Yall – this post is groundbreaking for me. I say that because I am SUPER susceptible to all types of motion sickness: by land, air, and sea and so thrilled to share how I managed to overcome my overpowering motion sickness! I’m writing these tips based upon my recent experience boating around the Na’ Pali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii with Holo Holo Charters.
Holo Holo Charters without argument was a sensational experience. From start to finish, the hospitality and impeccable customer service of this company and crew was magnificent! On our catamaran, we cruised with Captain Glen, as well as crew members Jake and Ahren. The boat was sparkling clean, and the crew took fast (like Superman speed with Spiderman senses) to anyone getting seasick. I was so impressed! We took the Sunset Cruise, complete with snacks, drinks, and a yummy dinner! Ticket prices are $129 per adult, $109 per child (no children under 5 allowed, for safety reasons).
If ever you want to see how nature carves beauty, I encourage you to take this coastal tour. Seeing the intricate cliffs, natural waterfalls, caves, and foliage of this island shore was such a prize to behold. On part of the tour, Captain Glen navigated our boat into a cave, the rock erosion and colors of the splashing sea were stunning.
We also saw a rather famous beach – can you recognize it? They filmed part of Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Man’s Chest) here! Remember the scene when they find the Black Pearl banked and abandoned on the beach? This is it! I love seeing little gems like that, kind of makes you feel connected, wouldn’t you agree?
Some of my favorite views were these intricately carved cliffs. Don’t they look like something out of Avatar? It always bewilders my mind these stunning landscapes were created by repeated volcanic activity and water erosion over the progression of time. Science gets me geeking out all the time 🙂 I also drool over these views – being landlocked in Dallas always has me missing the ocean and breathing the salty air.
How to Avoid Sea Sickness
Like I mentioned before, my tendency to easily get motion sickness is something I’ve dealt with my entire life. I can remember trying to read in the car and yacking or riding in various taxi’s in my travels and having to pull over so I didn’t spew all over the car. It’s not a fun thing and I swear it gets worse with age. Needless to say I was SO scared to go on this boat tour for fear I would spend the next several hours hurling over the rails. What was I to do? I didn’t want Charlie to miss out on the opportunity because I couldn’t handle it and I didn’t want to miss views I wouldn’t otherwise see on the island. I stocked up on every remedy possible and boarded our boat completely armed with all the essentials. This might seem like overkill but I’m telling you – it worked and it was all worth it.
Ginger is your Friend
You may or may not know that ginger is a natural remedy to calm the stomach. Did you ever drink ginger ale when you had an upset stomach? Same concept here. Before getting on the boat, we bought some ginger chews AND ginger gum. I love the flavor anyway but there’s something about chewing on something that helps calm your stomach while also distracting your mind from the nausea. I take them with me everywhere! I also found the chews in different flavors. I’m fully stocked with them now in my purse, travel bags, car, etc. Ginger chews and gum are made from ginger root – with natural gingerol essential oils. Ginger helps expel gas from your stomach and the movement of food throughout your GI system.
The ginger gum I chewed seems a bit pricey for a pack of gum but when it works, I’m willing. When the waves got real choppy (which they definitely did on the way back) I made sure to start chewing. Btw, ginger helps with pregnancy-associated nausea and works great with chemotherapy. It was actually a former patient of mine who initially told me about ginger chews and how much they helped! Sometimes it’s a relief to find something natural instead of yet another medication to solve a problem.
The worst thing you can do is get sloshed (drunk) if you’re prone to sea sickness. Not only does the alcohol contribute to dehydration, your nausea is THAT much worse. A lady on our boat got completely tanked once we set sail. She kept rambling on and on how her family gets such terrible sea sickness while she kept tossing back the beers. Her poor kid and husband were literally green in the face, especially the second half of the ride, and she was frolicking around drunk. I felt SO bad for her family. Can you imagine?
But back to the point – hydration. Water is your friend, especially when you start to initially feel ill. Sucking on ice cubes also helps (plus you’re sitting in direct sun so hydration is extra important!) I clutched onto Ginger Ale the entire trip – and yes I was slightly bloated afterwards from the carbonation but I didn’t care. It was part of my arsenal of tactics. Carbonation definitely helps with an upset stomach and helping you feel a little more settled. I didn’t even let go of it for pictures, hah!
So many people were trying to get me to roam around the boat. I found it a little weird, just let me be! Sitting still in the open breeze, facing forward and letting the ocean spray splash my skin was something I found to be super helpful! Anytime I’m facing backwards (even in the car) makes me sick. I made sure to sit forward on the boat, and out in the open. Having the fresh breeze and little sprinkles of ocean spray seemed to keep me “grounded” on the boat. Sitting inside the cabin only makes me feel the sway of the ocean more intensely, and is in immediate recipe for disaster. I can’t tell you how many people I saw get sick who were sitting inside. Fortunately the crew were lightning fast with buckets – I swear they had Spidey-senses and could tell before the person was feeling sick. It was impressive!
I also bought these handy little wristbands that put pressure (with a plastic stud) on your Nei-Kuan acupressure point located on your inner wrists. These wristbands are another drug-free option for maintaining your composure.
The Nei-Kuan points are simple and easy to locate, you’re also provided instructions in the packaging – they’re located on your inner wrists, approximately the width of three fingers below the wrist joint.
First, hold your hand with your palm up and find the upper wrist crease. Then place the three middle fingers of your other hand onto your wrist, with the top of the upper finger just on the wrist crease. The Nei-Kuan point will be beneath your index finger, between the two central tendons that run from your wrist down your forearm (clench your fist to see the tendons more clearly). A slight sensitivity or tingling should tell you that you have the right spot. Repeat this process on your other wrist, it is essential to wear the bands on both wrists for them to be effective.
Lastly, I was armed with chewable Dramamine tablets. I chose chewables because the absorption of the medication occurs faster when it’s chewed instead of swallowed whole. I took three total over roughly 6-7 hours, starting with one tablet about an hour before the boarding the boat. I also take these before flights and before any extensive or strenuous car rides when I’m not driving. The cabs/Lyfts/Ubers in NYC or Boston easily make me super sick otherwise. Those drivers are aggressive! As always, consult your physician before taking any kind of medication – even if it’s over the counter.
It’s also important to note ginger chews and ginger ale have sugar in them – so for my diabetic or hyperglycemics out there – beware and consult with your physician if necessary.
I didn’t mention the patches available by prescription or over the counter to place behind your ear. They are another option (and I’ve previously used them) but I forgot them for this trip! This was part of the reason I went so nuts about finding other alternatives, but I was so happy to report this combination of tactics worked like a charm!
The only time I even slightly got a little nauseous was when the Captain slowed the boat down (when we were in the cave) and the boat was rocking. In steady speed and motion, I never felt ill. I sure did see SEVERAL people yacking overboard though! I was so grateful I didn’t get sick, it was my greatest fear to ruin Charlie’s experience by having to take care of me the entire time.
Have you tried any of these anti-nausea remedies? Do you get motion sickness? How do you manage to not get ill? If you’re curious to see the rest of my trip, I’ve left my entire review of Kauai and our Airbnb stay in this post.