Takeoff, landing, and quick altitude changes when flying in a helicopter can bring on air sickness in many people. If you are prone to motion sickness, here are some tips on how to prepare for a helicopter trip to reduce your risk of feeling queasy so you can enjoy the ride.
- Know the wind and weather conditions
- Take over-the-counter medication
- Stay upwind of the helicopter
- Sit facing forward
- Let your pilot know
- Relax as much as possible
- Take pictures
- Drink water
- Wear headphones or earplugs
- Stay positive
- If you are booking a flight for later in the same day, ask about weather and wind conditions. If it is expected to be a rough flight, consider booking your tour for another time.
- Taking an over-the-counter motion sickness medication prior to your flight might not be a good idea because it could make you drowsy. If you are taking a tour, you could miss some beautiful sights. You can take medication if you have taken it before and know how it affects you.
- Fumes from helicopter fuel can make you feel sick, especially on a hot day. Try to stay upwind of the helicopter so you don’t smell the fuel.
- When you book your helicopter flight, ask for a forward-facing seat. If that is not possible, ask to sit in front near the pilot. The ride will be smoother near the front of the helicopter.
- Tell the pilot if you are prone to motion sickness. He or she can try to reduce the number of sudden turns and changes in altitude.
- Sit in your seat and try to relax. Keeping your body stiff can make you feel dizzy. Move your head as little as possible. Focus on the horizon, but don’t look down if you feel nauseated. Breathe slowly and evenly, but don’t hold your breath or inhale suddenly. Try talking to the person next to you so you will feel more relaxed.
- Some people find that taking pictures helps them relax while flying in a helicopter. It is better to use a camera with an LCD screen than to hold one up to your face and look through a viewfinder.
- Drink water or suck on peppermints or other candies during the flight.
- The noise from the propellers triggers air sickness in some people. Bring ear plugs or wear noise-canceling headphones.
- Try to stay positive. Many people find that when they are on a helicopter tour there are so many things to look at that they don’t feel sick at all.