Car rides have never been fun for me. I have a long-standing, no good, terrible history with motion sickness which has put a damper on any and all road trips since… always. When I was in elementary school, my friends’ parents pumped me full of what they thought to be fast remedies for motion sickness. Or sometimes they just grabbed a terrible idea out of the air for a quick fix so I wouldn’t throw up on their child. Or their car.
Here, drink this Sprite. It’ll help you feel better in no time.
Do you like peppermints? Eat one anyway. Mints are supposed to help with this kind’a stuff.
Does it help if I drive slower? Here I’ll slow it way down so you can see exactly what’s going by us out the window. That should help.
To this day I will not drink Sprite or eat peppermints, and for those of you out there with kids or friends who get repeated cases of motion sickness, do not drive unrealistically slow. It’s upsetting. Both physically and mentally.
I always assumed motion sickness was something I’d never get away from. Over the years, a countless amount of people have told me not to worry, because “motion sickness only decreases with age”. That certainly has not been the case for me and I roll my eyes at those people in the back of my mind each time nausea settles at the back of my throat. Luckily, our move to Vienna allowed me to take a nice pause from regular trips to nausea town. Though I did get famously sick there a couple of years ago, Vienna’s smooth public transportation has done me a lot of good, which… has actually turned out to be a double-edged sword.
Now that I’m back in the States for a time and hopping from state to state, I’m back to riding in cars. Everywhere. My auto-anxiety is through the roof and my motion sickness has returned in its full glory. Plus, I’m now what I consider to be “very pregnant” which makes traveling in a car for really any period of time extremely uncomfortable. I feel like a baby or toddler who demands to be out of its confining car seat, and when I can’t get out, then I get grumpy. I’m trying not to throw tantrums, but traveling 12 hours in a car, in a day, through a state like Kansas which has nothing interesting to look at save for, apparently, the world’s largest prairie dog, is quite the undertaking. I miss my trains!
Since mid-May, I’ve been in the car for approximately 40 hours, not counting normal trips here and there within city limits. With another road trip coming up next weekend, and my motion sickness tendencies and pregnant wiggles in mind, here’s what I’m doing to pass the time and not totally lose my mind, as well as my stomach:
My favorites are Radiolab, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!, and Prairie Home Companion. Radiolab is fascinating, Wait Wait is hilarious, and Garrison Keillor’s lullaby voice is enough to make anyone fall asleep. All three of these programs keep my mind off of my turning stomach which is a huge challenge in and of itself.
Will is really spectacular at making awesome road trip playlists. I always try to find out how long they are before he plays them so I’m aware of how much time they’re shaving off of our trip. If I can sing along to something for two hours, then that’s two hours accomplished and gone.
Dramamine has been my best friend up until now. Since my Austrian doctor, who’s been taking care of me throughout the pregnancy, doesn’t know what Dramamine is, she’s put me on something similar to it, which I can understand. But guys. This medicine is the worst. I liken it to rat poison, which I have never ingested, but if I were a rat and met my end while eating a slice of poisonous cheese, I’m positive it would taste like this stuff. Have you ever gotten a Dramamine pill stuck in your throat? You know how it immediately starts melting in your esophagus while you’re clawing for your water bottle to get the nasty taste out? You can’t drink enough of any liquid to cover that up. THAT, my friends, is my motion sickness medicine during my time stateside. It’s truly awful, but it gets me through the road trips well enough.
I’m throwing a party when I no longer have to take it and you’re all invited.
4. Ginger Ale/Water
Sprite never worked for me, but Ginger Ale does. It fights back a lot of the uneasiness going on in my stomach, and water cools me down. I drink both interchangeably and that seems to work.
If I get too hot in a car, I’m done for, even with medicine. If the A/C isn’t on, then my head is probably halfway out the window. Thankfully, these trips haven’t been too awfully hot which has allowed me to be somewhat at peace as we drive on the long-way road.
I think if I weren’t plagued by motion sickness, I’d enjoy road trips much, much more. But for now, I’m going to enjoy every moment with my feet planted on the ground (or propped up on the couch) as much as I can before our next road trip.
Do you get excited about road trips? Or do you despise them? What kinds of things, tricks, or remedies do you do to pass the time?