The 8 Best Motion Sickness Remedies of 2022

The tried-and-true over-the-counter remedy Bonine tops our list.

In This Article

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8-best-motion-sickness-remedies-of-2022-tout

CVS / Amazon / Amazon

Nothing ruins an adventure faster than a bout of motion sickness. If you’re prone to the notoriously unpleasant malady, the best course of action is preparedness: Identify a chosen remedy, administer it ahead of time for prevention, and carry it with you for relief. 

When searching for the best motion sickness remedies of all types, we consulted with several medical professionals across the country, including naturopathic and western medicine practitioners. Our best overall pick is the tried-and-true over-the-counter pill Bonine. We also include natural remedies including tea, candy, and essential oil, plus acupressure bracelets and patches.

Here are the best motion sickness remedies for 2022:

Best Overall: Bonine Motion Sickness Relief Chewable Tablets

bonine-motion-sickness-relief

Amazon

Why We Love It: This widely accessible over-the-counter drug can be highly effective, especially when taken preventatively.

What to Consider: Side effects can include drowsiness.

This dependable remedy is available without a prescription and can be very effective against nausea, according to Dr. Frank Contacessa, internist at MDVIP in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. “They can help with nausea; the most common side effect is drowsiness,” he advises. (Dramamine, a similar drug, is also available over the counter.) 

And he issues this pro tip: “It is best to try to take something before the motion sickness happens; it’s much harder to treat once the nausea sets in,” Contacessa says. So start your Bonine regimine even before you board.

Price at time of publish: $15

Recommended use: Adults and children 12 years of age and over, take one to two tablets once daily or as directed by a doctor. Dosage should be taken one hour before travel starts.

Best Pill: Benadryl Allergy Liquid Gels

benadryl-allergy-liquid-gels

Amazon

Why We Love It: Benadryl doubles as a sleep aid, which can make it useful for long flights or rides in which some shut-eye is desired in addition to motion sickness prevention.

What to Consider: “As some people will have a paradoxical reaction to Benadryl, make sure you try it out at home before taking it on the plane,” explains Dr. Gene Delaune, senior medical consultant for Allianz Travel Insurance.

Diphenhydramine, an antihistamine known by the brand name Benadryl, helps with nausea, Delaune explains, adding, “It can also make you sleepy, so on longer flights, taking 50 milligrams of Benadryl will help with the nausea and getting sleep.” This version comes in 25 milligram liquid-gel caps.

Dr. Tiffany Otto Knipe is a pediatrician from WMP Boutique Pediatric Care in New York City. For children, she suggests a small dose of Benadryl (diphenhydramine) “as a last resort,” given 30 to 60 minutes prior to travel. And she notes the sleepy side effect isn’t always desirable. The potential for drowsiness “means that when you get to your destination your child might be too tired to enjoy it,” she says.

Price at time of publish: $11

Recommended use: For adults (and kids 12 and up), take one to two capsules every four to six hours. For children aged 6 to under 12, take one capsule every four to six hours.

Best Bracelet : Sea Band Acupressure Wristband

sea-band-acupressure-wristband

Walgreens

Why We Love It: This is a reusable, doctor-recommended solution with no drugs or side effects.

What to Consider: The product comes in various colors, but you can’t select your preferred choice (they ship at random).

Sea Bands are a non-pharmaceutical motion sickness remedy in the form of acupressure wristbands. “They seem to work reasonably well, with no side effects at all,” Contacessa says. A plastic knob sewn into the inside of this knitted elastic wristband exerts pressure and stimulates the P6 acupressure point to relieve nausea and vomiting. The bands are all-natural and reusable.

Price at time of publish: $8

Recommended use: Locate the acupressure point inside your wrists, and apply wristbands to both wrists, preventatively or as a treatment.

Best Ginger-based: Prince of Peace Ginger Chews

prince-of-peace-ginger-chews

Amazon

Why We Love It: These drug-free ginger candies help ease nausea and double as a tasty, vegan, and natural snack.

What to Consider: The effect is subtle and gentle, not radically transformative in acute situations.

Sweet and spicy, these natural ginger candies can help ease nausea and stomach discomfort, with an appealing taste and no drugs or additives. These chewy candies are individually wrapped and safe for adults and kids (age 6 and up, according to the product packaging). They’re also vegan and gluten-free. Dr. Clement Lee is a naturopathic doctor, medical expert with Flowly, and founder of Optimal Health & Wellness in Pasadena, California. He recommends this brand, which he says it tastes good and “can be quite helpful.” 

Price at time of publish: $12

Recommended use: Unwrap and chew as desired to manage nausea.

Best for Kids: Dramamine Motion Sickness Relief for Kids

dramamine-for-kids

Walgreens

Why We Love It: This formulation of Dramamine is labeled for kids as young as 2 years old; the compact and convenient travel case is a bonus.

What to Consider: Drowsiness can be a side effect, and that can potentially knock kids out of the adventure even as it reduces their motion sickness.

Motion sickness is widespread among kids. The condition is “most common in children ages two to nine years and then tends to improve over time,” Knipe explains. Most children “outgrow it.”

Billed as the only medicated motion sickness relief product formulated just for children ages 2 to 12, this version of Dramamine comes in a chewable tablet with a grape flavor. The active ingredient is dimenhydrinate. Eight 25-milligram tablets come within a compact plastic travel case, so it’s easy to stash them in a pocket and have them at the ready.

