How to Prevent Motion Sickness on Boat Trip

A boat trip on a nice sunny day is arguably one of the best ways to beat the summer heat. Or a nice cruise or yacht charter can be the perfect well-earned vacation to relax after a hard year of work. However, it isn’t all fun and games when you’re suddenly doubled over the side, disoriented and ready to bring up your breakfast. What is the cause? Motion Sickness!

But your trip doesn’t have to end so sullenly; in fact, there are quite a few light and easy tips to prevent that queasy feeling from ruining your trip.

Eat Before

The pre-voyage diet is very important. You should never skip a meal before traveling. However, your pre-departure meal should be bland and light like eggs or toast. Foods with a high acidic content such as fried foods and coffee are things to avoid, as well as generally heavy, spicy, or fat-rich foods which may make you feel full. Alcohol is also definitely something that you would want to stay away from if you are prone to motion sickness. Imagine having to deal with a hangover AND nausea! Not a very pretty picture, is it? Instead, packing carbonated beverages like sparkling water or ginger soda is a much better choice, since these can help to calm an upset stomach.

eat before

Get Fresh Air

It is also important to constantly get fresh air on board. Induced claustrophobia can make queasiness that much more suffocating since the mind becomes disoriented in its thinking. Walking on deck and taking a few deep breaths of the ocean air or opening a vent or window will help clear the senses and keep you alert.

Bring Remedies

Another tip is to plan ahead and bring remedies such as pills, wristbands or patches that ease pressure on the mind in various ways. The pills Dramamine and Bonine interrupt signals between parts of the body like the inner ear which deals with the balance to the brain. These can cause drowsiness though and should be tested in order to know what the side effects are to you personally before traveling. Wristbands and patches act differently in that they apply actually pressure to body parts to suppress nausea associated with motion sickness that can be worn as a preventative measure. Recommended brands are BioBands and Sea-Bands which are inexpensive, reusable, and can be found in drug stores and boating stores.

Watch the Horizon

Keeping your eyes on the horizon is another way to ease motion sickness. Disorientation plays a large part in that nauseous feeling, and looking at the horizon offers a stable view which provides your mind with a clearer sense of understanding what’s happening. As the waves come into your peripheral vision, the mind can now process what the eyes are seeing as motion.

watching horizon

Face Forward

To go along with that, you must also never look backwards, or facing away from the direction that the boat is heading. That disorients the mind greatly, and the confusion results in queasiness and motion sickness. Looking straight ahead helps to keep your senses organized and in check so that you don’t end up making yourself sick.

Do Not Read

You shouldn’t read while traveling either if you are prone to motion sickness. Keeping your head down in a book, computer or other device is definitely something that is more strongly advised against. I’m pretty sure we all know how time flies when we’re caught up in our favorite book or on social media but when we snap back into reality, it doesn’t bode too well with our sense of direction. It doesn’t take long for mixed signals to be sent to your brain, which in turn could have you nauseous and running for the nearest bathroom.


But perhaps the most important and helpful tip to combat motion sickness is to relax. Sure, you can eat light, rest well, look ahead, and abstain from social media urges, but it is necessary to remember that things like motion sickness are mostly a result of the mind. If you think it will happen, the chances are definitely a lot higher that it will. Your queasiness may end up being the combined result of the feeling in your stomach and the anxiousness in your mind. It’s always good to keep a rational head on and prepare for the possibility of motion sickness, but worrying about it may end up dampening that beautiful day or vacation just as much.


These are only a few ways to help against motion sickness, and on an important note, what works for one just might not work for the other. It’s always best that if you plan to travel anytime soon, do some research just in case. This is to prevent any sudden surprises at the time of departure, like an allergic reaction or unexpected drowsiness from pills. If possible, most of these methods should be tried beforehand so that you get an idea of what will work best for you. In the end, don’t let a good day be turned upside down by motion sickness when it can be fixed with simple methods. Being prone to motion sickness should never stop you from enjoying the open water. Just a little preparation will allow you to seize the day and enjoy yourself freely!

Author Bio – Ryan Bridges is a contributing writer and media specialist for CYI Charters. He regularly produces content for a variety of travel blogs based around the challenges that come with planning and preparing for a vacation.