How Do I Avoid Seasickness?

How Do I Avoid Seasickness?

Seasickness Can Really Ruin Your Phuket Dive Trip

How do I avoid seasickness is a question we often get asked. Fortunately throughout the Phuket diving high season we’re blessed with generally flat seas. Around the beginning of May we start to get a swell come in from the open ocean. Although for most this has little impact on your dive day, for those who get seasick it can be horrible but there are ways to avoid it.

What Causes Seasickness

Not going to go too far into the science but essentially your brain is being confused. With intentional movement (walking, running etc) all your senses are aligned and your body adjusts naturally. When you’re on a boat your eyes may have a static view (especially when inside) but your body is sensing movement either up and down or side to side. Your brain is basically not in sync with your body and can’t balance efficiently. The conflict between the inputs is thought to cause seasickness.

What Not To Do

  • Drink Copious Amounts of Alcohol The Night Before – Obviously you should already be refraining from drinking too much the night before diving but already feeling queasy isn’t going to help matters
  • Eat Greasy Food – Try to have a light breakfast and avoid fatty and greasy foods. Oatmeal, simple cereals and fruit are the best options
  • Stand Near Fumes – Definitely not going to help matters, kitchen smells, exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke can all trigger vomiting
  • Read – Your eyes will be fixed on a static object so a definite no. If you’re participating in a PADI course try to get all the theory complete before getting on the boat. Elearning would be a great option
  • Talk To Your Instructor – Again eyes fixed on a static object, face the horizon and listen, you don’t have to directly stare at your instructor/guide during the briefing. It may seem rude but we understand

Simple Tricks To Relieve Symptoms

  • Watching The Horizon – simply standing up and looking at the horizon lets your eyes see the motion and your brain can sync in
  • Lying Down – Most sufferers will end up in this position anyway but if you start by choosing a good spot on the boat and crash out you may well prevent feeling nauseous. Cover your eyes, hang up the do not disturb sign and sleep is probably the best preventative measure
  • Closing Your Eyes – Can’t be a conflict if your eyes can’t see anything
  • Chewing – Not sure why but chewing gum or sucking sweets helps reduce the conflict. Nibbling on chocolate can also help
  • Fresh Air – Probably just because avoiding foul odours and fumes can relieve nausea
  • Don’t Be Shy! – Our tour leader will offer free seasick pills during the morning briefing, if you’re not sure just take one, feeling a little drowsy is much better than feeding the fish

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

There are many different kinds of seasick medication, some clinically proven and some made up by witch doctors. If you’re already aware that you suffer from motion sickness then visit your doctor before travelling to get the right remedy for you. They’re rarely expensive (the pills not the doctor) and readily available.

Pills, Thrills And Hopefully No Bellyaches

We use dimenhydrinate tablets and as mentioned before they’re available free of charge on the boat. They do cause drowsiness in some individuals but are relatively side effect free but it’s a good idea to check with your doctor.

Ginger sweets/tablets or ginger tea work fairly well if you want to stick to a more natural remedy. They have no side effects at all and for that reason we would recommend giving them a go.

If somebody suggests sacrificing snails and praying to the baked bean god of Saturn then congratulations! You’re friends with either a witch doctor or a lunatic and needless to say it’s not gonna work.

Acupressure wrist bands possibly work. It’s not something we have great faith in and so will remain firmly in the dubious column.

Do Try To Dive

You probably won’t feel like it but we generally dive in the safest most sheltered spots when the weather is being a bit of a twat. Jumping into a fairly flat sea can make you feel better almost immediately and certainly when you descend your body and brain will be able to get back in sync.

Your guide/instructor or even your buddy will understand what you’re going through so maybe ask them to set your equipment up, again avoiding concentrating and making you feel worse.

If the surface is still choppy at the dive site then you may be better off staying in your happy place especially if you’ve not been able to properly hydrate.

Don’t be concerned about vomiting on the surface or even underwater, your regs can handle it and you’ll attract the fish, making you the favourite buddy of the group. Seasickness does have one advantage…

If you feel like vomiting on the boat then do it! You’ll probably feel better but please make sure you don’t throw up on other peoples gear especially if they’re wearing it. Choose a safe position (our staff will help you) to vomit overboard and be careful of the wind direction, you don’t want it coming back at you

If All Else Fails

If none of the above helps then you’ll just have to be very careful in choosing your dive destinations. There’s some excellent shore diving around the world. Many places like Thailand have relatively flat seas during the high season. If that doesn’t work then it’s time to choose a new hobby…

We Will Help

Let us know if you suffer from motion sickness and we’ll recommend the best diving day trip for you but most of the year the seas are calm around Phuket. We’ll keep you abreast of weather conditions and let you know if it’s not a good idea for you to go. Obviously there’ll be no cancellation fees. We want everybody who joins us for diving or snorkelling to have the best possible experience.

