I came up with the idea for this post in April, and started writing it in June. Then I saved it as a draft and never looked at it again until this weekend, when Taylor’s and my trip to Ikea ended in me making him drop me off a block and a half early because I knew I wouldn’t be able to make the last two turns without barfing everywhere.
I have always always always been prone to carsickness, ever since I was a little kid. It sucked because my parents always hated stopping the car so I could puke on the side of the road so I heard a lot of “Just sing a song, then you won’t feel sick anymore” and “We have one of those anti-static strips on the car so it’s scientifically impossible for you to be carsick.” Cut to me crouched in the dirt on the side of the Malahat on Vancouver Island, barfing my guts out. Cut to me sprawled across my sister’s lap with my head stuck out the window, puking all the way from LAX to Anaheim. Cut to me spewing on some poor unsuspecting guy’s jacket when I couldn’t get off a bus in Horseshoe Bay in time. Cut to me yakking in the parking lot at a scenic overlook 9,000 feet up Haleakala in Maui. CUT TO ME VOMITING EVERYWHERE.
Now I have my own kid who is also prone to carsickness, and I try to be very sympathetic with her because I know how it feels. Maybe it’s annoying to have to stop the car and pull over on the side of highways everywhere so a carsick child can walk it off and spit bile in the grass, but would it be less annoying to clean vomit out of the upholstery? I don’t think so!
Over the years I’ve been working on developing a system for FOOLPROOF CARSICKNESS TREATMENT AND PREVENTION and after painstaking research on roadtrips and throughout pregnancies (morning sickness is a great carsickness substitute) I’ve come up with my Top Tips for the Car Sick.
1. Gravol Ginger tablets
Regular Gravol/Dramamine/motion sickness pills make you sleepy. Ginger Gravol is made from ginger (duh), which prevents carsickness without drowsiness, which is great if you have to navigate, or take care of a carsick kid, or function as a human being once you reach your destination. These pills are small and easy to swallow, which makes them great for Sym as well (normal Children’s Gravol pills are big and need to be chewed up, and she doesn’t like the flavours). You could also try ginger gum or tea but I think they taste disgusting, and things that taste disgusting make me want to throw up, which pretty much defeats the purpose of anti-nausea products.
2.Jolly Rancher candies
You know that weird gross pre-barf taste you get in your mouth when you’re about to be carsick? You need something that will get rid of it without putting anything in your stomach. Some people like gum for this but when it loses its flavour it gets gross, and having to spit anything out when you already feel like puking is a recipe for puking. Jolly Ranchers, the original hard candies, are PERFECT. The fruit flavours totally overwhelm the sick taste without being overly sweet. Whenever we go for long car trips with Sym I put a big bag of them in my purse and we suck on them the whole way. SORRY, TEETH 🙁 I know all that sugar isn’t good for you, but neither is being constantly bathed in stomach acid.
3. Hickory Sticks
I discovered the anti-nausea properties of these hickory-smoked shoestring potato sticks when I was pregnant with Sym. The starchiness of the potatoes calms your poor acidic tummy, and I don’t know what it is about the hickory flavour, but it WORKS.
LOTS of water. In spite of my best efforts, Sym and I do still end up puking sometimes, and the only thing worse than throwing up is throwing up straight bile, or a big dry glob of masticated Hickory Sticks. Drinking lots of water means if you do vomit it’ll come up quickly and easily, plus the added bonus of more pee stops means you’ll have more chances to walk it off. Note: please bring your own reusable water bottles instead of being an environment trashing bottled water drinker. Anyway the last time I bought bottled water (because I forgot my water bottle at home) it tasted like vulcanized rubber. EW.