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Tips For Traveling With Kids Who Get Car Sick

Updated on August 28, 2013

From frequent potty breaks to boredom, driving long distances with kids in the car can present many challenges. With as many as half of all children getting car sickness at some point, this is an issue that affects a wide variety of people. My daughter is one of those children who get car sick on any long car drives we take. After many trips involving throwing up in the car and the middle of gas station floors, I have implemented a variety of tips and activities to help ease the car sickness and help my daughter keep herself busy without being able to watch movies or read in the car.

Be Prepared

Always leave for trips prepared ahead of time in case car sickness strikes. Take plastic shopping bags and/or garbage bags in the car and keep them close by in case of vomiting. I bring ginger ale and saltine crackers for my daughter to have while driving, as ginger helps calm the stomach. You may also consider purchasing products that help fight motion sickness and try them out to see if they are effective with no adverse side effects. Be patient with your child. Many parents think it is all in their heads but the reality is motion sickness happens frequently and can really affect a child. Don't think they shoud just be able to push through it and be prepared to deal with it when car sickness happens.


The hardest thing for children who suffer from motion sickness is the boredom in the car ride. My daughter cannot read books or watch movies while traveling. The invention of TV's and portable DVD players for car rides is a great help to parents on long trips but while riding with a car sick child you have to think outside the box. Play games that involve looking out the window. Some of theses include the license plate game, finding the alpahbet on bill boards, and travel games. Another great idea is downloading audio books your child can listen to on their Mp3 players or even on an old school boom box using head phones.

Pit Stops

While planning your trip, always allow time for pit stops along the way. I am the type of travler that does not like to stop frequently and delay the arrival at our destination. I have learned, for my daughter's sake, to stop more frequently and let her walk around. Getting your child's feet on the ground and breathing in the fresh air can help alleviate motion sickness symptoms. If you plan ahead, you can find pit stops that can be entertaining and not just another gas station or rest station.

"Goodie bags"
"Goodie bags"

Fun Bags

To help keep my children entertained in the car, I pack a "goodie bag" with their favorite travel items. My son who does not get car sick has movies, activity books, and his favorite snacks. For my daughter who does get car sick: books on tape, car games, and her favorite snacks also. Not only does this provide things to do, having the bags keeps everything in one spot and allows the child access to different activities thus avoiding the "I'm bored" statements. Let your children help pack these bags so they pick items you know they will enjoy playing and it gives them some control over the whole travel situation.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great tips for dealing with a difficult situation.

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks careermommy! I also suffer from car sickness if I am not driving.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      jenbeach21, these are great tips. Fortunately, I'm the one who gets car sick and not my kids. You provide a great to-do list for parents.

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks for reading midget38!

      Sunshine, feel free to make your own goodie bag for when you travel to help with the boredom:)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Does this apply to adults also. I don't get car sick, but I get bored and need lots of potty breaks! I'm much better as a passenger than a driver. I get very antsy. Great tips that I plan on using :)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Jennifer! These are great, because it is definitely not easy with parents who have kids who are motion sick. Thanks for sharing! Passing this on!