Travel Sickness: My top tips to avoid kids getting travel sickness

A long car trip isn’t complete with at least one of your children vomiting all over themselves due to travel sickness and the back seat!  Or worse – triggering their sibling to follow suit!  Been there done that! Travelling with kids on a long-haul road trip can be a daunting experience at the best of times.  Here are my 8 Tips on How to Avoid kids getting travel sickness.

I am sure all of us parents have had to deal with travel sickness at some stage of our lives.  If you have a weak stomach like me, it’s gotta be one the worst things to have to deal with on the side of a road while your dry-reaching yourself! I’m just glad that hubby is always with us to help!

How to avoid child travel sickness. 8 tips on avoiding travel sickness in your child on your next road trip.

Some kids are more prone to travel sickness than others

One of our children suffers chronically from travel sickness.  Sometimes even just driving 30 minutes into town he can start to feel nauseous!  So over the years, I have managed to come up with some tricks that have worked for us.  Most of them you probably already know and some of them probably state the obvious but if you are new to motherhood and will be travelling with your kiddies be sure to remember some of these tips for your next long drive!



Be Prepared

The Sick Bucket

This bucket has had just as many holidays as we have and travelled all over the South Island!  Here is a list of essential items that should be included in your Sick Bucket. The Sick Bucket remains in my car full time and is always on hand. I put an ice cream container under the front seats at their feet so it can be easily reached (usually by an older sibling) while the rest can remain in the boot until needed.

  • Bucket
  • 2 x ice-cream containers (put under the front seats)
  • 1 x packet of handy towels
  • 1 x packet of wet wipes (or in the glove box of your car)
  • 1 x large bottle of water
  • Plastic bag (for spoiled clothes)
  • 1 x towel

Spare clothes bag

Ever since they were toddlers I had a bag in the boot with one set of change of clothes for each child and one towel.  This bag has come in handy countless times and not just for travel sickness either.  You just need to remember to update the clothes every now and again as they grow!


Here are my top 8 tips I use to avoid child travel sickness

1. Kids Sea Bands

Sea Bands have been around for years. They work by putting a pressure point on the inside of the wrist preventing nausea without having to take any pills. Sea Bands are the most preferred anti-nausea method by Mums worldwide. They are well worth the price and I would totally recommend them.  They come in both adults and kids sizes in packs of two or four.

2. Anything Ginger

Ginger for travel sickness

Ginger is a natural remedy for travel sickness that has been used for centuries in some form or other.  Over the years they have developed some great tasting ginger lollies ideal for kids who suffer from travel sickness.  If your kids can’t eat the lollies, then pretty much anything with ginger in it will help.

If your kids are feeling peckish (or nauseous) while on the road, get them to nibble on some gingernut biscuits, gingerbread, maybe a ginger kiss or a slice of ginger crunch.  Anything with ginger in it!  Ginger works almost instantly for some so it’s worth a try to avoid travel sickness.

3. Don’t eat a big breakfast, lunch or meal prior to travelling

This goes without saying really, don’t eat a large meal prior to the trip.  Keep it fresh and light, and avoid all milk drinks. But do try and include anything with ginger in it. See number two above!

4. Allersoothe/Phenergan

We use Allersoothe for our two youngest and have found it works really well for them. Once we started using this we saw a significant drop in the number of travel sickness incidences we had to deal with.

Allersoothe is an antihistamine used to treat symptoms of allergies such as a runny nose, itchiness, watery eyes, or mild skin reactions. It also has anti-nausea properties making it useful for preventing travel sickness.

This product is available at your local Pharmacist only and you should seek medical advice before using it.  Allersoothe is a liquid medicine given the night before travelling and again in the morning prior to the road trip.

5. Make sure the child can see out the windows

Make sure your child can see out of the windows clearly.  Put them in the middle back seat if you have to, remove your head rest if you can so they can see more and use a booster seat or some cushions to raise them up more.   Being able to watch where you are going is vital in warding off travel sickness.

6. Fresh air whenever possible

Fresh air helps avoid travel sicknessEnsure your air vents in your vehicle are set to fresh air. I know sometimes it is hard to have a window down when your travelling at 100km per hour, but as you slow down to come into a town, intersection or slow down for stock on the road or for any reason, at every opportunity let your windows down and get that fresh air flowing through the car.  The more bodies you have in the car, it can get quite stuffy in there, especially if it is a warm day.

7. Plan ahead allowing plenty of time

Allow for lots of extra stops on your travels and don’t be in rush. If you are approaching a particularly windy road that is notorious for making your child sick, plan to stop for five minutes beforehand, during and at the end if necessary.  Get out and stretch your legs, take a funny photo or admire the view if there is one.  By allowing plenty of time puts out a relaxed vibe and thus helping your child feel more relaxed. They are more likely to tell you if they are feeling queasy this way.

8. Slow down if you can

Have you got a child prone to travel sickness on long trips? Try these top 8 tips to help avoid travel sickness on your next road trip.When travelling particularly windy roads, and we have a lot of them in NZ, if there is no traffic behind you, try slowing down a bit more and just cruising.  You can pull over if you see traffic coming up behind you, there are always plenty of places to safely pull off the road. The faster you go around those corners the worst it is for your child sitting in the backseat.  Think of it as if there is a tray of eggs sitting on your back seat! The slower you go, the more of a chance you can get to the end of the winds before someone barfs!


Remind them to tell you!

I remind my kids all the time to let me know as soon as possible if they are feeling unwell.  Some people say that you shouldn’t even mention it. When you know you have a child that suffers from chronic travel sickness, I would rather know well in advance to look for a place to pull over and for them to know that it’s okay.

I even ask them how they are feeling when I know we are driving a particularly windy road and I just know that it will be affecting them.  You need to let them know that it’s okay to tell you, and that it is better that we know well in advance so we can pull over safely and in a timely manner to let them out to have a walk around in some fresh air.


What is your worst barf story?

I kind of mentioned mine at the top of this post. When one child is sick, which triggers another, which triggers me to start dry reaching!  What’s your worst kid barf story while travelling? Tell us your stories in the Comments Box below!

What are some tricks that you use to avoid travel sickness?

What are your tips and tricks that you have discovered to help your kids avoid travel sickness? Share some more ideas in the Comments Box below! Or if any of these ideas have helped you we would love to hear about?



Have you got a child prone to travel sickness on long trips? Try these top 8 tips to help avoid travel sickness on your next road trip.
Do you have a child that suffers from chronic travel sickness? Check out my top 8 tips on how to avoid travel sickness and make your next road trip barf free!

2 thoughts on “Travel Sickness: My top tips to avoid kids getting travel sickness”

  • I wish I knew about some of these tips when my daughter was younger. She would sometimes complain about car sickness when we traveled far distances.

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