Book A Smooth Ride Now!

By Justin Hartrey

I've been enjoying the incredible marine life in our oceans for over 25 years. 13 years ago I became a PADI professional, hoping to introduce as many people as possible to the incredible beauty of the seas.

Having been fortunate enough to dive all over south east and especially Thailand, I enjoy sharing my experience and passion on this blog.

Posted in Scuba Diving Health on .

Popular Services

The Junk Is One Of Thailands Top Liveaboards

The Junk Phi Phi Island Liveaboard

The Junk or June Hong Chian Lee is a very unusual and very special Phi Phi island liveaboard. During the West coast of Thailand low season (May – October) she offers short and very well priced overnight trips to the dive sites around Phuket and Phi Phi. As well as the fantastic Phi Phi Islands you'll get a chance to dive Shark Point, Koh Doc Mai, Racha Noi, Racha Yai and the King Cruiser wreck, a great mix of reef, wall and wreck. Kno [...]

Find Out More
Students Enjoying PADI Open Water Diving referral In Phuket

PADI Open Water Referral

PADI is truly a global organisation. The Open Water Referral system allows you to spend your precious holiday time diving on our beautiful Phuket scuba diving sites. Team up with your local PADI dive centre and then join us for the real fun. Anything that you complete through a PADI dive centre or resort is recognised globally by any PADI dive centre. So complete all your theory and pool work back home and simply join us in the ocean t [...]

Find Out More

Daily Schedules

M/V Kepsub Schedule

Jobs @ Local Dive Thailand

Local Dive Thailand is one of Phuket's fatest growing & most vibrant scuba diving operations, we are always looking for quality staff to join us, so feel free to have a look at our jobs listing page.

Job Listings

Contact LDT

Local Guides, Local Knowledge, Local Experiences

Don't trust your diving to amateurs or freshly minted dive guides, dive with local experienced experts from Local Dive Thailand. Our Scuba Diving Phuket Tours will take you to see the rarest of the rare critters, you will be amazed by the macro life our guides can find, in the secret places only they know. To put it in perspective, if you were going to climb Mount Everest you would certainly hire a local sherpa to lead the way & keep you safe. Diving is similar because there is absolutely no substitute for local experience & local knowledge, Local Dive Thailand's guides are Phuket's Sherpa's of the Andaman Sea!

Learn More About Us

Scuba Diving Phuket, Phi Phi & Thailand

When talking about Scuba Diving in Phuket, you should believe the hype, many seasons we have had Whale Sharks grace us on our regular and easy to reach dive sites and on a good day you can add Sea Horses, Sea Moths, Snake Eels, Frog Fish & Octopus to what you can see on any given dive and so much more. If we are heading to Phi Phi Island for the day, you can possibly see Hawksbill Sea Turtles and Black Tip Reef Sharks, also don't forget the King Cruiser, 84 meters of beautiful wreck and the most amazing reef nursery for fish and nudibranch. Local Dive Thailand day trip tours to these locations are not to be missed when you are scuba diving Phuket, get in touch with us and book an 'awesome' day of diving.

Book Your Day Trip

Related News From Local Dive Thailand

See why we are Thailand's leading scuba diving Phuket tour provider, stay up to date & watch out for news & special liveaboard offers!

Stunning Beaches In Phuket Phuket Sights & Fun

Why Phuket For Your Scuba Diving Holiday?

There's plenty of places around South East Asia that have simply amazing diving and in truth better than what we have here. So why would you choose a diving holiday in Phuket? We think there's plenty of reasons to visit us and we'll try to explain why. Sure if you like one particular type of diving - big animals, macro, clear water or wrecks then there's plenty of places that will blow Phuket out of the water but how many destinations [...]

Read Full Story
Things to do In Phuket Golden Buddha Phuket Sights & Fun

Top 10 Things To Do In Phuket

Phuket has plenty of things to do and the surrounding area has stunning landscapes, beaches and crystal clear water.There are some days when you need a break from diving and getting out and about rather than just staying in your chosen beach resort is highly recommended. So if you've already covered the diving day trips and a Similan Island liveaboard then here's some alternative options in no particular order. Phang Nga bay has hundreds [...]

Read Full Story
a hawksbill turtle in phuket Rare & Peculiar Critters

Sea Turtles In Phuket

Turtles are endearing creatures and we're lucky enough to find plenty around Phuket. Their slow movements, tolerance for divers and wisened features make them a firm favourite with divers all over the world. We mostly get hawksbill turtles around Phuket but we also get green, loggerhead, olive ridley and the biggest of all the seven species - the giant leatherback. Unfortunately all are endangered thanks to us... Plastic pollution, destructio [...]

Read Full Story

Local Dive Thailand Office In Phuket


Find Us On Google Maps