Most of us look at vacation or traveling as a great way to get away from it all and enjoy a bit of a vacation. That said, it can be a different experience for children and many feel frightened by new places, new experiences and the shake-up of their routine. This is especially true for children who are sensory sensitive because there are so many things they will encounter while traveling, many of which they do not see on a normal day.
Here is how you can make traveling easier for your sensory sensitive child:
- Bring along help. Any trip like this with children is going to be easier with extra hands and eyes to help you. If your child has sensory issues, or if you are traveling with multiple children, it’s going to help even more to have a family member, friend, or other support person to help you out.
- Plan ahead and rehearse the trip. You should rehearse the trip with your sensory sensitive child and also plan in advance for any challenges that may occur. Whenever possible, give your child a good understanding of what they are going to experience on the trip. You might read books or show them videos of what it will be like as well. All of this preparation will help it be less overwhelming once you’re going through it.
- Don’t rush. You should always allow yourself extra time when traveling with a sensory sensitive child. You don’t know what kinds of things might trigger them, or what challenges you might face along the way so it’s very important to take your time and not rush.
- Bring extra clothes and supplies. It’s also going to be important to bring along extra supplies and especially clothing for your children. If there are any mishaps, you can keep them as stress free as possible and then continue with your fun day.
- Being electronic devices and toys that will distract. Sometimes a sensory sensitive child can tune out the sights and sounds around them with electronic devices or a favorite toy. They can watch a movie or listen to music to avoid loud sounds in an airport or train station. You can also bring small sensory toys in a bag or backpack that will help your child during the trip.
With these tips, you can improve the traveling experience for your sensory sensitive child. Keep in mind that there still might be meltdowns and there might be some stress but when you follow these tips, you at least reduce the chances and intensity of those. You’re creating a better situation for everyone involved and your child will definitely appreciate it. Together, you will make fun and happy travel memories.