Do you get the travel bug?

Motion sickness affects 20 million Brits, many of whom are kids aged 2 to 12 – considered the prime years for travel sickness.

THe spectre of getting a plastic bag out or stopping by the roadside can take the gloss off a whole holiday, but Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth, a GP from Cambridge and medical director of a travel clinic, contends that travel sickness needn't be a blight on your holiday.

'If the driver throws the car around, tiny particles of chalk suspended in liquid in your inner ear push against microscopic hairs,” says Dr Wilson-Howarth. “This tells your brain that you are on your side. Meanwhile, your eyes are sending different information and it’s this that makes you sick.'

So number one, drivers drive steadily! Next for Dr Wilson-Howarth is the 'distractibility' factor. 'Motion sickness is quite suggestible,' she says. 'If someone thinks they are going to be sick, they may well be. Take children’s minds off it by getting them to play games, listen to music and look out of the window at the horizon. Looking down to read can be a problem because your field of view moves around more.'

And of course, you should cater in the possiblility of being sick before you travel, and not pig out beforehand. 'Light meals are best – don’t have a big plate of fish and chips before a journey as it will slop around your stomach,' continues Dr Wilson-Howarth. 'Creamy chocolate drinks or fizzy ones are bad – light drinks like apple juice are good.'

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