Bus and Coach Sickness

While long distance coaches offer a reasonable experience for most people, local buses can be another story. Anyone prone to motion sickness has to contend with a combination of cramped seats, stuffy atmosphere, engine fumes, jerky vibrations and constant starting and stopping.

Personally, I have a problem with the swaying movement as the bus lurches around bends, and the engine fumes (which is worst towards the back of the bus).

You'll feel better sitting right at the front, as close to the driver as possible. Face forwards and try to look out through the front windshield. Follow the route with your eyes, anticipating any bends in the road, bus stops etc. Try to open a nearby window if possible. Listening to music with headphones may help, but trying to read will only make things worse.

Coaches typically stop less frequently, use main roads and have a higher passenger area with more comfortable seats. Nevertheless, if you are prone to sickness, it's not wise to try to read. Sit back in your seat, relax and try to focus your attention onto something not travel-related. Many coaches have a air vent over each seat. Turn this to direct the air onto your face.

Carry a bottle of water with you and take regular sips from it. You may also find it helpful to suck on peppermints of other candies. Avoid anything greasy such as potato chips.

With both buses and coaches, if you think you're going to be actively ill tell the driver! The embarrassment of having the bus stop for you pales into insignificance compared with the misery of vomiting on board.




Comments

t99 on June 10th, 2012:
I find on coaches if you sit in the middle of the bus but slightly forward and on the inside row its better than closer to the window. Trust me! On a coach there are curtains - pull them slightly and put the air vent above you on, and you will be fine. Just talk to people and suck on sweets.
Emily on May 14, 2014:
I have gastric migraines which means i can feel sick a lot!!! Thnx for the help. I've got a 2 hour trip on Tuesday and I am really nervous.
Diana on September 28, 2014:
I have had travel sickness since I was 6 weeks old, and am now 75 and would love to go on weekend coach trips but the front seats are kept for disabled people. Even going on a short bus ride I worry so much that I feel sick as soon as I get up in the morning. Years ago I had acupuncture; also hypnosis (didn't work). I'm OK driving. I don't know what is best to take, there are so many?
windranger on November 4, 2014:
I really hate riding on the bus... It makes my day miserable :-(
Aabriti on November 29, 2014:
Thanks so much! Yesterday we were on a coach to Boston and I was trying very hard not to throw up. I succeeded, and then found out it was kind of a family thing! Now, on my way back to NYC, I'll feel much better.
Akshay on December 12, 2014:
There are two types of sickness, due to motion & due to smell. I had motion sickness since childhood. My sister is a homoeopathy doctor. She gave me a 2 week treatment and I am free from the motion sickness completely. Consult any homoeopathy practitioner regarding this and you will forget what sickness is actually.
Aarti on March 11, 2015:
I have to sit at the back of my school bus - what should I do?
Jessica on March 25, 2015:
Well if you're sitting on the back of the bus I'd advise you to try and keep some air flow going to you with occasional sips of water (do NOT drink too much at a time). If you really don't think you can handle it then just bring a bag to be safe. Trust me I know from experience on a car ride when I felt like I was gonna hurl everywhere my mom passed me a bag, and I was ready to hurl in it but the weirdest thing was that the empty bag she had given me smelled faintly of beer! And that smell literally took my nausea away instantly! At least for the time being it did; and just to think I never usually liked the smell of beer! (And trust me I'm not going to drink that stuff I prefer not to get drunk, thank you!)
bean on April 20, 2015:
I have a 6 hour bus journey and I can't do anything about being sick - help.
John on May 1, 2015:
Going on a seven hour trip today. Hope this works!
Elrisa on May 3, 2015:
Well, I have an excursion on Monday morning and I'm really nervous because I have big problems (such as getting carsick) and I don't wanna be like this (when you get seasick) in front of my friends. I don't know what to do.
Ahhh on May 10, 2015:
I'm REALLY nervous. Tomorrow I have a long bus journey and I feel sick already just thinking of it. I have never been physically sick on a bus but I feel terrible and I get scared I will be sick! My journey is 5 hours long any help????
Pasha on June 1, 2015:
I was commuting through the city but couldn't stop throwing up in the bus. This was so embarrassing.
Sasank on June 11, 2015:
I have to travel a 10 hour bus journey, twice in a month. And the nausea is a big problem. I will try sucking sweet candies on my next trip.
