Fun fact: I have a problem with motion sickness — a real problem. It’s nothing new – I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. I would say that 90% of the people that know me have some kind of hilarious story about how I threw up on them or out the window of the car. There is a favorite story — think winding roads through the Black Forest in Germany and me on the top level of a double decker tour bus in the front seat with the driver taking the curves at full speed. Yeeeaaaah…. that happened.
So in my lifetime, if there is a remedy for motion sickness, I’ve tried it. I’ve gotten to the point now where I have a routine and favorite products that I like to have with me on every trip — but especially when I’m cruising.
Most of the time, I’m golden, and these remedies will work for me. I went on a few cruises in the past couple of years to the Bahamas/Caribbean and Canada and didn’t have any problems. However, there is that occasional cruise where the seas are so rough that even these tried and true methods don’t work. If anyone is curious, that cruise was Alaska. I should have known. The last time we went was the same way. I just wasn’t prepared this time for how rough the seas were when we weren’t within the Inside Passage. Just so you know, a shot (in the rear) of seasickness medicine on Holland America will run you about $90.
Mostly, I like to take Dramamine and Bonine. When flying, I take the regular, will-make-you-drowsy Dramamine (1). But, when I’m on a cruise, I like to stick with the less drowsy, 24 hour Dramamine (2) or Bonine (3). It seems to work the best for me during just run-of-the-mill cruises (meaning not super rough seas).
For more immediate relief, I carry ginger gum and chews in my bag — especially on shore excursions and for tenders. I can’t make it on the Royal Caribbean tender to Coco Cay without some ginger gum. You can usually find ginger gum at Wal-Mart (4) and the best ginger chews I have found are the Reed’s brand that I find at Cost Plus World Market (5).
I’ve recently started trying essential oils and Motion Eaze (6) – both seem to work equally as well. The essential oils I always carry with me are peppermint (7) and ginger (8). If I am feeling really nauseous, I will put a few drops into a kleenex and inhale the scent of the oils or put a drop behind my ears.
I did try the Transderm Scop patch on a couple of our trips. However, I experienced some side effects that began to cut into the enjoyment of my vacation, so I decided not to use it anymore. When I had the patch on, it made my eyesight very blurry. I already have a slight astigmatism (It used to be worse, but I had laser eye surgery.), so this only made it harder to try to read ship schedules and menus. Even worse, when I took the patch off, I had about three days of nausea, dizziness, vertigo, headaches — to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed and function like a human being. Funny enough, the remedy to combat this side effect is to take Dramamine, but I didn’t know that until I had already used the patch on about three or four cruises. Well, you know what they say — lesson learned. We have cruises planned for October of this year and April of next, so I do plan on getting a box of the patch to have just in case (even though my insurance doesn’t pay for it anymore — ouch!).
I have also tried the Seaband wrist bands. For some odd reason, they work for me when I am trying to combat vertigo at home, but they have never worked for me to help with seasickness. Go figure!
Let me know what your favorite motion sickness remedies are in the comments below. If there’s something I’m not trying, I’m more than willing to give it a go!