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Ever since I remember, road travel has always been a hassle for me. I slept through most of it and didn’t enjoy eating anything on the way even when I was hungry. I should probably mention now that I suffer from motion sickness with a hint of claustrophobia. When I was young, I remember stopping every now and then to puke and feel extremely weak by the end of trip.

As I got older, nothing really changed except the fact that my mom figured medicine to curb motion sickness – Avomin, like any other antibiotic, it has side effects. I felt bloated and it made me extremely drowsy (maybe that’s the point? So, that you don’t feel the uneasiness!).

Visiting hill stations back home with its winding roads, lowering oxygen levels and crazy hairpin bends made me moody and I never could enjoy my staycation! But over a period of time, I developed a pre-trip, during, and post trip routine that has been working successfully for me.

Here’s a quick remedy list for all those suffering from motion sickness:

  1. Early morning trips are the toughest: Your stomach is empty, you don’t feel like eating something so early. What do you do? Get up at least 1 hour before your actual departure. Freshen up and have a warm glass of water. Jog for 5 minutes, standing wherever you are. This acts as a warm up and makes you feel a bit more alert, physically and mentally.
  2. What to drink and eat before you leave? After the jog, head to your kitchen and prepare a small cup of coffee/tea. Make yourself a sandwich or bowl of oats, whatever your regular breakfast is. Make sure, the portion size less than what you eat. It’s important to control the portion sizes here because you don’t want to feel too heavy while traveling.
  3. What to eat during? Ideally, home cooked food helps in keeping stomach at ease but if you are planning on eating outside, don’t eat anything that has a pungent taste. Motion sickness gets only elevated with strong flavors and smell.
  4. Snacking: Avoid snacking on the way. It definitely gets tempting to munch on something if it’s 4-5 hour long trip but steering away from (see what I did there?) from eating while in the car helps a great deal in not feeling nauseous.
  5. If not medicine, what helps with nausea? Breath mints, smelling lemon/orange. If you miss carrying these, the last resort should be Sprite. Anything to digest your food and make you burp.
  6. Don’t be shy: If you’re anything like me, you would feel extremely guilty to ask people for favors especially if you’re traveling in somebody else’s car. Don’t be. Would you much rather feel uneasy the whole trip out of politeness or open your mouth to convey what makes you comfortable? I have personally asked people to turn down their car heaters, lower their windows slightly (fresh air helps) and if possible remove any strong car scents. Understand your triggers and explain it to them!
  7. What clothes to wear: Yes, you read that right! Clothes also matter on how you’re feeling throughout your trip. I have noticed that if I wear anything that’s covering my neck like scarves or high neck tops, it adds onto the nausea. I read about it and I got to know it adds to the claustrophobia and nausea because you get the feeling of being choked. Wear something easy-breezy and comfortable!
  8. What to do right after you reach? Freshen up and stay outside for a while taking in the fresh air. Invariably, you will burp little by little and start feeling better. Drink warm water and eat your next meal as soon as you can.

I follow all of this even when I am in town meeting, friends. If it involves a car driving around, trust that I would follow the checklist above! Motion sickness is less about puking and more about the feeling that you would any time during the trip, all through the trip. But a few simple steps help!

Ending with a HOT TIP: Never leave your house empty stomach or leave in a hurry without mindfully eating your food. I have done both and it didn’t end well!

What is your eating routine when you travel? Drop your comments below!

Madhu Narayan
Guest blogger, Plant Life Meals