active family travel,  Health

Motion Sickness – Tricks to Getting Through It When Traveling With Family

Motion sickness is no fun. If you suffer from it, you can look forward to nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, and generally feeling awful. All those symptoms are compounded if you’re wrangling kids at the same time. I’ve put together some tips for combating motion sickness when you are traveling with family.


The Lowdown on Motion Sickness

Also called sea sickness or car sickness, this annoying and sickening problem actually has nothing to do with your mode of transportation. It’s an inner ear disturbance. The motion of a vehicle or boat causes an imbalance within the inner ear, which in turn disrupts our equilibrium. That equilibrium disruption is what leads to the nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sweating. Those most commonly affected are children aged 2 to 12, pregnant women, and those prone to migraines. So, motion sickness is caused by inner ear disturbance and that it’s awful. Now what can you do about it?

Surviving Motion Sickness

Whether you’re traveling with or without kids, getting through motion sickness is essentially the same. The difference is that you’ll need to keep the kids occupied, as well. Happy kids make for less squirmy kids. And that makes for an easier time traveling.


Watch Your Food and Drink Intake

Symptoms of this inner ear disturbance include nausea and vomiting, so stay away from anything that could make that work. Avoid alcohol and stay away from foods or beverages that you know to trigger nausea on a good day. Strong food odors can cause nausea, as well, so steer clear from them.

Pick a Spot with the Least Motion

Motion sickness, as the name implies, is an inner ear disturbance caused by motion, so the best way to limit that disturbance is to find an area of your transportation method that moves the least. Look for seats in the middle of a plane over the wing and lower level cabins near the center of a ship. If you’re on a road trip, sit in the front seat and hang in there.

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Keep the Kids Occupied

The key to limiting motion with kids in tow is to keep them occupied. Tablets and portable gaming systems are a must if they have them. Don’t pack them away! Books, coloring books, and other activity books are also great for keeping the kids occupied and squirm-free.

Focus on a Fixed Point

In addition to finding a spot with the least amount of motion and keeping the kids occupied, keeping your eyes on the horizon or a fixed point can help limit the symptoms of motion sickness. Having a horizon line or a singular point as a reference, can help your mind “find” some level ground.


There are some over the counter medicines you should be aware of if this is a regular issue for you. Many Gravol products can be very helpful in combating mild motion sickness. For more serious cases, your doctor may prescribe a medicated patch containing scopolamine, which can effectively reduce or eliminate severe motion sickness. There’s a great motion sickness patch here. Always read the label and know which one is right for what you are doing. If you have severe motion sickness you should not be driving.


Ask for Help

Above all, the key to surviving motion sickness while traveling with kids is to ask for help. If you’re traveling with another adult, have them watch the kids for you. While you survive your whirling, upside down world, they can give the kids their snacks, activities, and the like.

Mitigating Motion Sickness

You can lessen the symptoms of motion sickness just by employing the tips above. And the most important tips above all if you’re traveling with children is to ask for help and keep them occupied. Because when you’re dealing with sickness while traveling, the less you have to do, the better.

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Do you experience motion sickness?

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.