In my experience, the nausea is less while travelling in a sleeper than on a seat.
And, could there be a psychosomatic aspect to this - Are claustrophobic people more likely to vomit than others?
Paige on June 16, 2015:
I personally even get sick on hot busses even if it is just a 5 minute trip home! In October I have an hour and a half trip to lake Ainsworth - OH MY GOD HELP ME! I think your tips from above are very helpful and yes, I'm going on a coach (I think?). Hopefully all goes well. Another tip my friend told me is to focus on the horizon, check out the scenery, take a sip of water and relax and make sure u get airflow!
aoife on June 27, 2015:
Going on a school trip by coach for 7 hours, not going to be fun. Are there any weird tricks that prevent the dizziness?
Annie on August 3, 2015:
Try sitting with your head bended near to your knees... I'm doing it now and feel less terrible.
Maddie on August 6, 2015:
I'm on a 5 hour car trip and have to sit in the way back. At first I was feeling week and dizzy so I looked up ways how to not feel like that. I saw that you should suck on mints. That's helping a lot. I have one in my mouth now and I feel almost perfectly fine. Also I saw to drink water regular. I drank about a bottle so far and I feel good. I suggest drinking about 1 every 1-2 hours. Don't chug it, it will make you more sick. Thank you guys so much for the tips!
Shin on August 25, 2015:
Wow! Now that it is mentioned, I realize that whenever I take candy with me I have a tendency to look out the window, and coming to think of it I didn't have motion sickness at those occasions ^-^
susanb1 on September 13, 2015:
Motion sickness in cars, buses and trains is caused by something called "optokinetic nystagmus." It occurs when passengers look out the side windows at the passing scenery. The eyes involuntarily jerk to and fro, attempting to focus. This causes nausea and vomiting. Discovered by scientist Robert Barany in 1921. Do not look out the side window. Look straight ahead and keep your eyes steady... like the driver. Drivers never get motion sickness because of this reason.
Ola on September 26, 2015:
I think I get sick due to any strong smells, food, beer ... etc.
However, we have 2 coach companies. I don't know why I always get sick on one of them and very rarely on my favourite one. So, I was told one time that the seat height from the ground can contribute to these sicknesses, I'm not sure although this might explain why I'm getting sick on one coach and not on the other.
I'm on the bus now and I usually select any seat in the middle. Never in the front or I easily get sick. I try to avoid back seats as a lot of young ppl (sometimes drunk or smelly) select those seats. I usually go on 2:30 h-long journeys, and overall, I'm fine as long as there's no bad smells.
Nathan on October 17, 2015:
I have a school trip on Wednesday and I am already feeling sick, help?
FlawLESS on October 19, 2015:
Ask your doctor for a meclazine prescription. Or look for OTC products containing it and compare dosage. I found it OTC a long time ago but had to take 2 to equal prescription strength.
steff #rrt on October 26, 2015:
Hi, this is my problem since childhood. I am 28 years old. What I do to avoid vomiting is I take medicine like gaviscon and omeprazole (antacids) to comfort my tummy. I don't eat big meals before traveling. I just have my water and crackers and focus my attention on anything not on travel related. I let the medicine help my stomach to avoid vomiting. Hope it helps. I always admitted every time I get sick travelling but now with the tips I am perfectly fine.
Shea on November 6, 2015:
No one has mentioned ginger. It works great, even for seasickness. Either ginger candies or just chew on real ginger.
Abbie on December 1, 2015:
I go to a private school and the bus ride is rather long. I got sick the other day but luckily it was only me left on there but I felt so embarrassed! I tried focusing on things, but it only made me vomit.
Katie on December 5, 2015:
Thank you guys for the tips. I am going to Disney with my church and with 40 people we can't fly so we are taking a bus. We live in NC so we have a 10-11 hour drive and I always feel sick on buses. Thank you guys so much for the tips.
Mahesh on December 6, 2015:
I get sick during bus journey not because of motion, but due to lack of fresh air in A/C buses, strange smell, stinky cushions, what to do?
My Experience on December 10, 2015:
I have this sickness since childhood. I have the motion sickness as well as the odour sickness.
Motion Sickness - While travelling in trains, buses and mainly A.C. coaches, I feel like vomiting. Opening the window beside me and enjoying the scenery with the air coming in helps me, or talking to someone, having candy also helps. Trying to read anything - even a message in my phone surely makes me fall sick. Sitting at the middle is best.
