Both of my girls are very prone to car sickness. My older daughter used to get sick on even a 15 minute car trip, so for a long time we avoided road trips like the plague. (It probably didn’t help that we were driving on the crazy winding roads of Honduras!)
After a few years of no road trips, we knew we couldn’t avoid the car forever. So we put together a DIY Car Sick Kit to keep in the car, and it has saved us too many times to count. (We actually call it the Barf Kit, but that didn’t seem like such a nice name, so I am now calling it the Car Sick Kit.)
They both still get sick occasionally, but the Car Sick Kit makes it possible for us to still go on, and even enjoy road trips.
This is what we include in our Car Sick Kit:
Dramamine / Motion Sickness Medication
We suffered for years before trying any kind of motion sickness medication, but finally gave in about a year ago. And it has been a complete game changer. I try to avoid medication whenever possible, but desperate times call for desperate measures! We have tried Travel Gum (available at the pharmacies here in Europe) and chewable Kid’s Dramamine, and my kids much prefer the Dramamine. (Be sure to talk to your doctor before giving your kids any medication.)
Before trying medication, we used the child sized Sea Band wrist bands. They are little elastic cloth wrist bands that apply constant pressure to the Nei Kuan pressure point on the insides of the wrists, which is supposed to alleviate nausea and motion sickness. We still use these, but usually in conjunction with Dramamine.
Once someone starts feeling a little sick, they get covered with a large towel, just in case. We used to cover them on every car trip, but since using Dramamine, we only need them on really tough days. (Make sure the towels are extra large to protect the car seat, too.)
Airplane Barf Bags
Every time we are on an airplane, I gather all of the barf bags from the seats around us to add to our Car Sick Bag. Even my two year old has learned to barf into these bags, and they are easy to close up and throw in the trash.
A Roll of Paper Towels
A roll of paper towels helps clean up all the mess. I use paper towels instead of cloth so that they can be thrown away after use.
After cleaning up the chunks with paper towels, we clean hands, faces, seats, etc. with unscented baby wipes.
Gallon Size Zip Top Bags
Zip Top Bags store all of the used paper towels and baby wipes until we can find a garbage can. The zip top is key to contain the smell!
Anything that needs to be laundered (towels, shirts, pillows, etc) goes into a large garbage bag until we reach our destination.
Bottles of Water & Electrolyte Tablets
One bottle of water is used just to rinse hands and faces. We drop an electrolyte tablet into another bottle of water to keep the little ones hydrated after they get sick.
An empty tummy can increase motion sickness, so we try to make sure that the kids have little snacks while in the car. Just be careful not to overdo it, because a full tummy isn’t good, either.
A Bag to Store Everything
Store all of the necessities in a bag that can be kept in the car at all times. Tuck it under a seat or in a seat back pocket, where it is out of the way but still easily accessible. And be sure to replenish anything that gets used!
Now go out there and plan some epic family road trips!