Nothing can ruin a tropical vacation like getting sea sick. Sea sickness is a common problem many experience during exposure to repetitive motion – like the rocking of a boat on the waves. Some people are more sensitive to this form of motion sickness than others, and it can be hard to know how the sea will affect you until you've been on board for an hour.
The last thing you want is to feel nauseous and dizzy on your vacation. Fortunately, you can prevent seasickness – or at least lessen its effects – by following these simple tips.
Get Plenty Of Rest Before You Set Sail
If you're especially sensitive to motion, be sure to get plenty of sleep the night before you hit the water. A lack of sleep and general exhaustion dramatically heightens the chance of getting motion sickness. Traveling alone can be exhausting, so take extra efforts to get enough sleep so you can have a fantastic time on the water.
Try Some Antiemetic Drugs
You can find a wide array of medications to ward off or mitigate the effects of sea sickness over the counter. Known as antiemetic drugs, these medications for nausea include antihistamines like Dramamine and Bonine.
Antihistamines act as barriers to prevent the transmission of messages to the section of the brain that controls vomiting and nausea. If you're prone to motion sickness, take one of these an hour or so before you get onboard to help prevent sea sickness from occurring.
You can also take patch or pill scopolamine drugs. These drugs can only be obtained with a prescription. They prevent or ameliorate sea sickness by counteracting the effects of specific chemicals the brain releases when sea sickness occurs. Because they're prescription strength, they are typically more effective than over-the-counter meds.
Get Some Fresh Air
Find an open portion of the vessel. Spend a few minutes on the balcony or deck to breathe in the fresh air. Let the wind blow into your face so you feel refreshed and more grounded.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but many believe fresh air can have an enormous impact on nausea. There are several theories behind this. For one thing, cool air helps calm the stomach more than hot air. If you're sailing through a cool breeze, those goosebumps may help fight off sea sickness.
Additionally, the fresh air gets rid of any smells that could make your nausea worse.
Keep your mind off the boat's motion by staying active while on the water. Just about any activity besides staying in one spot will help reduce your nausea. It's important to stay active before you start to feel sick because, once you do, you'll have a harder time making yourself exercise.
Head To The Middle Of The Boat
The boat's up and down and side to side motion won't be nearly as extreme in the middle of the boat. As a result, you'll move less on the waves when you're in the center of the ship, as opposed to sitting on the edges.
If you start to feel queasy, move far away from the edges and sides of the boat until your stomach settles.
Eat Some Crackers & Ginger
Fill your stomach with something plain and light like crackers or pretzels. Fibrous foods – particularly the bland variety – are known to soothe upset stomachs. Having something on your stomach could prevent an onset of nausea as well. Just be sure to avoid eating too much.
If you start to feel queasy, try ginger. Ginger is a natural remedy for seasickness. Some studies reveal that ginger's active compound 6-gingerol enhances "gastrointestinal transport" and calms the stomach. You can eat ginger in its candied form or drink it in ginger ale and ginger teas.
If you're prone to motion sickness, chances are you'll be prone to seasickness as well. Before you jump aboard, try one of the tips listed above to settle your stomach and prevent sea sickness before it starts.
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While only a few miles separate the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands, they're very different. Deciding which one to visit takes some research and an understanding of what kind of vacation experience is for you.
Here's a comparison of the two islands and what each has to offer:
1. Overall Feel/Experience
The U.S. Virgin Islands
Want a beach vacation without stepping too far outside of your comfort zone? The U.S. Virgin Islands may be more your style.
Most visitors agree that the U.S. Virgin Islands have an American-ready feel – but with all the beauty and adventure of the Caribbean. These islands are a home-away-from-home beach setting, in terms of both food and activities.
The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands, on the other hand, are what you might expect from a tropical oasis. These islands including fine dining and luxurious verandas that overlook the Caribbean Sea.
The BVI has a wider array of activities and more exotic cuisine than their U.S. counterparts – albeit at a higher price.
No guide to vacationing in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands is complete without the beaches. While both islands offer some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, they have drastically different feels.
The U.S. Virgin Islands
In general, beaches on the U.S. Virgin Islands have a more resort feel. Restaurants and bars are never far away, but the scenery is beautiful with sparkling white sand and crystal blue waters. They don't stay empty long, so head out early in the morning to catch some waves before the crowds set in.
The British Virgin Islands
The beach scene on the British Virgin Islands is less resort-like and more natural. There are fewer bars and restaurants straight off the beaches, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. There are more beaches on the BVIs and fewer crowds, so you can find your own quiet stretch of pure island paradise.
Both the U.S. and the British Virgin Islands have a similar climate. You can expect hot and humid for most of the year. The ideal time to visit the islands is from December to April, and their rainy seasons tend to last from May to December. Lighter clothing is usually sufficient no matter the season.
4. What Islands Are Included?
Several islands comprise both the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. Saint Croix, Saint Thomas, Water Island, and Saint John are the major islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands, while there also are several minor islands.
Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada are the major islands of the BVI, while there are dozens of smaller islands.
The list of things to do on both islands is long. From resorts to national parks to beaches and water activities, you'd be hard-pressed to run out of things to do when visiting either.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands National Park covers most of St. John and offers a beautiful stretch of preserved wilderness. Water Island, the smallest of the main U.S. Virgin Islands, has a laid-back feel with idyllic beaches and thatched cabanas.
Fort Christian, located on St. Thomas, is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts and dates back to the 17th century. If you love nightlife, you'll enjoy the island's many watering holes, including Duffy's Love Shack, the Beach Bar, and Molly Molone's Irish Yacht Pub, among others.
British Virgin Islands
Divers will love the Rhone National Maritime Park - the only national park in the world that's centered around a shipwreck. The Baths National Park in Virgin Gorda is one of the BVI's most famous landmarks, while Smuggler's Cove Beach in Tortola offers visitors a sheltered, undeveloped patch of an island that is ideal for beach lovers.
Among the top nightlife attractions are Bomba's Surfside Shack, the Soggy Dollar Bar, and The Sand Box.
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