Do You Suffer From Motion Sickness?

a man on a handrail
image from Esquire

When it comes to visiting new places and trying out new experiences, few things hold me back. However there is one thing that can and does get in the way for certain things.

I unfortunately suffer from bad cases of seasickness.

The thing about the water is that I really enjoy swimming & snorkeling and have no issues on calm bodies of water like lakes or even rougher ones like rivers with currents. However, put me on a boat where there is potential for big waves- oceans and on the sea and it’s bound to be a recipe for disaster.

So who cares. Right? I get seasickness, big deal.

Well the reason I am bringing it up is to mention how this issue can hold me back when it comes to travel. I’d also like to see if anyone else suffers from this problem and find out what they try to do to deal with or better yet, prevent it from happening.

I like to think that I’ll try most things at least one time when it comes to travel experiences. When you add water into the mix, I might still try it but only for a day trip.

Why you might ask? Seasickness can get so bad where minutes seem like hours and the time seems to not pass by. The spinning feeling is just awful. I wouldn’t do a trip which trapped me on a boat for days at a time unless it happened to be one of those river cruises (although, then again they sound pretty boring).

Seasickness is holding me back in what I’d consider a pretty big way from visiting two places that I’d love to go.

  • Antarctica– I’ve been stuck on having visited six continents for quite some time now and don’t known when the time might come that I’ll make it to the seventh. A boat trip seems out of the question due to the extremely rough waters on the way there. I’ve read into potentially flying to Antarctica but those trips are quite expensive.
  • Galapagos Islands– I’ve had many interesting animal experiences and encounters while traveling. (Check out My Top 5 Animal Encounters.) I’d love to come face to face with some of the unique and interesting sea creatures of the Galapagos. I’ve held back from visiting due to the fact that for most trips you live aboard a boat for days in potentially rough waters. I’ve read about some trips where you take shorter boat trips and camp out on a few of the islands. This is the way I’d probably visit when the times come.
a close up of an ear
image: Tranderm-Scop

How have I tried to deal with seasickness?

I’ve tried using various meds like meclizine/ dramamine which didn’t help so much. A better option has been the Transderm Scop patch which you need a prescription for. One of the nice things about the patch is that it works for 72 hours (although I’ve still suffered from seasickness while wearing it).

a hand holding a blue watch
image- ReliefBand

One other item I’ve tried, which others swore by was the ReliefBand. This device looks like a watch and sends light shocks/ electric pulses to the wrist. This is supposed to take your mind off of the motion and prevent motion sickness. Maybe the ReliefBand works for some people but I tried it during a trip to the Great Barrier Reef. It did nothing for me but send me small shocks while I felt horribly nauseous.

One thing I am lucky to not suffer from is motion sickness while in vehicles on land. If I try to read in a car or bus it isn’t the best idea but otherwise I am usually fine.

I used to get very bad motion sickness while flying as a kid. This hasn’t happened in many years but I take meclizine as a preventative still to this day just to be safe.

Do you suffer from sea/ motion sickness? If so, how do you deal with it and do you find it holding you back from certain kinds of trips?

8 thoughts on “Do You Suffer From Motion Sickness?

  1. Stumbled upon this page by chance. Even though my reply will be two years later, I’d like to leave a tip for everyone. Since this may be a game changer for you! (Fisherman who loves to fish on boat! But dies within 30mins!)

    I suffer from major motion sickness. Watching a truck move pass me makes me wanna vomit. Standing next to a boat on land makes me vomit. Staring at the ocean makes me dizzy. I know, it’s horrible.

    After many different attempts to remedying this , one of my clients with similar issue taught me a very effective tip.

    So Transderm Scop patch… okay….but you have the nauseous sensation still.
    And Dramamine just gives you a nasty after taste when you vomit, correct?

    Slap on a Transderm Scop patch a day before! And pop a Dramamine that night and sleep it off. Next morning pop another Dramamine. (one Dramamine per any additional day base on your activity. Of course patch up again if it’s past 72 hours.

    You are now immune to motion sickness and also immune to sleepiness.
    Stay full and extremely hydrated! Because you will so dry out!

    Now hope on that next fishing boat and tell me if this did you wonders!

  2. Ginger works for me… I was on a cruise and a woman at the dinner table mentionned that she took ginger supplements. On a subsequent day sail, I ate a bit of japanese pickled ginger and drank ginger ale during the day and surprisingly, i was fine.

  3. BOShappyflyer- The few times I’ve been on waverunners I also did not have any issues. This could be do to riding them on lakes though. I went on a cruise once and got sick for the first 2-3 days plus I was really bored on the ship. The stops cruises make are also so short where you have such little time to get a feel for an area.

    I think you’re plan to avoid boats and fly is the best option for now!

    Ms. M- I definitely agree with you. I also do not believe there is an actual remedy for seasickness issues. I am willing to try short day-trips on the water but even then I usually feel sick after. When I take meclizine, I take a very small dose too.

    jimltravels- Ocean fishing, that’s a tough hobby to have if you get seasick! Which band do you plan to try , the ReliefBand or the pressure ones?

    danny- I guess I am lucky to have never really gotten sick while snorkeling. When you take meclizine next time try a small dose. I’ve never felt “drunk” from it! I haven’t tried the acupressure bracelets. Have you?

  4. I have the same issue. I basically have to avoid water activities as I’ve even gotten motion sickness while snorkeling before! I’ve only tried meclizine before and it puts me in a weird foggy drunk state for 24 hrs even though it does work.

    Have you tried the acupressure bracelets?

  5. I am in the same “boat” as you. I take meclizine, but don’t do cruises as a result of the seasickness. I’ve done one. My main problem is I enjoy fishing. Ocean fishing in particular. There are times it has not been a pretty sight. I am gong for the wristbands next time as I have tried the aforementioned remedies to no avail. It is the big rolling waves that do it to me, not the choppers. Let me know if there are any other solutions as I have tried most

  6. I take Dramamine (half the dosage, but at slightly shorted intervals than listed on the bottle to combat the side effect of sleepiness) starting 30 minutes before the cruise set sail until it docked.

    Sounds strange, but a cruise ship doctor told me to do it on my first cruise because I was literally drunk from taking the full dosage at the prescribed times. It did not take away the sensation of the ship moving when others could feel nothing, but I was not seasick or drunk from medication.

    I try to take excursions (cruises, ferries, etc.) with short times on the boat and a lot of time off. I was able to handle an Alaskan cruise with 1/2 of the time at sea because the waters were calm. However, no amount of drugs takes care of rough seas – and even with the best planning you may not avoid it.

    I hope you figure out a way to go to your dream destinations. I try to minimize my time on the water with itineraries, but I don’t shy away from a destination just because it involves water. Good luck!

    P.S. I am scared of swimming in deep water too! Long story.

  7. I don’t really think there’s much you (or I) could do in these cases. Maybe budget more time after to recover from motion sickness? 🙂 Or fly to your destination.

  8. I also suffered from motion sickness (not so much cars these days) and I guess I don’t suffer from motion sickness while at sea, but I get super vertigo problems when getting off cruise (it was a pretty bad case one time when I went on a Princess cruise and encountered rough seas. I can’t even walk straight. Fortunately, the weather was bad or we had an extra day at the hotel where I was mostly disoriented.

    I have since gone on one more cruise and it was much better (but I honestly am not a cruising kind of person anyway), but I usually take a dramamine before flight or cruise. Things like jet skiing doesn’t bother me one bit.

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