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11 Useful Motion Sickness Remedies To Know For Summer Travel

Car sickness often strikes when you're in the passenger seat, so consider being the driver.

Don’t Let Car Sickness Or Motion Sickness Ruin Summer Travel

I’ve dealt with car sickness for as long as I can remember, but when I was a kid, it was usually only an issue when I was riding in the back seat or reading a book. Unfortunately, I seem to experience motion sickness more and more often as time goes by!

With Memorial Day coming up next Monday, a lot of us have summer travel on our minds, so what better time to address the subject of motion sickness? Air sickness and sea sickness are just as miserable as car sickness, and will surely put a damper on your summer fun if you’re not prepared with one or two nausea remedies!

In this post, I’ve rounded up a list of natural remedies for motion sickness to share with you, just in time for your summer travel plans. Whether it’s you, your significant other, or your kids or grandkids that struggles with motion sickness, these remedies are sure to help!

11 Natural Remedies For Motion Sickness & Nausea

Many essential oils have a soothing effect on queasiness, so a blend like Tum Ease can be a great remedy for motion sickness.

1. Use Essential Oils

Tum Ease is an essential oil blend that features several oils that can help settle queasiness, including coriander, pink grapefruit, sweet marjoram, ginger, sweet fennel, and more. It comes in a handy roll-on bottle that you can carry with you and swipe on whenever you start feeling unsettled.

Related: This Makes It Easy To Soothe An Upset Stomach Anywhere

You can apply Tum Ease to the bottoms of your feet or on your lower abdomen. If you’re especially prone to car sickness, apply it a few hours before you get in the car. You can also swipe a bit under your nose while you’re in the car, or put a few drops on a cotton ball or pad and stick it in one of the car’s air vents for a DIY “diffuser”.

I’m not the only one that loves Tum Ease! Just check out these customer reviews:

I am delighted that this works for my occasional indigestion and keep one in my travel bag!

Noni B.

I used this on my granddaughter’s tummy ache. It was almost instant relief for her. I carry this with me at all times. I may need it, too.

Janice B.

I have been very pleased with Tum Ease! It helped my upset stomach very quickly and no pills involved! 

Rae S.
Chewing gum can often relieve car sickness.

2. Eat Or Drink Ginger

My mom always gave me ginger ale when I had an upset stomach as a kid, so it makes sense that ginger helps with motion sickness as well. You can infuse water or juice with fresh ginger, suck on ginger hard candies, eat ginger cookies, rub ginger essential oil on your wrists, or go back to the old stand-by of drinking a cold glass of ginger ale. Or try making your own ginger candies!

Motion sickness is often worse on an empty stomach, so a light snack can help.

3. Have A Snack

Personally, I’ve found that I’m much more likely to get car sick if my stomach is empty! I’ve been able to combat this effect by eating bland foods like bread, crackers, or nuts before or during a trip in the car.

Sipping on ginger ale, sparkling water, or ice water helps as well! I wouldn’t recommend going overboard on caffeinated beverages, though, as they can make you dehydrated and worsen symptoms of motion sickness.

Related: Healthy Road Trip Snacking

Deep breathing can often help with car sickness.

4. Take Deep Breaths

Take several slow, deep breaths to calm your body down. This is especially helpful if dizziness accompanies your nausea.

Sometimes just opening the window for some fresh air helps to alleviate motion sickness.

5. Get Some Fresh Air

Open the car window and let in a bit of fresh air. Sometimes it helps to stick your hand out the window as well. If you’re driving too fast to have the window open, turn up the AC and let it blow in your face for a few minutes.

Sea Band motion sickness bands relieve car sickness for many people.

6. Try Acupressure Wrist Bands

I haven’t tried Sea-Bands personally, but I’ve heard some really positive things about them from people who use them for motion sickness relief while traveling. These knitted elasticated wrist bands apply pressure to the Nei Kuan acupressure point — a pressure point that can help relieve nausea — on your wrist via a plastic stud.