Odour Sickness - I did not have this sickness since childhood. But this slowly increased with my age. I feel ill in any kind of artificial smells such as perfumes, incense sticks, etc. But NOT natural ones such smell of flowers, delicious meals, etc. Have not yet found any prevention to this. It just makes me fall sick.
jenirva on December 19, 2015:
Today I had this 6 hr journey back home and I felt really sick. Though I managed not to vomit I felt nauseated and dizzy the whole way. I had travelled by bus many a times but never felt like that before. Then I saw my friend sitting near me vomit 3 times. The 4th time I informed the driver and he stopped the bus on the way so that she could vomit. I guess the smell and stuffiness inside the bus were the culprits.
Kishan on January 18, 2016:
I have both motion and smell sickness, I feel worst in cars and buses, always feel like vomiting but never do. That in between feeling is pathetic. Plz suggest any remedy. I usually take anti-sickness tablet.
felicity on February 3, 2016:
Well, I am prone to travel sickness and have tried almost everything to try and prevent it. I use motion sickness seeds (which go on your ears); acupuncture wristbands; kwells travel sickness bands; and any old tricks. However I find the BEST remedy of them all is sleep and I know when you're traveling it's hard to try and sleep, but trust me it helps a lot and prevents it as well as cures it!
mary on February 22, 2016:
When I have got to travel a long distance I always make sure I have plastic bags with me in case I need to be sick. I find the thick lunch bags are best.
Toshman on March 26, 2016:
I really vomit when travelling with a car or bus, so I don't know what to do. This started since my childhood. So what's the best solution? What can I do to stop this?
Aileen on May 4, 2016:
Good day, I just wonder when I travel by car and smell the car soap for cleaning glass and when the car always turns I feel dizzy. In the bus I feel the same, like I have heart burn and my acid goes up I feel like I'm going to vomit, my feet start to go cold and my hands. My idea is I will just sleep to prevent it. But i don't like to feel like this all the time I travel. I just wonder if it is normal.
Thabang mfusi on May 23, 2016:
I also vomit when I travel in a car or bus. It's really embarrassing help pls... I live in South Africa Brits.
heather on May 23, 2016:
Help! I get VERY travel sick (especially busses) and in a few months I have a 12 hour bus journey, but nothing seems to make me feel better :(
Katie on May 28, 2016:
I'm currently 10 hours through a 13 hour bus ride to Montreal for school. Thanks for this! Just touching a mint to my tongue improved everything.
on June 29, 2016:
I really hope it works. I get up at 6.00 every morning to get a coach and I feel sick so my attendance goes, so I really hope this works.
Sudeen R on July 6, 2016:
I've had the feeling of being sick whilst travelling for a while now. When I was much smaller I use to vomit on my road trips but as I grow older I learned to control the feeling by breathing at a steady pace, I also travel with mints and have to constantly suck on them throughout the whole journey. I find that if one is finished and I do not immediately replace it then the feeling comes on. Holding head down never helps. I usually don't eat for my travelling, if I do it's something light. Taking your mind off the journey helps. Not even my phone can help when I travel. I prefer not to reply to messages unless I'm not typing it. The other day I was travelling in a crowded vehicle and another passenger had the same issue I guess cause he was prepared with his bag and as we go up a hill in circles he started throwing up and my nose caught the smell of his vomit and my body was already in the throw up position however I kept it down and started my breathing technique. I was at the same time reaching to open the window but it was broken. I recovered though, but had to continue the breathing exercise to the end of my journey. I don't need ways to control this I just need ways to make it go away forever.
Dan on July 7, 2016:
Going on a 26 hour coach journey. I am so scared.
Ella on July 10, 2016:
I've got a 10 hour journey tomorrow and I'm really nervous. I've read the other tips but does anyone know anymore, thanks x
Mallory on July 11, 2016:
I get "sick" even when we are backing out of a parking space. Unless if I am feeling good (from alcohol) I CANNOT be in the car. I never feel like I have to vomit... it's more of a spinning or falling feeling. CAN ANYONE HELP?
MommaRescue on August 2, 2016:
Both of my children got sick during trips. Oy Vey! We finally discovered Bonine works well (not Dramamine), but you have to be dosed before you start the trip. I would give them a pill the night before and in the morning. Worked perfect! And it does not make you drowsy. In fact, my daughter could never ride amusement park rides... then found if she took the pill she could enjoy all the rides!! She missed so much fun when she was younger :o( I hope this works for you too!
