Primary Care in Rochester and Kasson

Does traveling make you sick?

3/13/2023 by Nicole Borkovskiy, APRN, C.N.P.


With summer approaching, travel is something many people are looking forward to. However, one thing that can make traveling less enjoyable is travel-related motion sickness. 

Motion sickness causes nausea, dizziness, vomiting, belching, increased saliva, feeling warm or sweating. It happens to people when traveling by boat, car or with most any type of motion. 

To decrease your motion sickness risk when traveling, consider these tips:

  • When on a ship, stay in a cabin in the front or middle, near the water level.  
  • If traveling by airplane, sit in a row over the wing and direct the air vent to your face.
  • While on a train ride, sit facing forward near the front and next to a window.
  • During a car ride, be the driver or sit in the front passenger's seat. However, children should remain in age-appropriate seats and restraints at all times. Be sure to follow state laws for the location you are in.

Also consider these recommendations to decrease the possibility of motion sickness:

  • Keep your eyes on the outside while in motion.
  • If possible, lie on your back to ease motion sickness.
  • Avoid reading, watching a movie or looking at things close to you.

There are also over-the-counter medicines that can help prevent and treat motion sickness. These include dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), meclizine (Antivert) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Other treatments for motion sickness include ginger and acupressure. If your motion sickness is severe, your primary care clinician may prescribe a scopolamine patch. 

Find more information about motion sickness and tips to treat it on the Mayo Clinic website. 

Nicole Borkovskiy, APRN, C.N.P., is a nurse practitioner in Family Medicine at Mayo Clinic Express Care in Rochester, Minnesota, where she leads the Express Care Guideline Committee. The committee reviews up-to-date guidelines and research articles to ensure the best care is provided to patients. She enjoys traveling, being outside, going for walks and spending time with her family.