Travel Tip: Use a Fan to Fight Motion Sickness

August 9, 2022, 8:06 PM · Do you get queasy on thrill rides? Or maybe just getting into a car, a bus, or an airplane is enough to turn your stomach. Motion sickness can take the fun our of your vacation, so this week I would like to share a quick tip on how you might be able to avoid, or at least minimize, feeling nauseous when visiting your favorite theme and amusement parks.

Invest in one of those hand-held electric fans.

You might think of these gizmos just as something to help you feel cool on a hot and muggy day. But blowing air on your face can be an effective way to prevent motion sickness, too. Even the Cleveland Clinic includes blowing air among its recommendations for dealing with motion sickness.

After Universal Orlando opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it added small fans on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride to blow air in riders' faces in order to fight the motion sickness that many guests were complaining about on that robot-arm dark ride. I must admit that the ride - while spectacular - did leave me feeling a bit green back then, and not in a "I love Slytherin" type of way. But the addition of the fans eliminated any queasiness that I felt on that ride, helping me to enjoy it without issue ever since.

Not all rides come equipped with such helpful anti-nausea devices, unfortunately. Obviously, there's no need for fans on big outdoor coasters where air rushes past your face at the speed of the coaster. But the more limited airflow to interior seats on inverted coasters may be one of the reasons why those models make me feel worse than any other type of roller coaster. Any ride with significant lateral forces, warm temperatures, and limited airflow can add up to queasiness for sensitive riders.

If there's a safe way to use a fan to keep air blowing on your face during those rides, such as on dark rides and low-speed track rides, I - and others - have found that helps. If you cannot use the fan while riding, try to use one in the queue and immediately after the ride to help with any queasiness. And check out that Cleveland Clinic link above for more tips for more severe cases.

Remember the blowing air trick on other transportation, too. Whenever I board an airplane, I always turn the air nozzle above my seat to full blast. Not only does that help to alleviate queasiness in a muggy cabin, it also helps circulate fresher air around you. (If you don't want the air blowing directly on your face, turn the nozzle to direct the air to blow right past the front of your face, instead.) Directing the air vents in an automobile toward your face also can help with car sickness.

Blowing air won't curve every case of motion sickness, of course. But if this is something that's bothered you in the past while traveling, you might consider this trick worth trying on your next trip.

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