Published: Thursday, 16 December 2021

We Aussies love our road trips, but nothing can ruin your holiday like a bout of motion sickness. Although some people are more prone to motion sickness than others, there are steps everyone can take before departing to help prevent this unfortunate ailment.

Read on for our best tips and advice to help you and your loved ones prevent motion sickness so you can make the most of your West Australian road trip.

Motion sickness symptoms

Have you ever wondered how motion sickness occurs and what the symptoms are?

Whether you have motion sickness diagnosed, or you’re experiencing motion sickness for the first time, car travel can quickly become a dreaded pastime. However, identifying common symptoms of motion sickness will allow you to identify an issue and take a break to overcome the sickness.

Common symptoms of motion sickness include:

  • Dizziness and feeling unbalanced
  • Breaking into a cold sweat
  • Tiredness or a general sense of feeling unwell
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Burping and vomiting

If a passenger or driver does experience motion sickness or shows signs of other symptoms, it’s recommended that you pull over as the symptoms start, rather than waiting and taking some rest. In more severe cases, medical attention may be required - so note down medical centres along your road trip itinerary to be well prepared.

Care for your stomach before you leave

If you know that you or someone joining you for your trip are likely to experience motion sickness, it is best to avoid any spicy, exotic or unfamiliar foods in the lead-up to your adventure.

Stick to foods you are familiar with, prioritising carbohydrates and other easy-to-digest items. This will help to keep your stomach as comfortable as possible and minimise stress on it.

Many people rely on pineapple for its motion sickness-preventing properties, but it is best to consume it before you get in the car. Add a glass of juice or a few pineapple slices to your morning meal to set your stomach up for a motion sickness-free trip.

Motion sickness bands or bracelets can also help to keep your stomach from getting queasy. By stimulating a specific pressure point on your wrist, these bands can have an anti-nausea effect. They are inexpensive and unobtrusive, so slip one on before you go to help keep travel sickness at bay.

Stock up your car or caravan with car sick essentials

Sometimes you won't be able to avoid motion sickness, especially if you are travelling on winding roads. This is why it is so important to have a motion sickness kit at the ready, similar to what you’d have in a sea sickness kit.

Your kit should include a leak-proof bag to catch any vomit, and it helps if you can seal or tie the top of the bag after it has been used to minimise odours. Wet wipes and other cleaning products can also be helpful if you miss the bag or can't make it in time.

Chewing gum and breath mints are great choices for your motion sickness kit, as they can provide a refreshing, cleaner mouth for someone who has vomited. Ginger is often used to quell nausea, so having some in your kit can help to ward off motion sickness before it starts. Chew it fresh or sip on ginger tea to calm an upset stomach.

Finally, pack a change of clothes for anyone who is likely to get sick. Be sure to put these clothes somewhere easily accessible, not buried underneath your other road trip essentials. This way, if someone needs a quick change, you won't have to go digging for something to wear whilst stopped on the side of the road.

Prevent motion sickness in children

Kids don't always know how to communicate how they are feeling, especially if they are on the younger side. They also might not know the early warning signs that car sickness is coming on.

If your little ones get car sick frequently, you've likely picked up on some of their unique cues in advance. Keep these in mind during your road trip so you can prepare a sick bag or pullover quickly if needed.

Although each child is different, some common motion sickness signs include loss of colour to the skin, sweating, fidgeting and frequent yawning. Travelling with kids can be unpredictable, so take the time to talk to them before the trip about what to expect — that way, they know what to do if they are feeling unwell.

Take breaks often to let your little ones stretch their legs and get some fresh air to help calm any queasiness before it becomes full-on car sickness.

Minimise your risk of motion sickness whilst in the car

What you do before you leave for your trip can be important to prevent motion sickness, but what you do in the car can be even more important.

Those prone to motion sickness should drive or sit in the front seat whenever possible, as the front seats tend to be less nausea-inducing. Of course, this may not always be possible, like with small children in car seats, so use the middle seat in the back row as a suitable alternative.

Fresh air is great for warding off travel sickness, so drive with the windows open, or at least cracked open slightly, to allow the breeze to come through. Sit upright as opposed to reclining or lying down, as this enables you to get a clear view of the horizon.

If you begin to feel queasy, fix your eyes on something straight ahead and far away near the horizon. Looking down to read or play a video game can often trigger motion sickness, as your inner ears will feel the motion of the vehicle even though your eyes don't see it. This creates a cognitive disconnect that can lead to nausea.

Keep your focus outside the car to keep this internal conflict to a minimum.

Work breaks into your itinerary

When planning your road trip in Western Australia, it is a good idea to include plenty of breaks throughout each day of driving. This breaks up the amount of time spent in the car or caravan, giving those who are sickness-prone a chance to recover before heading out again.

Look for roadside attractions in Western Australia, restaurants and other local amenities that may be of interest to you and your passengers, so you're not stuck in the car all day long.

Flexibility is key on a road trip, especially for those who suffer from motion sickness. In some cases, a short break won't be enough to prevent motion sickness, so you may need to stop overnight.

Preventing motion sickness with overnight breaks

We are proud to have multiple caravan parks throughout WA, and they offer the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of driving. As we come into summer, spaces book quickly, so be sure to get your reservations in early to secure your preferred lodging.

We can't wait to host you at one of our parks for your summer road trip!

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