The smell of rubbing alcohol is reputed to relieve car sickness, so carrying an alcohol pad in the car can be helpful.

7. Get A Whiff Of Isopropyl Alcohol

Someone dealing with nausea due to chemotherapy told me that gently sniffing an alcohol-based sanitizing wipe had them feeling fine again in no time.

Related: 9 More Of The Most Useful Things You Can Do With Rubbing Alcohol

Odd as it sounds, many people swear by putting newspapers in a pillowcase and sitting on them to relieve car sickness.

8. Sit On Newspaper

Place a couple of pieces of newspaper in a pillowcase and sit on them while you drive, or place a brown paper bag under your shirt, over your stomach. (I’m not sure how either of these is supposed to work, but I’ve seen them recommended for nausea in multiple places!)

If none of the popular natural remedies seem to help with your motion sickness, a visit to the doctor can help. Sometimes it's caused by a problem in your inner ear.

9. Get Your Ears Checked

While doing research while writing this post, I learned that motion sickness can sometimes be caused by inner ear problems. Get your ears checked by your doctor to make sure that isn’t the case for you!

Related: Here’s Why You Need To Take Health Checkups Seriously

When all else fails, just close your eyes and sleep away your car sickness.

10. Take A Nap

If you’re trapped in the car on a long drive, don’t underestimate the healing power a good, long nap. I can’t guarantee that you’ll be cured by the time you’ll wake up, but you can be preoccupied about feeling queasy if you’re asleep!

Related: 16 Of The Best Tips For People Who Struggle With Sleep

Car sickness often strikes when you're in the passenger seat, so consider being the driver.

11. Offer To Drive

If motion sickness always hits you when you’re in the passenger seat, consider offering to drive instead. According to the CDC, motion sickness results from seeing movement that doesn’t match up with the movement you sense in your inner ear. Being behind the wheel can improve the connection between your senses and reduce this effect.

What is your go-to car sickness remedy?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Essential Oils

  • Peppermint oil is good. I’ve put it on a few times before traveling. Several years ago my brothers family had to follow us. Only had d one driver because my sister in-law was pregnant and and flew. One of his girls was having problems with motion sickness and vomiting. So we pulled over at least once to let them use the my peppermint oil.I also handed them a few ginger chews. It helped to settle my Nieces tummy problems.

  • Not really adding any new information here, but a cute explanation I heard LONG ago – “Car-sickness is caused by your ears and eyes disagreeing about what is happening to them, and they fight it out in the stomach!”

  • Motion sickness runs in my family (my grandfather, a WWII Navy veteran, never sat in the back of the car) and now that I’ve had more chemo and radiation, I have been plagued by it. I have found that sour hard candies help, like lemon drops, as well as gum and blasting cold air. Good luck everyone!

  • I’m on the ginger bandwagon, too, but my preferred delivery method is candied ginger. My husband works for a cruise line, and the cruise directors and their staffs swear by it! I’m lucky enough to be able to get it in the bulk bins at my grocery store at a very good price. If no one feels off, we can just eat it like candy, or take it home and bake it into big, soft gingerbread cookies.

    • Some of these same tips would work for dogs! Roll down the windows for fresh air, give your pup a few treats before the trip, and you can even apply a small amount of lavender oil (a drop or two) behind the ears :-)

  • None of the above helped me, nor did Bonine, Dramamine or Antivert. I finally got a diagnosis of a blocked sinus, which was also causing fluid in my ears (never had an earache until I was an adult). Corrective surgery helped some, but I still cannot be in open water.

    Transderm Scop patch…..the only way to go.

  • All I need to do is look at a car and I’m carsick! And, it does seem to be getting worse with age. I do use ginger capsules and the Sea Bands. Also there is a homeopath oil where one dab is put behind each ear, and I have found that to be very helpful, too. It’s found in the aisle with the motion sick remedies at WalMart. I, too, find that eating something before traveling and keeping hydrated help a lot. My husband and I have gone on a couple of cruises, and I did not experience a hint of motion sickness.

