Rental Car Sickness & How To Avoid It
Travel sickness, or more commonly called motion sickness, is a very unpleasant sensation once experiences while driving and can include any or even all of the following: nausea, fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, or vertigo.
Motion sickness comes in a variety of forms like seasickness, airsickness, or even trainsickness, however carsickness is by far the most common form. Getting sick in a rental car, unfortunately, has the added side-effect of being expensive on top of being unpleasant.
During a recent car trip with two young daughters in the back we had two different episodes of vomiting due to motion sickness. In the first case one daughter threw up on herself, and in the second the other threw up on the side of the road because we had time to stop, so fortunately we did not have to deal with the cleaning surcharge of the rental company.
Now I know that the health and comfort of your family is a far better reason to learn to avoid motion sickness than the cost, but the cost is also nothing to ignore as you might see cleaning surcharges.
Tips to avoid carsickness in your rental car
Fortunately there are ways of avoiding motion sickness beyond simply not moving, and so you can still go on your road trip without having to deal with the distraction of sudden roadside stops or expensive cleaning fees.
Try some of the following methods to avoid carsickness:
- Drive as smoothly as possible without making any sudden stops, sharp turns, or quick accelerations
- If you are in the front seat, focus on a fixed point in the distance like the horizon
- Open a window rather than using the air conditioner; fresh air will be much better for helping you to settle your nausea
- Closing your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply (though you’ll miss out on the scenery you might be grateful for it)
- Long trips should be broken up now and then with a pit stop to stretch your legs and get a break from the car
- Ginger is know to help settle and upset stomach, so keep some ginger ale or ginger nuts on hand
Other factors that lead to motion sickness
While the motion itself is generally the cause of the sickness, and so cannot be avoided if you are travelling, there are some other factors which tend to contribute to making the effects of the motion on your body worse.
Here are a few more tips for helping to avoid things that can exacerbate motion sickness:
- Don’t read anything (books, newspapers, maps) as this tends to trigger a person’s motion sickness
- Avoid looking at moving objects like other cars passing by
- Don’t eat a big meal before travelling or while on the road. This will not only make your stomach more likely to be upset, but may also cause a bigger mess.
What you should do if someone does get sick in your rental car
While the above tips may be able to help you avoid a mess in your rental car, nothing is guaranteed.
So if you do end up with someone vomiting in your rental car, the best thing you can do is pull over and have the person get out onto the side of the road until you are sure that the vomiting is over with.
If there is any sick on the inside of the rental car, then by all means try to clean it up yourself as best you can (if you are not too pressed for time) and you may still be able to avoid a steep cleaning fee from your rental company.
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