Price at time of publish: $4

Recommended use: For children 6 to under 12 years, give one to two chewable tablets every six to eight hours. For children 2 to under 6 years, give half to one chewable tablet every six to eight hours. To prevent motion sickness, give the first dose 30 minutes to one hour before starting activity.

Best Tea: Traditional Medicinals Organic Ginger with Chamomile Herbal Tea

traditional-medicinals-organic-ginger-with-chamomile-herbal-tea

Amazon

Why We Love It: This ginger-chamomile tea is an all-natural, caffeine-free stomach-settling solution and a pleasant ritual, too.

What to Consider: You’ll need a solution to brew (or at least carry) tea, so it’s not ideal for every on-the-go circumstance.

Lee explains that natural agents that can be helpful as anti-nausea tools “come with minimal side effects and can be quite effective for certain people.” Tea is among the forms these natural agents may take. This customer-favorite version uses high-quality herbs from ethical trading partnerships and has a mildly spicy flavor with floral and honey notes. It’s non-GMO, organic, kosher, and caffeine-free. 

Price at time of publish: $28

Recommended use: Brew and drink as needed to settle the stomach and calm the body.

Best Essential Oil: UpNature Peppermint Essential Oil Roll-on

upnature-peppermint-essential-oil-roll-on

Amazon

Why We Love It: This all-natural method also works for stress and headaches.

What to Consider: The drug-free remedy produces subtle results and may be more useful as a treatment than a prevention.

“Aromatherapy with essential oil rollers or necklaces, particularly with peppermint and lemon notes, can help alleviate motion sickness,” explains registered nurse and paramedic Krista Elkins of HealthCanal. To that end, this peppermint essential oil comes with a roller-ball applicator so it goes on neatly, even in rocky conditions.

Price at time of publish: $12

Recommended use: Place on your neck or behind your ears to breathe in the aromatherapeutic oil. Use as often as needed.

Best for Cruises: Scopolamine Patch

scopolamine-patch

Amazon

Why We Love It: This medicated anti-nausea patch is highly effective for many users.

What to Consider: You will need a prescription; these aren’t available over the counter. And you might experience side effects.

“Scopolamine patches are familiar to cruise-goers—you can see them behind the ear on a lot of passengers,” Contacessa explains. “It works well, with the most common side effects being dry mouth and dizziness. This is only available by prescription, so you have to ask your doctor to prescribe it. 

Price at time of publish: $45

Recommended use: Apply patch four hours before triggering event. Apply to an area behind the ear that is clean, dry, hairless, and free from cuts or irritation. Use only one patch at a time; if you need to use a second patch after you remove the first, place it behind the other ear.

Tips for Buying Motion Sickness Remedies

Use motion sickness products in conjunction with behavioral remedies

Motion sickness remedies are most effective when used in combination with strategic behavioral adaptations. For instance, when in motion, try to focus your vision into the distance. “Pick a spot on the horizon, and try to keep focusing on that spot,” Contacessa advises. 

Further, don’t eat big meals before a potentially triggering journey. And remember to stay well hydrated. “Stick to water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate you,” Delaune advises.

Avoid looking down, reading, or doing activities on a screen, as these can exacerbate motion sickness. And if possible, try to close your eyes and even sleep. With eyes closed, you are “not taking in the visual information that can contribute to the problem,” Knipe says.

Sit strategically

To minimize motion sickness, face your body in the direction you’re moving during travel. In cars, sit in the front seat if possible. And you might volunteer to be the driver instead of a passenger. “Driving can reduce motion sickness because having control of a moving car can realign your senses and prepare you for the twists and turns,” Elkins says.

Knipe advises, “Select seats where motion is the least.” On ships, try to get a cabin in the center of the ship on a middle deck, which experiences the least motion as the ship rolls in the sea. In a plane, a seat over the front edge of the wing is recommended. If traveling by train or bus, pick a forward facing seat.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What causes motion sickness?

    When the body, eyes, and inner ear send conflicting signals to the brain—such as on a choppy boat or turbulent flight—the uncomfortable feeling of motion sickness can result.


    “Motion sickness is a syndrome that occurs when the brain receives conflicting signals from the motion-sensing parts of the body: the inner ears, the eyes, and nerves in the extremities,” Knipe explains. “When the signals received [from] sensory cues are inconsistent [it]... then triggers a response” that can make you feel sick.

  • What are the symptoms of motion sickness?

    Motion sickness can begin with a generally dizzy or queasy feeling, escalate to cold sweat, and more extreme nausea, and cause vomiting. Other symptoms may include fatigue or loss of appetite, or tearfulness and irritability among kids too young to verbalize the discomfort. “It is the result of the brain getting confused by what your eyes are seeing compared to what your inner ears are sensing,” Dr. Contacessa explains.

  • How long does motion sickness last?

    Motion sickness can last for up to four hours or so after the motion stops. “The length of time [of] the symptoms can vary,” Lee explains. “Some people may only have symptoms part of the time while traveling, some may have it the entire length of motion.”

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Alesandra Dubin is a career travel and lifestyle writer and a frequent traveler. She’s also prone to motion sickness and swears by Bonine since it saved her on an all-day dive outing on a rainy winter day.

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