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Seasickness

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Those that are afflicted by seasickness fear it wholeheartedly. And seasickness sufferers know instantly when the malaise creeps up on them. The first signs are usually repeated yawning, excessive salivating and a cold sweat appearing on the upper lip, forehead or whole body.

Try as you might, so long as seasickness is underway, more often then not, the dreaded symptoms will escalate; a distinct sense of queasiness and drowsiness tend to be next phase. The final stages are full-on nausea and, if the cause of the seasickness doesn't improve, eventually bouts of vomiting.

The fear of getting seasick can really take the fun out of a trip or holiday. And few things feel more miserable than actually being seasick. It truly feels terrible.

What can be done to prevent seasickness, or at least lessen the effects? We have compiled a number of tips and suggestions from our vast experience database that may well be able to help you cope with seasickness, or even prevent seasickness altogether.

Let's get you to Tioman fresh as a daisy.

Tioman Ferry's top 15 most effective tips to prevent or lessen the effects of seasickness


  1. It's a golden oldie, but watch what you eat and drink the day before you take the ferry. Avoid alcoholic or carbonated drinks and heavy or spicy meals. Basically, try to give your stomach as little reason to give you a hard time later.

  2. Try to avoid strong odors. Food smells, heavy perfume and, especially, petrol can really bring on a sense of nausea in a hurry. Once you smell anything that doesn't agree with you, change seats or make your way outside, i.e. the ferry balcony, right at the back of the vessel. But only when safe and only when permitted by the ferry crew!

  3. The middle of the ferry is least prone to movement. So board early and find a seat near the middle. Some of the ferry vessels in use have upper decks, but the lower you are, the better.

  4. If you're the type that falls asleep easily, then you can try napping your way through the ferry ride. Chances are, you won't get seasick at all.

  5. Avoid traveling during the monsoon months, November/December to January/February. Our seas tend to be calm throughout the year, but during the monsoon, the weather is a bit more boisterous, which can have its effect on the sea.

  6. All of the ferry seats face forwards, but in the event you prefer not being seated, make sure you face forward, i.e. towards the bow of the ferry.

  7. Do not read a book or use your laptop or mobile phone. The static object of your vision tends to clash with the impulses your sense of balance is receiving and this may cause seasickness. (Note: some passengers have noted that watching an action movie on their screen helped distract them from any rocking of the ferry, so this is something perhaps worthy of a try.)

  8. Window seats tend to be better, because you can keep an eye on the horizon, which lessens the disconnect caused by the impulses received by your brain and your sense of vision when you can only see the inside of the ferry cabin. Seeing the horizon allows you to contsantly calibrate your internal equilibrium, so to speak.

  9. Fresh air, especially fresh wind, can alleviate seasickness, so make your way to the ferry balcony if you think this may help you. Keep in mind to stand on the upwind side of any ferry exhaust. And only make your way outside when it's 100% safe to do so, as well as permitted by the ferry crew!

  10. Try one of the Seaband wristbands. They're drug-free, have no side effects and are suitable for both adults, children and pregnant women. Plus, they come in fun patterns for kids too.

  11. Some of our travelers swear by ginger. Either sucking or chewing on a piece of fresh ginger or having some ginger candy may ease seasickness symptoms, or perhaps even suppress seasickness from coming on altogether.

  12. If you've tried everything in the past, but you still got seasick, then perhaps it's time to resort to over-the-counter drugs. Dramamine and Bonine are the two most common seasickness remedies. These are available over-the-counter at most drug stores. Note that they can contain antihistamines which may make you drowsy. FYI, non-drowsy varieties are also available. If you prefer not taking pills, you can go for the patch.

  13. Should you become seasick all the same, try a few sips of soda water at room temperature. The gaseous soda water will cause mild burping, which gives an instant sense of relief around the stomach area. This tends to work when the seasickness is just coming on, not so much the later stages.

  14. If you notice anyone getting seasick, move elsewhere. Seasickness can be pretty "contagious", so don't stick around when you see anyone reach for the vomit bag.

  15. Speaking of vomit bags, these are available in the ferry cabin. Usually, they're hanging off a spike from the cabin sides. Perhaps it's best to grab one before you settle into your seat. Just in case.

  16. Bonus tip: Fly to Tioman. Catch the plane to Tioman and avoid seasickness completely. Click here for details.

Whilst seasickness can be a real drag, the thing to remember is that, apart from during the monsoon, in our section of the South China Sea, the weather is usually fair and the sea is typically calm. In addition, the ferry ride itself rarely takes more than two hours. In other words, the odds of seasickness becoming an issue are quite low, particularly with the help of our above Top 15 anti-seasickness tips and suggestions.

Disclaimer: This web page contains general information, tips and suggestions, on avoiding or reducing the effects of seasickness on a ferry. The information here is not medical advice and should not be construed as such.

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