The Best Spot To Sit On The Plane If You Get Motion Sickness

Airline travel can be rough on you. There's the endless security line, making sure your liquids are in a baggie, passenger outbursts during the flight, lost luggage, and so much more. If you're someone who tends to get motion sickness, the rest of those items might seem like no big deal next to what you're feeling. Nausea can make your trip a terrible experience, and there is nowhere to go lay down and rest. People experience motion sickness for many reasons, but one of the main ones is turbulence, something that has become more common with climate change, according to a 2023 study from Geophysical Research Letters.

That's not great news for those who suffer from this ailment. However, there is a step you can take to help prevent or lessen motion sickness from turbulence, and it involves seat selection. Here's the info on which seats to choose and what to do if they're not available. 

The best seats on the plane to prevent motion sickness

In addition to nausea, motion sickness can cause hyperventilation, headache, drowsiness, cold sweats, gagging, and even increased sensitivity to odors, according to Walgreens. Part of the issue is that your eyes aren't seeing the horizon, but your body can sense that you're moving. It confuses the parts of your brain that affect balance, and it throws everything off. Turbulence adds shaking and bouncing (though most turbulence isn't something to worry about as far as safety goes), tossing your poor guts around. However, you're on a plane. How can you avoid it? 

According to the maker of the over-the-counter motion sickness remedy Dramamine, turbulence is worse in certain seats. They explain, "Choose a seat between the plane's wings or closer to the front of the airplane, where the ride tends to be more stable. Avoid sitting in the back of the plane." While the back of the plane is the safest spot to sit, it's the bounciest. Avoiding the area is your best bet. In addition, sitting in a window seat and looking outside can help your body realize its level so the movement will make more sense to your brain.

What you can do if you can't get the right seats

That said, with things like basic economy not even allowing you to choose a seat without a fee and fewer planes in the air, you might be stuck in the back whether you want to or not. What do you do then? You can take a few steps to reduce motion sickness and have a happier flight. As we mentioned, keeping your eyes on the horizon can help. However, looking at a screen and reading can make nausea worse. (That is true in a car as well.) Try using headphones and listening to music while you watch the world go by. 

You can also avoid heavy foods, and keep yourself hydrated, as planes are very dry, and dehydration can cause nausea (per Dispatch Health). In fact, when the beverage service begins, ask for ginger ale and sip slowly. According to Mount Sinai, ginger has been used as a remedy for nausea for over 2,000 years. Another idea is peppermint, which can help as well. Put some peppermint oil on a tissue and breathe it in. You can also bring peppermint tea bags on the plane and ask for hot water. Maybe pack some Dramamine, as well, or any other motion sickness medication.