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7 Effective Ways to Prevent Motion Sickness

There’s nothing worse than venturing to a theme park filled with excitement, only to end up watching from the sidelines. Okay, there is something worse — you could suffer the embarrassment of throwing up everywhere. Here’s an example of why we try to prevent motion sickness at theme parks. On a recent trip to Canada’s Wonderland to ride the amazing Yukon Striker, the roller coaster had to be shut down temporarily shut down because a passenger was vomiting. He just kept shaking his head in embarrassment. Poor guy! 

We felt bad for him, but we also realized that it could have been us. Josh and I both suffer from motion sickness (and one of our littles does, too!). It’s long been a source of travel anxiety for us, but we’ve found some coping strategies that have helped. Here are seven tips to help you prevent motion sickness on rides and roller coasters. 

Over-The-Counter Meds

Many people swear by Dramamine (dimenhydrinate), but even the non-drowsy formula makes us sleepy. If it works for you, keep using it, but If you’re like us, another option is Meclizine. We’ve used this time and time again to keep nausea and vomiting at bay. It’s quite an accomplishment when you consider how many roller coasters we’ve ridden! If the idea of swallowing pills already makes you queasy, consider trying a patch. They are designed to stay on the skin and provide relief from motion sickness for up to three days. Of course, if OTC meds aren’t working well enough, you could always speak to your healthcare provider about something stronger. 


We really love trying natural remedies for travel anxiety (read Best Essential Oils for Travel Anxiety), so we thought we’d give it a shot with motion sickness. Someone at our gym told us that MotionEaze could prevent motion sickness, and recommended we pick some up. Rather than pills, bands, or a patch, MotionEaze is a liquid made from all-natural botanical oils. We add one drop behind each ear and we’re good to go! If we plan on doing a lot of rides with few breaks, we’ll combine this with Meclizine to maximize effectiveness. Always consult a healthcare provider before combining medications! 


Another great, natural option for fighting motion sickness is a Sea-Band. The knitted, elasticated wrist band contains a plastic stud that makes contact with the Nei Kuan acupressure point on each wrist. There are no side effects associated with wearing them, and they can be used by adults and children. These are pretty popular among travelers, not just theme park enthusiasts. Sea-Bands can be effective at sea sickness and even morning sickness, too! After having six kids, I’ve got to thank the universe for never having serious morning sickness. How did I get that lucky?!


This might sound crazy, but some people swear by ginger for motion sickness. In fact, many turn to this root for all types of stomach upset, which is why people sip ginger ale when they’re sick. Can it be used to prevent motion sickness? Many people say that it does!

It’s one of the oldest natural remedies for motion sickness, and studies support the claim that ginger can help. You can eat gingery food, consume drops or capsules, or even use ginger essential oil. 

Eat – But Do It Right

If you’ve walked around an amusement park, you’ll know that everything smells good. From corn dogs and fresh-cut fries to funnel cakes, it can be tempting to stuff your face with fair food. That’s a bad idea if you’re planning to go on rides, though. Even if you’re not prone to motion sickness, a full belly could spell disaster on a roller coaster. 

Canada's Wonderland Beaver Tails

A full stomach might not be great, but an empty one isn’t much better. Park food is expensive, but try to have several mini meals throughout the day.  To help prevent motion sickness on rides and roller coasters, split treats with a companion and stay hydrated. This can go a long way to keep you feeling good. 

Choose The Right Rides

While every ride is different, most roller coasters move thrill seekers in a straight path.Whether you’re going up and down, out and back, and even looping upside down, you’re not typically swirling around. Of course, roller coasters with intense g-force could be tougher to stomach, but for the most part you’ll be better off than getting on the spinning Tea Cups. 

Fuji-Q Highland Do-dodonpa

You absolutely want to avoid anything that just spins in a circle or sways back and forth. It’s extra bad if it does both. Don’t worry about seeming lame, either. It’s better to skip something than to throw up all over the place (we know because it’s happened). 

For several years after the turn of the century, theme parks were rushing to add 3D rides to their list of attractions. Although, they can be fun, any rides that rely on simulation have the potential to be nausea-inducing, especially the ones with 3D glasses. Additionally, as this technology ages, you’ll probably be left feeling queasy. 


Despite their one-time popularity, a real trend lately has been for theme parks to remove the 3D components from these rides. Instead, parks are focusing on creating immersive experiences with giant screens, scents, and even water mists. Not sure about a 3D ride? Sit it out and do something else instead! 

Even though we’ve found some success with these strategies, we’re always trying to find new ways to cope. We’ve heard of closing your eyes and keeping your head straight, but it hasn’t been among the most effective strategies for us. What do you do to fight motion sickness? 


Prevent Motion Sickness on roller coasters

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