Carsickness can turn an extended road trip into an excruciating experience. One moment you’re enjoying the scenery. And then the next, you’re retching into a roadside ditch. Luckily, carsickness doesn’t have to consume your upcoming car rental vacation. The following are some tried and true methods to help you prevent carsickness, or at the very least, lessen the severity of your suffering.
What is Carsickness?
The first step to preventing carsickness is understanding why it happens. Carsickness is just one kind of motion sickness (also known as kinetosis). Common symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. Like other forms of motion sickness, carsickness is caused by a disconnect between what you see (the inside of the car, which appears to be standing still) and what your body feels (the forward motion of the vehicle).
This conflict triggers the productions of a neurotransmitter in your body. Confused, your system mistakes this chemical imbalance for something similar to hallucinogenic poisoning. Which results in, you guessed it, nausea.
More than one third of the population experiences some sort of motion sickness. While most complain of mild side effects, some travelers must endure intense discomfort every time they embark on a car rental vacation.
Steps to Avoid Carsickness in Your Car Rental
If you start to feel queasy during your car rental commute, follow these steps to curb your carsickness:
1) Look out the window.
Watching the scenery pass by outside your window can help your mind detect the motion that your body is feeling. Focus on a non-moving object on the horizon. Don’t, under any circumstance, try to read or focus on a fixed spot within the vehicle. The natural motion in your peripheral vision may help settle your mind (and your stomach).
2) Sit in the front seat.
Drivers rarely suffer from carsickness. This is because they are focused on the road. If you aren’t registered to drive the car rental you’re traveling in, the next best thing is to sit in the front seat. Riding shotgun will make it easier to focus outside and harder to stare on static objects within the car.
3) Close your eyes.
If your eyes are closed, they can’t focus on a fixed point in the vehicle. If you can, try and sleep. This will take your mind off your motion sickness.
4) Get some fresh air.
To do this, first try opening the window. Many motion sickness sufferers insist that breathing in cool, fresh air makes them feel better, although the reason behind this is unclear. Furthermore, certain smells can make your nausea worse. Some people find that car air fresheners, certain foods, and smoke can trigger an intense reaction.
If opening the window doesn’t help, pull over for a break. Go for a walk or sit under a tree. Both activities will help your mind reconnect with your body. This will not only help with your motion sickness, but it will also help alleviate drowsiness in your driver.
Take Preventative Measures
If you suffer from intense bouts of carsickness, consider taking some preventative measures. There are dozens of over-the-counter medications that help suppress nausea. Ginger and mint have also been proven to help reduce the symptoms of motion sickness. Ginger capsules or even sipping a ginger ale can help calm your stomach, while chewing on a fresh mint leaf can calm your senses (and freshen your breath!)
How do you combat carsickness? Share your tips, tricks, and home remedies below!