Traveling with children presents its own set of unique challenges. If you’re traveling with kids with special needs, this increases those challenges. That said, it can be a fun experience for you and your child if you plan properly and know how to make the most of the trip.
Here are five tips for traveling with your special needs child:
- Plan your trip in advance. Every trip should be planned in advance but when you have a special needs child, there are additional things you want to have in order before you ever leave home.
- Choose the best destination for your child. If your child has special needs, traveling might be difficult. When traveling for vacation, you should try to choose the destination based on your child’s needs. This isn’t always possible if you’re traveling for another reason, such as family emergency, but you can plan when doing optional traveling. Choose destinations that meet your child’s needs and that she will like so she can get excited about the travel and not focus too much on the potential downsides or stressors.
- Pack appropriately. The things you bring along will be very important. Of course you want the essentials like medicines and clothing but you should also pack the things that make your child feel safe and secure. Special toys, blankies, “lovies” or other items that help your child feel better should be brought. If your child wears headphones for auditory sensory issues, you better bring them along. Take time to plan all of these special items into your packin.
- Practice in advance. You can also run through mock travel with your child beforehand so she knows exactly what to expect when you actually begin your travels. You can run through the scenarios that you will likely face while traveling and your child will be more comfortable when it happens. It will also help you to be more prepared.
- Plan for breaks in your travels. When you’re traveling with kids, you’re always going to need more breaks but you should plan ahead for more break time when you have a special needs child. In order to care for their needs properly while traveling, you want to take your time. Don’t stress about timelines and when you arrive.
With these tips in mind, you can plan your next trip with your child. It’s possible to have a stress-free travel experience that is fun for everyone involved. The first step is just to plan it all properly and in advance. So go ahead and have a great time. You’ll make memories you both remember forever!