When asked in Quora, this is what someone said about the reason for getting sick while travelling in AC bus or car.

It’s the smell of the car seat covers.

Our nose can easily take on strong scents of the leather covers but it is the brain which processes them in an awkard and haphazard manner. It doesn’t help that the windows are closed.

Further once psychologically inprinted in our brain the next time when you sit in a closed car even a trace of the same smell works as an initiator and causes distress and vomiting.

Even if the smell is not so strong chances are you would still feel distress and vomit over your seat which would then exponentially rise up the distress level and then the cycle of vomiting and breathing would go on untill your intestines empties out of your stomach or somebody cracks a window.

And this is exactly right for many people, while some other might have problem with motion sickness. But for many it might be the smell inside the bus or car which triggers this situation. It's getting very difficult to travel in bus and car, as most of them have AC and windows are fixed there. How could we deal with such situation practically without getting sick?

  • If it's a car, you just open a window. Or, and on a bus, ask the driver to pull over (except perhaps on an expressway etc), but trains might be more difficult. Feb 28, 2022 at 19:04
  • Hi user2978381, Welcome to Lifehacks. Before you go, visit the Tour and Help center to find out more about our site. Regarding your situation: Have you tried wearing a good quality N95 mask which does a fine job with isolating you from various offensive odours and particulates.
    – Stan
    Feb 28, 2022 at 20:14
  • 2
    Sorry, but this source is simply wrong. Bad smells and stale air can certainly be a factor in motion sickness, but the root cause is incompatible signals in your brain. Your motion sensor (in the inner ear) tells the brain that you're moving but your muscles tell your brain that you're not moving, and depending on where you look your eyes send the brain even more confusing signals. The brain reacts to this by causing dizziness and sickness. Please read trustworthy sources like WebMD instead of Quora.
    – Elmy
    Mar 2, 2022 at 7:49
  • 1
    As someone who has often been sick traveling, I do not agree with your reasoning. Bad smell and AC can contribute but are never the only reason. You would not get sick in that AC car/bus standing still and call it travel sickness.
    – Willeke
    Jul 17, 2022 at 10:18
  • 1
    Try to switch to DC bus...
    – Zeus
    Aug 19, 2022 at 7:18

1 Answer 1


best is to try get a front seat or an aisle seat so that you can focus out from the front wind shield, if its a long distance trip and no choice you can take an motion sickness tablet

  • 2
    Those tablets can make the matter worse for some people, it is not a magical 'works for everybody' thing.
    – Willeke
    Jul 17, 2022 at 10:19
  • Something to test for the OP I suppose :)
    – MiG
    Aug 19, 2022 at 7:27

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