Traveling this season? Whether your dream of the perfect vacation involves sandy beaches, long country drives, cobblestoned streets or endless vineyards, it probably doesn't include nausea.

Unfortunately motion sickness, which is caused by a discrepancy between the movement one sees and the movement one feels, is an all-too prevalent experience.

Symptoms can range from mild unpleasantness to debilitating queasiness. Either way it can really put a damper on a trip.

Wherever you're going, and however you're getting there, take steps to prevent motion sickness before it starts:

• Sit where there's the least motion. In cars, drive or sit in the front passenger's seat. On ships, combat sea sickness by reserving a cabin in the front or middle of the ship, or on the upper deck. By plane, ask for a seat over the wing. By train, take a seat near the front and next to a window, facing forward.

• Focus on the horizon or on a distant, stationary object. Keep your head still, while resting against a seat back.

• Acupressure, the stimulation of specific points throughout the body, can provide comfort and nausea relief. Consider using drug-free acupressure wrist bands during travel. For example, Psi Bands, found at most drug stores such as CVS/Pharmacy and Rite Aid, can be worn at the first sign of nausea or just prior to travel. More information can be found at www.PsiBands.com.

• Don't smoke or sit near smokers. Get fresh air if possible. Crack a window, go on deck or open an air vent.

• Avoid spicy and greasy foods and alcohol. Don't overeat. Opt for simple foods, such as dry crackers. Drink a carbonated beverage to help settle your stomach.

While you can't control every aspect of your journey, such as flight delays, traffic and the weather, there are some things you do have the power to control. On your next vacation, make the prevention of motion sickness a top priority.

Bon voyage!

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