Some people envision riding in a helicopter as a fun experience. Others think of it as an endeavor that might induce nausea. If you're scared that your upcoming ride in a helicopter will have you grabbing onto the trash can and holding your stomach -- rather than looking out the window with wonder -- here are some things to consider.
Most People Who Have Motion Sickness Do Suffer Nausea in a Helicopter
If you've suffered motion sickness in the past, regardless of the exact circumstances, riding in a helicopter is likely to trigger the same motion sickness symptoms. The ride is bouncier than riding in an airplane, and you can change altitude quickly, so if you're at all prone to motion sickness, a helicopter is a sure trigger.
On the other hand, if you have never suffered from motion sickness before — and you have embarked on your fair share of plane, train, and boat rides — there's no reason to suspect riding in a helicopter will be any different. An exception would be if you are pregnant. Even people who are not generally prone to motion sickness often suffer the symptoms when pregnant.
There Are Plenty of Ways to Control Motion Sickness on a Helicopter
If you're worried about motion sickness, here is the good news: there are plenty of ways to minimize it during your ride.
1. Take Dramamine or a similar medication.
About an hour before you are scheduled to take off, take a dose of Dramamine or another motion sickness medication. If the box presents a range of doses, such as anywhere from one to two pills, aim for the higher side of the dose just to be certain you won't become ill. Take the pills with a glass of water and a small snack, such as a granola bar or a banana. While you don't want to eat a big meal, having an empty stomach can make the nausea worse, too.
2. Take deep breaths.
Practice your deep breathing before you embark on your helicopter ride. Then, a few minutes before you embark, start taking moments to breathe deeply and remind yourself to relax. Repeat this process again when you're getting ready to take off, and then every few minutes while you are in the air. Sometimes, motion sickness is made worse by nervousness, and deep breathing will help calm your nerves.
3. Look off into the distance.
Motion sickness can be caused, in part, by seeing items move past you at too fast a rate. So as you ride along in the helicopter, try looking at items off in the distance rather than looking at closer objects. Remember to blink as you gaze out the window, too. Forgetting to blink can make your vision blurry, which could lead to worsening nausea.
4. Sit in the front.
If you are able to choose your seat, pick one near the front of the helicopter. And make sure you are facing forward if at all possible. You will feel less disoriented if you are looking ahead of the helicopter. If you want to make sure you get this good seat, email your helicopter pilot or charter company before the ride so they can reserve the spot for you.
Riding in a helicopter can be an exciting experience and a fun way to get from point A to point B -- even if you have a history of motion sickness. With the tips above, most people are able to get through the ride with few to no symptoms. Learn more about the experience from a helicopter charter company.