Travel Tips For Families with Children with Special Needs
Planning a Vacation? We Can Help!
While traveling with a child with special needs may require a little more planning and adjustment, it's just a different category of family vacationing! - Lissa Poirot
Here are the Best Vacations for Special Needs Families, as recommended by Conde Nast Traveler.
Check out these tips from our Integrated Pediatric Therapies therapists for ways to make the trip easier and fun for the entire family!
- Pick out 10 words about the trip (nouns, verbs and descriptors - they should describe the sensory experience). Depending on your child's level of understanding, the words may be all nouns or a combination. - Marlies
- Create a bin that can be explored before the trip. Kids will have familiar activities to play with in the car or on the plane. - Marizela
- Bring along a comfortable toy, blanket or stuffed animal. The trip may be a new experience, and having something that is familiar can be comforting. - Maeghan
- Look through pictures of previous trips and remind your child about the people he will meet, places he will stay and things he will do! Point out how much fun the family is having. Recall cherished memories and act them out. - Allison
- When traveling by plane, think about what boarding time works best for your family. Is it better to go first to avoid the crowds or better to hold off boarding to decrease wait time on the plane? - Jennie
- Create a social story. Show your child pictures of the place you are going, how you will get there and any activities he may be doing while there. For example, pictures of an airplane, car, hotel, cabin, beach, park or museum. Each picture can also be paired with a simple label. - Megan and Jody
- Before your vacation, take a few day trips to places such as a zoo, museum or beach. You will learn which strategies worked well for your child. It will help you be more prepared for what you may need on a long trip. - Ingrid
- Don't forget to pack several preferred snacks to enjoy while in the car or on a plane. Lollipops and chewy candies can help during takeoff and landing when traveling on a plane. - Rachel