What to take before flight to avoid getting sick?

Airsickness is a real challenge for many air passengers. Prior to boarding the plane, and while the aircraft is airborne, certain symptoms of air sickness such as stomach pain, vomiting, dizziness, etc., are often experienced. It is even debilitating, in some instances, making air travel a nightmare for many.

Airsickness is caused by the disparity between what the eyes see and what the ears hear during flight. The lack of physical movement while still in motion confuses the brain, resulting in nausea. Simply put, while you are seated on a plane, your eyes observe that no one is moving, but your ears hear the oscillations of the plane as it rises. The effect of these different signals sent to the brain manifests physically as air sickness.

Given the critical role air travel plays in the day to day interactions, it is impracticable to avoid flights altogether. Thus, if you suffer air sickness, your best bet would be to take some precautionary measures to reduce the occurrence of any episodes during flights. In doing this, one key area you have to pay attention to is what you eat before and during flight. Below, you will find some suggestions on what you can take before and during flights to prevent getting sick. 

Have a light meal beforehand

Some people generally decide not to take any meal at all before boarding a flight. The reasoning behind this is that if there is nothing contained in your stomach, then you cannot throw up anything. However, that position is hardly correct. You can still throw up even when you haven’t had any solid food. Also, taking just a light meal is better than not having any meal at all. It is even more likely that you will experience nausea and vomiting when you’ve had nothing to eat than if the reverse were the case. Snacks are easily your best bet if you want to have anything before the flight. You can take some crackers or vegetables before boarding your flight. 

Do not take any food that takes a long time before digestion. It goes without saying that you should have no heavy meals both before and during flights. Else, you will just be setting yourself up for disaster. Also, avoid coffee, alcohol, or any substance that contains nicotine. Politely turn down any offer of a drink during flight and request for water instead.

Chew some gum

This may seem like an unlikely remedy, but it does actually work. Chewing hastens the process of digestion, even if it is just gum you are having. Chewing helps your stomach relax, dealing with stomach cramps usually associated with nausea. Furthermore, the mint flavors found in most gums can help prevent vomiting. When chewing gums, you can work on your breathing simultaneously. Take deep breaths spaced out within intervals of at least one minute each. This will also help alleviate the feeling of dizziness and nausea.

A soda might help

This recommendation may not work for everybody, especially those who have sugar-related problems. Sipping on a soda prior to flights can help quieten your nerves and deal with motion sickness. You can always request for a glass of soda during flights, and if that is not available, a glass of sparkling water will also do the trick. 

Have some medications handy

Granted, medications are not food. However, they can be quite helpful in dealing with air sickness. Sedatives like antihistamines are particularly beneficial in this instance. You just have to make sure you take the drug at least a half-hour before your flight is due. There is also the skin patch if you’d rather not pop pills. You can place them behind your ears, and they will work just as perfectly as any pill, and you’ll be none the wiser. There are also natural remedies that have been proven helpful for air sickness. For instance, ginger is famous for its anti-nausea qualities. Also, lemon can work wonders for a rumbling stomach. You can explore these organic options; hopefully, they’ll work just as well as the pills or skin patch.

There may be side effects with both the pills and the patch. They may range from just mild dizziness or a dry mouth to more severe side effects such as dizziness. You may want to consult a doctor before trying out any of the options, and you definitely have to make sure that a physician prescribes the pills you take. You do not want to battle dependency problems simply because you want to fight air sickness.

Last tips to follow

Generally, the pieces of information above will help you avoid air sickness. However, if you have concerns about steps to take to stay healthy while taking flights, here are a few suggestions.

  • Always request for a window seat. This will help minimize your contact with others, and hence the transference of contagious diseases. Those who stay close to the aisles are at more risk of getting in contact with pathogens and germs from sneezing and coughing passengers.
  • Stay put, do not get up (even to use the bathroom) except you have to, else that will defeat the whole purpose. Wash your hands often.
  • When you use the toilet, make sure you wash your hand thoroughly with soap and water. That, however, may not be enough as you would still have to touch railings and doorknobs on your way back from the loo.
  • Hence, always have a hand sanitizer handy. Make use of it before every meal and before you touch your face.
  • Also, endeavor to stay hydrated. The low humidity in the plane often makes the mucus in your nose dry up, making them less efficient to combat pathogens and viruses. Drinking water can help prevent this. 


Admittedly, there is no fail-safe plan for combating air sickness. There are a lot of factors you cannot control, like the plane’s altitude, air turbulence, and speed on the tarmac. However, you can control what you eat, and through that means, how it affects your body. Do so with the utmost care.

Disclaimer: This guest post is a private opinion and does not constitute advice or any suggestion. We encourage you to seek your own professional advice.

Henry Thompson
Henry Thompsonhttps://homenetrouter.com/
Henry Thompson is a journalist who enjoys covering topics of home security and home renovation. Over the course of his career, he has been contributing to various media publications, and now he is running the blog homenetrouter.com where he writes about healthy living, DIY, and home security.
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