many within the town, so motor vehicle travel is one of the safest in the United States. I don’t know about airplanes though, it’s probably safe too since they rely on it so heavily.
Aletha, motion sickness seems very common. I know a number of people who are afraid to cruise because of it. Like you mentioned above, I went to a physical therapist and was cured of my directional dizziness. It was a huge relief to be free of constant dizziness. I am now also better when I travel but I still follow your tips.
I love the Alaska photos, good incentive to find a cure. We will feature this post on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop to help more bloggers overcome motion sickness.
Thank you Kathleen, I appreciate the support. I’m glad Rhonda commented about motion sickness after my first post about cruising; I had never considered doing a post about the topic, which I now realize is a problem for many people. I hope the information helps people travel to fun and interesting places. I enjoyed reminiscing about our Alaska cruise as I picked out photos for the post, we have many more I could have used. Maybe in another post.
Aletha, I’ve been dealing with motion sickness all my life and have pretty much given up on it! “Don’t read” is definitely a must. On a plane, I cannot read OR watch the movie, must sit looking straight ahead. Works well for me. One time I got overconfident and got into a conversation with the person next to me, which kept me turning that direction for a time–not good!
Jean, I’m glad that you are at least able to fly but hope you find more ways to make it easier. Talk to your doctor about meds. A physical therapist who treats dizziness might be able to help. Thanks for reading and sharing.