abhijith singh on August 21, 2016:
I was travelling from Ooty (Tamil Nadu) to Bangalore (Karnataka) by Ac Karnataka state bus. The route had almost 3 hrs of ghat section. I didn't had idea about this motion sickness. suddenly I had to vomit inside bus and it made me feel very much embarrassed. I got quarrel with bus driver and I had to pay extra bucks to clean the bus. I think everyone should take a plastic cover while going in ghat section roads. Sometimes even a health person can get these symptoms instantly.
Some Kid on September 8, 2016:
I've been vomiting on the bus since my second year in middle school, and I've had no help whatsoever. Thank you for giving me this advice.
Silly problem on September 21, 2016:
NOT A PROBLEM !!!! Just take a carbonated drink and a Vicks candy, truly guys THIS IS A COMPLETE REMEDY tried and proven by many.
Edward on October 4, 2016:
Gravol works for me.
on October 5, 2016:
Another thing that helps is instead of mints try gum. It can get your mind off of the sickness so it's best to chew some gum and listen to music. If you have more of a gassy pain don't do gum because it can make you more gassy.
helious on October 26, 2016:
I can't travel in car, bus. Even for one km. I am 20 years now. It ruin my school life now it effect my career. Pls help.
Kitkat on December 15, 2016:
I'll be having a 4 hour travel with my classmates. I would just like to ask, what If I got to experience motion sickness? What should I do to ease or get away with it?
Rebecca on January 12, 2017:
I have had a sensitivity to the smell of diesel for years. It started in the military and every time I had to get in the back of a duce or be around military vehicles expelling their poison through the exhaust pipes I would literally be out of it for at least half the day so u can imagine how my days went. SLOW. I still have problems taking the bus around town which affects my stomach, praying and psyching myself out not to get sick but I get really tired dizzy and a few other issues. Needless to say Id rather walk 3 miles to avoid taking the bus. Can't always avoid it though. This has crippled my life. What can be done? Any suggestions would help.
Ellis on February 2, 2017:
I have got a 24 hour coach journey coming up and I can't help feeling sick. What should I do???
Leia on February 3, 2017:
I have a school trip to London for 1 night I HATE being sick! So on the coach I'm going to do all the things in the text, but I don't like water but I rather drink water than be sick. I was going to read a book and listen to music but Ill only listen to music now as it says don't try to read! Normally on school trips somewhere local me and my friends sit at the back of the bus and I feel fine but if I'm in a bus for long I start to feel sick. We will be in the bus for 3and a half hours.
Magdalena on March 3, 2017:
Well, I did some research and I think the bottom line is to experiment with different methods. Bring candy, gum, water, music player with headphones. Look out the front window, as you were the driver. No reading, texting. Try to nap if at all possible.
When I was a kid, I never had problems on the bus or in the car. Only once I got violently sick on the boat and hated it so much! But ever since I became a driver, I somehow lost the ability to be a passenger. So the idea of looking on the road, as if I was driving, kinda makes sense. Also, at some health food stores I saw these inhaler sticks. Apparently certain smells can ease the motion sickness. I guess I will give it a try also.
I decided to take a bus to work 40 minutes each way since yesterday, and I need to find a working solution, otherwise I will have to go back to driving and wasting time and money in traffic! Good luck to everyone who struggles with motion sickness.
Kat on April 6, 2017:
Well, I'm screwed. I have an 11 hour bus ride. Wish me luck!
Mmm on April 30, 2017:
Thank you so much. I am about to go on a 5 hour drive on a bus with friends and I do not want to feel carsick.
Nikki on May 18, 2017:
I'm on a bus now. I usually get extremely nauseated. I have been sipping on tea, I'm sitting by the window. Sucking on a peppermint continuously. We have only been on the road for 1 hour but I think I'm doing Ok. I didn't say good lol, but OK. Previously I have traveled on an one hour bus ride and was extremely nauseated and sick. I wasn't my normal self. So I guess in comparison, I'm really doing great. Oh plus I'm trying not to look out the window!
Sathwick on May 24, 2017:
Keeping 1 or 2 cloves in your mouth (throughout the journey) may help. It worked for me once. It didn't next time. But many people suggest this.

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