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Children’s Motion Sickness No More ~ Essential Tips for Your Family’s Travels

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Should children's motion sickness keep your family from traveling? No way! If your child or you suffer from motion sickness, there are plenty of options to avoid or overcome the nausea caused by movement. My daughter and I often get motion sickness while traveling by boat, airplane or car. But this doesn't keep us from flying, cruising, or road-tripping! Read these nine tips to prevent and relieve motion sickness for kids and adults during your travels.

9 Ways to Prevent or Avoid Motion Sickness in Children and Adults When Traveling

(Photo credit: damikh.meta.ua, Depositphotos.com)

1. Use ginger to relieve nausea.

Remember how your mom offered you a glass of ginger ale when you were a kid and you had the stomach flu? Well, she was onto something. Ginger is a natural aid that may help relieve an upset tummy. Ask for ginger tablets at a natural foods store or check out Gin Gins hard candy.

2. Take your mind off motion sickness.

Use distraction! Take your child's mind off any queasiness by softly reading a book aloud, playing music or audiobooks on headphones, or queuing up a movie on an iPad or other tablet. Anything that requires too much thinking, like making crafts or playing a game, may make things worse.

Listening to music or an audiobook can distract children from the feeling of motion sickness while traveling

Listening to music or an audiobook can distract children from the feeling of motion sickness while traveling (Photo credit: vsurkov, Depositphotos.com)

3. Use Dramamine to prevent motion sickness in children and adults.

Pack an anti-nausea medication, like Dramamine, which comes in a chewable tablet for children. These work best if taken an hour before travel. My daughter and I both have had success with these medications on cruise ships, flights and twisting car rides. Buy Children's Dramamine via Amazon now.

4. Choose your seats carefully.

Sit in the area of the airplane (over the wings) or boat (in the center) with the least motion. If cruising, be sure not to reserve a stateroom too far below deck. Face the direction in which you are traveling and look out at the horizon, if possible. Adults can often avoid motion sickness by taking over driving duty when in a car.

Facing the direction you're headed can help avoid motion sickness on a boat or any mode of transportation

Facing the direction you're headed can help avoid motion sickness on a boat or any mode of transportation (Photo credit: shalamov, Depositphotos.com)

5. Try acupressure.

Wear acupressure wristbands, like these by Sea-Bands. These bands stimulate a point on the wrist that acupuncturists and acupressurists believe relieve nausea. I am a big fan of acupuncture for everything from back aches to head colds. I have a friend who wore these throughout the first few months of her pregnancy and she swears by their effectiveness. My daughter and I often wear them on flights, too. If you don't have Sea-Bands, place three fingers on your wrist below your hand. Press hard on that point with your other hand's fingers and thumb. I often do this when turbulence starts on airplanes and I don't want to dig for my bands.

6. Stick to small protein-filled snacks.

Experts say not to eat a large meal before traveling. Instead, eat small high-protein snacks every couple of hours and avoid having an empty stomach. Maybe that's why airlines pass out those packets of peanuts? Don't count on the airline to feed your family, though. Bring along your own protein-filled snacks. I love Emerald's cocoa-dusted almonds because they are a chocolatey treat without too much sugar. Plus, they come in convenient 100 calorie packs. Meanwhile, my very picky daughter loves Vega's plant-based protein bars; chocolate caramel is her favorite.


7. Get some fresh air.

When possible, fresh air works wonders! I always try to sit on the deck of any small watercraft. When the waters got rough on our family's Catamaran trip in Hawaii, my husband brought our then-toddler daughter below deck to keep her from getting soaked. The cool water splashing on my face and the wind whipping through my hair, however, helped ease my motion sickness. My daughter, on the other hand, threw up all over my poor hubby. Better him than me, my friends!

Opening a window in a car can help relieve motion sickness for some kids

Opening a window in a car can help relieve motion sickness for some sufferers (Photo credit: Reanas, Depositphotos.com)

8. Try a sweet distraction.

Try a Queasy Pops lollipop, which contains essential oils that may calm nausea. I haven't tried these personally, but I've heard good things from pregnant moms with morning sickness. Plus, a sweet treat might soothe a sick child, even if just psychologically.

9. Use essential oils.

Essential oils may help alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness. Try ginger, peppermint or a digestive blend to help soothe queasiness. Personally, I use and trust doTerra essential oils. Read more about using essential oils for travel.

Don't let motion sickness keep your family from traveling the world. Use these nine tips to soothe any queasiness or headache caused by movement, and get out there to explore!

