Top 5 Tips to Prevent Motion Sickness in Children When Traveling

You’ve just booked the perfect trip. You and your family are about to experience the adventure of a lifetime. But if you have small children, motion sickness might put the breaks on your travels. Whether you’re traveling by boat, car, plane or train, small children are prone to nausea, light-headedness, and fatigue while traveling.


Motion sickness is usually brought on by mixed signals in the brain, usually when our eyes experience something different from our bodies. If a young child is traveling at high speeds for the first time and they’re situated in the back seat of a car or the passenger cabin or a plane where they can’t see where the vehicle is headed, their bodies might have trouble adjusting. Motion sickness is usually more common in children under the age of 10. Follow our tips to prevent motion sickness in kids and don’t let nausea and upset tummies interrupt your family’s vacation.

  1. Provide a Distraction

A fun distraction is one of the best ways to prevent motion sickness is kids. You can focus their minds on other things by reading them a story, playing their favorite song, or engaging them with a fun game. You can also talk to them about the trip and explain the ins and outs of traveling. Encourage them to look out the window to help them understand how and why they’re moving.

  1. Let Them Breathe

If you feel a bout of motion sickness coming on in your child, give them more room to breathe. Roll down the window in the car, open any vents nearby while turning up the cool air, or step outside when possible. Fresh air and an increase in oxygen will help settle your kids’ aggravated stomachs. Also get rid of any strong smelling foods, scents or odors that might make motion sickness worse.

  1. Naptime

Use naptime to decrease your child’s sensory input. Fast-moving video games and movies can make things worse. Instead, give them room to rest their head and help them drift to sleep to lessen the effects of traveling. Some well-deserved peace and quiet can also help move things along.


  1. Choose Pre-Trip Meals Carefully

Make things easier for yourself as a parent by feeding your children bland, easy-to-digest foods. Vomiting and upset stomach are much easier to avoid if your kids have had a mild meal before traveling. A peanut butter and jelly, crackers, or a grilled cheese can make for an excellent pre-trip meal.

  1. Cool Them Off

If your child starts to feel sick while traveling, try combating the effects of motion sickness by cooling them down. A cold wet towel on the forehead can help with sweating and fatigue. Cold water can help reduce nausea and upset stomach.

When trying to prevent motion sickness in kids, a gentle touch is usually the most effective. Your child will slowly learn to adapt to the side effects of traveling with age. You can also talk to your doctor about certain medications used to relieve the effects of motion sickness. If you’d prefer more natural options rather than synthetic medications, you can try ginger pills before you travel or many stores carry topically applied essential oils that are applied behind the ears and help calm the nerves in the ear that cause motion sickness.

When in doubt, help you child relax and give them a chance to catch their breath. Now you can play some travel games in the car! Happy travels!

About the Author: Megan Gallagher works with Motioneaze, an all-natural, over-the-counter remedy for motion sickness symptoms.


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  1. My son and I both get motion sick. I always have some sort of carbs to help settle our stomachs. I also limit the screen time with him if the road starts to twist too much. Great post!

  2. Great tips listed here. I have found that if my young ones get sick in the car, it is usually because they are playing some sort of game on the ipad. Looking down focusing on the game as the car is taking turns results in a bad experience. Having them take breaks seems to help. Thanks for sharing these tips. I will have to try them out!

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