Top 5 Tips to Prevent Air Sickness When Traveling (especially if you have Chiari malformation)

The inner me loves to travel. I just feel so… on top of my game when I’m on the go.


I love to fly, especially.


There’s something kind of exciting about it.


The problem is that for the past several years flying gives me the most intense head-splitting pain.


If you can identify with that, keep reading because I’ve damn near biohacked it, completely!


***side note – if you get unbearable headaches on airplanes, you may have Chiari malformation and/or an issue with cerebrospinal fluid (CFS) flow restriction, so you might want to have that checked out by a qualified neurologist. Reach out to me and I can help you find one in your area.***


  1. Pressure-relieving ear plugs


I got one pair off of and then another pair from TJ Maxx in their little travel accessories section.


They’re a lot like normal ear plugs but kind of flared on the outside.


It’s key to wear them during take-off and landing, but I wear them the whole flight. I don’t want to take any chances.


I’ve even worn them during a migraine when I was home one time and they seemed to help somehow.


  1. Neck pillow


That probably seems obvious, but it works.


Again, wear it during take-off and landing, but I wear mine the whole trip.


Yes, this makes some things kind of awkward.


For instance, I like to read sci-fi or social commentary graphic novels on planes (since I can’t listen to earbuds with my ear plugs in) so to utilize the neck pillow properly I have to hold the big floppy book right up in front of my face at eye level.


It’s a small price to pay to not die in agony thousands of feet in the air or be rushed to a hospital immediately upon landing.


  1. Sit near the front of the plane


Ya know, I don’t really know why this matters, but trust me when I say it makes all of the difference in the world.


If you’re booking your flight last minute, your best bet for getting a seat near the front of the plane is always going to be a first-class or “comfort” class ticket.


Alternatively, you can notify the flight staff at least an hour ahead of departure about your disability and they will make arrangements for you. Therefore, if you buy a coach ticket and there are no seats in front of the wing, you still have a shot.


For a guide as to How to Know When to Advocate for Yourself, click here!


  1. Pack heavy items in rolling bags


One of the biggest travel mistakes I’ve made is carrying a huge, over-packed, overweight weekender bag around Atlanta’s huge ass airport, then trying to sling it up into the overhead bin without help.


First of all, I don’t recommend anyone carry any heavy bags.


Now, I always pack a rolling bag, instead.


The other thing is that you shouldn’t lift a heavy bag into the over-head bin by yourself. I know it’s hard to ask for help, especially when you look able-bodied, but you really should swallow your pride and do it.


Neck and back injuries are common and virtually undetectable to the eye of a bystander, so it’s unlikely anyone will give you a hard time.


If they do give the side-eye, all you can do is have empathy for their lack of enlightenment (or say “F you” in your head… your choice).


  1. Stay hydrated


That can come in many forms.


Making sure you’re well hydrated the day before by drinking lots of mineralized water, and not drinking in flight are both good ideas.


To download my Hydration Guide, click here!


Possibly, avoiding lectin-containing foods and environmental toxins (as much as possible) a few days before the trip could help.


Subjecting your body to excessive toxins and endotoxins prior to flying can have a diuretic affect.


Also, if you eat ketogenic or if you’re fasting for travel, you’re going to want to pay extra attention to staying hydrated.


In the absence of carbohydrate consumption, your body will hold less water.


Those are my Top 5 Tips for avoiding air sickness while traveling.


If you do experience air sickness due to Chiari malformation or restricted CSF flow, drop a comment below or send me a DM on Instagram (@Experimental_Betty) and let me know!


I’d love to figure out why it affects some Chiarians more than others.



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