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Avoiding Travel Sickness on Ferries

Travel sickness can be debilitating for some, especially on long ferry crossings when there’s no let up from the constant motion. However, there are several steps you can take to prevent it, as well as lessen it if you’re unfortunate enough to suffer from it badly.

Skip to: Why People Get Motion Sickness | How To Prevent It | FAQs

Travel Sickness on Ferry Due to Motion

The Cause of Travel Sickness

People get travel (motion sickness) due to the repeated movements, which causes your inner ear to send signals to the brain that are different to what your eyes are seeing. It’s these differing messages that your brain is receiving which causes you to feel sick. By understanding this underlying cause it makes it easier to prevent it from happening in a lot of cases.

How to Prevent Motion Sickness

It’s important to reduce the mismatch of signals being sent to your brain and one of the best ways to do this is to focus on a fixed point in the distance, such as the horizon. This helps your brain to determine what ‘level’ is.

You should also:

Dover to Calais Ferries

Newhaven to Dieppe Ferries

Plymouth to Roscoff Ferries

Sea Sickness Tablets & Bands

There are several types of remedies you can buy over-the-counter to help combat motion sickness:

These help to relax the muscles in the walls of your stomach and to control the signals sent from your inner ear to your brain during motion. They also block a chemical called acetylcholine to reduce the amount of saliva produced (in an attempt to prevent you from feeling nauseous).

Over-the-counter medication containing Promethazine or Cinnarizine work by helping to improve blood flow in your inner ear and blocking the effects of histamine in your brain. By blocking the effects, antihistamines can reduce the symptoms of travel sickness.

These have a small stud which applies pressure on an acupressure point between the tendons in your wrist. Some people find that this can help relieve nuusea and vomiting, although they don’t work for everyone.

Common questions on travel sickness

Do ferries cause motion sickness?

Ferry travel can cause motion sickness, especially on rougher crossings. It’s advised that you focus on the horizon where possible and get plenty of fresh air.

Where should you sit on a ferry to prevent sea sickness?

The motion is usually limited in the centre of the ferry and gets worse the further you get to the bow or stern. If possible sit outdoors or in the middle of the vessel facing outwards so you can focus on the horizon. Always try to sit away from any exhaust fumes as strong odours are likely to make you feel worse.

What medication prevents travel sickness?

The efficacy of medication is different for everyone, but the two most common types are antihistamines and hyoscine hydrobromide tablets. Both work to reduce the syptoms of travel sickness.

Are there any natural remedies for sea sickness?

Some travellers swear by ginger (either in tea, a biscuit or raw) for helping to prevent being ill at sea. You can also try accupressure bands, which are a fabric band with a small stud that applies pressure to your wrist.



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