7 ways to combat air sickness during plane travel

The thought of jumping on a plane and heading off on a big adventure shouldn’t fill you with intense feelings of nausea and apprehension, but that’s the reality for those who suffer from air sickness.

Luckily, with border closures hopefully a thing of the past and air travel picking up a gear, we've compiled some helpful tips to help ease those nervous tummies and minds.

woman with air sickness
Many people suffer from air sickness when they travel on a plane. Photo: Getty

The logistics of motion sickness

A spokesperson for car rental experts and airport transfer specialists StressFreeCarRental.com explains what causes motion sickness.

“The inner ear sends a message to the brain saying ‘we are moving’ while the eye sends a message saying ‘we are not’," they share.


"The conflicting messages can upset the brain, triggering nausea, dizziness, sweating and vomiting, among other symptoms. The symptoms only usually worsen if the plane experiences turbulence, and anxiety and stress can further fuel an adverse reaction.”

And when it comes to air sickness, it doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age. "Passengers young and old get air sickness."

woman on a plane
Choosing your seat can be one trick to keep in mind. Photo: Getty

7 Tips to combat air sickness

Whether you need to fly for business or pleasure, it is useful to account for the fact that you could encounter air sickness on your journey, so it’s best to be prepared.

Here are some top tips to help anyone who might feel queasy to keep their illness at bay and stop it from ruining their flight.

1. Choose your seat: If possible in advance, aim to book a seat by the window or towards the right, middle section of the plane. In these seats, the shaking of the plane midflight is felt least by passengers.

2. Control nausea: If you feel queasy, lean back into your seat to let the chair take as much of your weight as possible, and try not to move your head too much. It is a good idea to close your eyes or wear eye pads to help when in-flight.

3. Aids to prevent sickness: Mint gum can be good for nausea and it is a good idea to begin chewing mint gum before you have even boarded the plane. During the flight, you can ask the plane attendant for the tried and true remedy many travellers swear by: ginger ale. This drink is another product that can keep nausea at bay.

Millennial woman in comfy clothes travelling alone in plane. She is sitting comfortably, drinking ginger ale and eating a sandwich while watching a movie on her digital tablet. She has auburn long hair and eyeglasses. Horizontal waist up indoors shot with copy space.
Mint gum and ginger ale are two tips travellers swear by. Photo: Getty

4. Technology control: Consider limiting the technology aids that stimulate your brain while on a plane. Try not to watch TV, read anything or look at bright lights or displays for long periods.

5. Loose clothing: Wearing loose clothing can help make you feel more comfortable and less restricted, and this is particularly helpful on a long haul flight. Wearing comfy clothes will reduce the risk of stress-induced air sickness.

6. Good ventilation: Become accustomed at the start of your flight with the air vents that accompany your seat. A good supply of fresh air will help during a long journey to stave off sickness.

7. Eat light: Before you board the plane, aim for light foods and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid heavy food and fizzy drinks that could cause you to bloat.

8. Bonus Tip: Make sure you speak to your GP if your air sickness is severe and you’re concerned about any of your symptoms.

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