Dealing with Seasickness on a Sailing Holiday

Dealing with Seasickness on a Sailing Holiday

Feeling queasy on a boat? Anyone who suffers from motion sickness will likely feel seasick too. Even the strongest stomachs can turn in rough weather. It’s an unpleasant experience that can detract from the joys of sailing on the open sea, but with a few pre-cautions you can reduce the likelihood and relieve some of the symptoms of seasickness.

Why do we get seasick?

When the motion you sense on a boat with your inner ear is different from the motion you can see, it causes motion sickness. It is quite a common condition that happens for some people who travel by car, train, airplane, or boat. The symptoms are : a feeling of uneasiness, dizziness, sweating, nausea and vomiting. Not everyone gets seasick, and you won’t know until you get on a boat. Pregnant women and children are more susceptible to motion sickness than others. Once an underlying ear problem has been ruled out, there are a few tips you can try to reduce the likelihood of feeling sick on a sailing cruise.

The Right Type of Sailboat

Boat style and size can help a lot to combat motion sickness. The bigger the boat, the more stable it will be on the water and the less likely you will be to get sick. Chartering a Catamaran may be the best choice as they are more stable and don’t keel .

Easy sailing location

Book your sailing holiday, especially if it’s your first, in and easy sailing destination like Croatia or Greece. Since the weather in both places is excellent with enough wind to have a good sail, but without frequent storms in the summer or very rough seas. Furthermore, there is always land in sight and if things get really bad, you can be back in port in a short time.


Make sure your medical aid kit has anti-seasickness medication. Taking these 15 minutes before you set sail can make all the difference. Over the counter medicine may be sufficient for mild seasickness. See your doctor if you need something for more severe, repeated seasickness or longer trips, though. Patches are also available. Read up on the side effects as some motion sickness medication can cause drowsiness.

Watch what you Eat

Take care about foods, drinks, and alcohol before and during travel. Excessive alcohol  and liquids that make you feel too full should be avoided. Rich, spicy, or fatty foods may make it all worse as your stomach battles with the motion confusion and the food or drink. Black or green with fresh ginger tea is really excellent for combatting nausea and settling your stomach.

Gaze at the Horizon

Looking out over the sea to the horizon can sometimes relieve that queasy feeling. If you can keep your gaze on a fixed point, even better. It’s not recommended to stay below deck, unless you can sleep it off.

Get some Fresh air

Open a window or vent, or get outside and feel the wind on your face. This can really help with that bilious vibe. Staying downstairs in the cabin is not the best for seasickness, unless you want to or can sleep.

Don’t read

Avoid books and screen altogether as they can make the problem worse. Hanging out on deck and getting  actively involved in the sailing may take your mind off it altogether.

Seasickness can be unpleasant when it is extreme. Milder versions can be easily managed by following the tips above, and the experiences on your sailing holiday will more than make up for the hassle.


By Merryn Wainwright

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