  • I have motion sickness very bad—since I was 2 years old. Some say you outgrow it—maybe I haven’t grown up yet, but at age 74 I would say I am a grown up. I use Dramamine for my problems, but natural remedies would serve me well.
    Thanks for the ideas!!!

  • I find that Motioneaze does the trick! It works in minutes and doesn’t cause drowsiness or dry mouth that I’ve found with other products. My kids use it too!

  • I find that if I pick out a stationary object in the distance, like a building, billboard, tree, etc. and focus on it as we are riding toward it, that helps. Keep doing that along the way. It seems to have something to do with what I see matching up with the movement my body percieves. Of course this wouldn’t work on a ship. I am afraid to go on a cruise because I would hate to spend all that money to go on vacation and be miserable the whole time.

  • I have used “SeaBands” or their equivalent for several years now for motion sickness, mainly on my brother’s boat. One time I forgot them and so used the theory myself, which is based on Reflexology.
    If you press the inside of your wrist 1″ from the base of your palm, and hold for a few minutes you will notice the difference.
    A friend who began to experience severe nausea during pregnancy used them successfully.

  • I haven’t read all the comments here, so forgive me if I’m repeating someone. Being in the front seat (or better yet, driving) helps prevent and stop motion sickness. Also, I’ve heard that holding an ice cube (or plastic travel ice cube) in each hand helps.

  • Hi Jillee~ I never had a problem with motion sickness until I was in a car accident many years ago. My chiropractor said the impact to my body can definitely cause motion sickness now because the equilibrium was affected. I use the acupressure bands and they’re great. I never go anywhere without them.

    • I too have terrible airsickness that has only gotten worse throughout my life, and I’ve been in several bad car accidents, I never thought they might be related.

      Not much works for me but the sea bands, and sadly even they are only effective to a point. I love the alcohol pad suggestion. I’m flying in a few weeks and I’m definitely bringing some along. Thanks!

  • Great tips, I’ve never heard of some of these. My daughter used to get car sick, but seems to have grown out of it. Going to pin this just in case it returns though!

  • Ginger capsules!! You can get them in the pharmacy/vitamin section of the store. (Ask if you don’t see them.) They contain all the ginger helpfulness, with none of the taste. I have two kids who both get carsick (they are now teens!) and both hate the taste of ginger. This works perfectly for them. Also helps on long busrides to games…the coach knows she has them and takes them, and why. It has made long rides MUCH better!!

  • I’ve used the ginger snap cookies and the ginger candies too. They help to calm the stomach. As a kid I had to be right by a window so I could get fresh air on long car rides if I was having this problem. I used to get very nauseated.

  • Sour or dill pickle. Whenever we take friends whale watching, I’d open large bottle of pickles. Every one got pickles. Same for car sickness. Such a terrible feeling.

  • My family, consisting of three couples, went on a cruise several years ago and the only thing any of us did was eat ginger snaps! None got carsick. When my husband was small, he often got carsick and his mother used the brown paper bag under his shirt remedy. It worked.

  • Chewing on crushed or chipped ice also helps for nausea (particularly at sea), as well as gnawing on frozen fruit, or even eating ice cream. Lowering the temperature of the mouth and brain seems to be the factor here. On land, move to the front of the vehicle, if you can, and set your eyes to the far distance in front of you. This gives your brain a chance to get your eyes in sync with your ear fluids that detect balance. Jillian’s suggestions for ginger and essential oils are quite effective on nausea, too. Travel sickness and I are old acquaintances.

  • Perfect timing! I got a road-trip and boat ride coming up next week!

    I use peppermint and lavender essential oils. Since those give my mom a headache I also have them in an inhaler so that the smell stays with me and not all over the car.

    Definitely happy to hear about the ginger ale. Yum!

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