Tips for Traveling with Children with Special Needs

Special Needs Travel Child Looks Out Window of Car.PPBlog1

Summer is peak travel time for many families, but when you have a child with special needs, it may seem a little daunting. You’re used to the comforts and familiarity of your own community, knowing that you have everything you need close by. With some advanced planning and preparation, you can enjoy seeing new sights and taking your family on a trip they’ll remember.

One of the most important things to do is research. Look up the hotel and any events or attractions you may be going to – do they have the accommodations that you may need? Are they wheelchair accessible? Can you bring a service animal if you have one? Is there going to be a lot of stimulation such as lights, music, or crowds? Perhaps you can schedule your visit outside of peak hours when there are fewer people, or have a quiet location in mind for some respite.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • Make lists so that you don’t forget major supplies. Write down everything you want to pack and bring extras if possible! Better to be safe.
  • Have copies of all of your child’s medications and any special medical needs. Should an emergency arise, you’ll be prepared.
  • Plan for breaks. If you’re driving, leave extra time for bathroom and stretch breaks to let everyone move around.
  • Pack entertainment. Bring a bag with toys, games, coloring books, or other items to keep your child busy and help pass the time when waiting. Also bring items they find calming in case there’s a meltdown.
  • Talk about the trip ahead of time so your child knows what to expect. Let them know where you’re going and what you’re doing. If your plans change, keep them in the loop so there are fewer surprises.

Traveling can be fun if you know what to expect and how to prepare. If your child has trouble with transitions or functional skills, PediaPlex can support them in becoming more independent and adaptable to change. Your child should experience as many opportunities as possible and we can help make that more of a reality.

What other strategies do you use when preparing to travel? Leave a comment and let us know!

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