Before you go, you may be interested in reading our 12 essential tips for cruising with kids or family road trip tips for a fun and stress-free journey.

Do you have another motion sickness remedy for children or adults? Let us know in the comments below!

 This story originally posted in 2009 and was updated in 2018.
About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. Avoid the smell of a diesel-powered motor like that of an ocean fishing boat.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing these tips! One of my kids gets motion sickness, which makes travel miserable for them. They love being at the destination, but getting there is really hard on them.

  3. Forgot my kiddos – I’m the one whose the hot mess in the family when we travel. Solid tips and really, I just need to remember that I should pop the Dramamine before traveling! I always want to avoid it because I don’t want to be drowsie or feel like I have a hang-over but I always regret NOT taking something.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      I hear you, Monica. Been there, done that. I do find that the Dramamine does help to lessen my symptoms, though, even if I wait to take the pill. I know that’s not true for everyone, but it might work for you.

  4. Makeba Giles says:

    Fortunately, our kids don’t get motion sickness. I do, however, have a family member who’s son does. I would recommend these tips to her.

  5. These are all great suggestions. We are flying to Europe this summer and I am worried about sickness on the plane. We usually take ginger gum with us and that seems to help, but we’ll also take some essential oils and maybe some of those Gin Gins too.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      We’re headed to Europe next week and I have the same worries. I’m going to be loaded up with ALL of these goodies to keep my daughter and I feeling well as we head overseas. Have a great time in Europe this summer!

  6. I used many of these remedies to fight feeling nausea when I was pregnant. I remember how useful the Sea Bands and ginger was. I can imagine they would be just as great to fight off motion sickness.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Estelle – I’m glad these methods worked for your morning sickness…and that you don’t suffer from motion sickness!

  7. Thankfully my kids didn’t inherit my husband’s motion sickness. You’ve listed one great strategies for dealing with ot. Ginger helps him a lot.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Oh thank goodness your kids didn’t get it! Typically women and girls suffer more than men (something to do with hormones). Too bad that your husband is one of the unlucky guys who suffers from motion sickness!

  8. My Teen Guide says:

    These are all great tips on how to address motion sickness in children. My youngest son had it slightly but outgrew it quickly. My sister still has it up until now. I know she takes Dramamine but I would like to let her know about these other tips too.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Motion sickness sometimes gets worse with hormonal changes like puberty and menopause. But for some of us, it’s just ALWAYS bad. Sigh. Thanks for sharing the tips with your sister!

  9. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    I remember suffering from motion sickness when I was a child. My mom gave me some gum to chew on when we traveled. I guess it worked or maybe I just outgrew it. Nevertheless, I still carry a few Dramamine with me when I travel, just in case. 🙂

  10. Rach Ferrucci says:

    These are great tips! My daughter had motion sickness and would get sick almost every time we were in the car as a baby. To this day she still gets whoozy. It’s awful to watch them go through this.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      It’s so hard as a parent to ever see our kids suffer. Even our dog gets motion sickness and it makes me so sad to see him feeling woozy!

  11. Oh yes my kids get motion sickness. I always keep Dramamine in the car!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Smart mom! Better to have Dramamine and not need it, than need it and not have it!

  12. Loved these tips. As a fellow mama, I have discovered a product that literally changed mine and my child’s life for nausea and headaches. I found a product called NoMo Nausea Kids. It’s a 3 in 1 patent pending all natural infusion of peppermint aromatherapy within a stylish and waterproof acupressure wristband. Like she stated the acupressure on the seaband works..however, my stylish little girl refused to wear something that didn’t match her outfit. The NoMo band comes in various different colors and in different sizes. I have one for her and one for me! The essential oil is combined in the wristband to take the two remedies and put them into one. I swear by this product and would recommend it to all fellow moms out there!

  13. I let my daughter sit in the middle of the back seat in order let her watch the road that we travel. This makes a lot of sense to relieve the motion sickness. When she is old enough to sit in the front seats we had no problem with car sickness.

    Also ginger does the work very well. I always used to eat ginger spice as there was no ginger candy when I was a child. It tastes awful but much better than nausea.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Thank goodness there is ginger candy now – I’d hate to eat ginger spice! I’m glad you’ve found a way to handle your daughter’s motion sickness. Sitting in the middle to allow her to view the road is a great tip!

  14. Flyingkids says:

    Motion sickness is a common concern among parents. Glad to have found this article. Very helpful tips! Less motion sickness means more fun and travel.

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