Travel sickness and children

Family travel can easily be blighted by travel sickness.

I can remember when my daughter was a toddler, she was sick 4 times on a journey of what should have been 180 miles home from North Wales. I say “should have been” because we didn’t get that far – we had to factor in an overnight stay en route because we’d run out of clean clothes for her! She’s better now, but still gets nauseous and irritable on long journeys, despite taking the usual precautions with advance medication.

In our family, this is a phenomenon almost unique to the car. Sickness on other forms of transport is rare. This has led us to seek out breaks where we can use public transport, where possible. Last year in Bavaria, instead of the usual “are we there yet?” after 30 minutes (and repeated at regular short intervals), the completion of a 2 hour train journey was met with “are we there already? That only seemed like 20 minutes!” Using the train made travelling so much less arduous for all of us and provided more family interaction time, playing cards and enjoying the scenery in a relaxed way.

So, on our next trip to Northern Ireland, instead of driving the incredibly scenic Causeway Coastal route, we will be getting around by train, together with using the bus for shorter journeys. We hope to see some of the Antrim coast highlights such as the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick a Rede, as well as Belfast and Carrickfergus Castle.  Obviously, there will be some things we’ll miss due to not having a car, but there’s always another time. As well as having what we hope will be a less stressful family break, we will also be contributing to lowering congestion and reducing our environmental impact. Some tourist attractions recognise this by charging lower entry fees for public transport users, so that will be an additional bonus.

You can find out how we get on in subsequent blogs. Stay tuned.

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