Stave Off Seasickness This Summer With Our 3 Top Tips
Feeling nauseous is bad enough at the best of times, but feeling nauseous while you’re trying to enjoy your cruise is another thing altogether. Couple this with vomiting and stomach cramps and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.
Seasickness, or mal de mer, as the French say, has been the curse of many a traveller, and when it strikes it can certainly put paid to any enjoyment you may have been planning. Luckily, however, there are one or two things you can do in order to prevent falling foul of the dreaded condition. First, though, let’s look at what seasickness is exactly.
What Is Seasickness?
Seasickness is simply another form of motion sickness; the same condition that some people suffer from whilst travelling by air or by car. Symptoms include:
- Cold sweats
- Loss of skin colour
- Quick, shallow breathing
Motion sickness can affect anyone. However, some people are more susceptible to it than others. Pregnant or menstruating women, and people who suffer regularly with migraines, are amongst those who are the most vulnerable, as are children.
Motion sickness occurs when there is a marked difference between what you see with your eyes and what your vestibular system, a network of fluids and nerves in the inner ear, senses. This irregularity between the two senses affects our balance and can cause confusion within the brain as it cannot process the information being sent to it.
The size of the vessel too can have an effect on how likely it is that passengers will suffer from a bout of seasickness. Large cruise ships are far more stable than smaller ships, so naturally those on board will suffer less.
Our Top 3 Tips
Various forms of medication are available, both over-the-counter and prescribed. One of the most effective for many is Transderm Scop, which is a scopolamine patch that is applied at least 8 hours before travelling just behind the ear. These patches are effective for up to three days and are available only through your GP. Side effects may be experienced, so have a chat with your doctor to find out if this preventative method is suitable for you.
Other forms of medication include Meclizine, Dramamine and Diphenhydramine. All of these are considered over-the-counter drugs and many cruise ships will have these for sale on board. Nevertheless, if you feel that you may suffer from seasickness, going prepared with your own tablets is advised just in case your cruise ship does not hold them in stock.
For those who would rather avoid taking drugs unless absolutely necessary, there are a couple of other options you can try. Ginger is said to be fantastic for alleviating the symptoms of nausea and it can be ingested in many ways. Teas, pills, powders and sweets are all said to have a positive effect. Green apples such as Granny Smith’s are also good for a queasy stomach.
Other seafarers swear by a specially made wristband to combat motion sickness. These acupressure wristbands, commonly referred to as a Sea-Bands, push against certain pressure points on the palm side of the wrist that are said to have calming effect on nausea and vomiting.
Self Care Techniques
Our third set of tips comes in the form of things you can do in order to lower the effects of seasickness whilst on your cruise. Keeping still and looking at a stable object will help your brain equalise the effect of the motion, so try and find somewhere quiet – preferably in the middle of the ship – and try to relax.
Relaxation is a key part of keeping seasickness at bay and many believe that people can actually talk themselves into becoming ill simply by worrying about it. Having travel insurance with cruise cover can help to keep your mind calm if you are in any way worried about your journey.