Tips for Planning Travel for Families with a Child with Special Needs
Family travel and even day trips can be stressful enough for any family, but they can be especially anxiety producing for a family with a child who has special needs. With adequate planning and a bit of flexibility and creativity, your family can enjoy spending time traveling and exploring together while ensuring a smooth experience. Follow these tips to make your next family vacation or day trip a success:
1. Plan ahead
Lack of foresight or enough planning can be the downfall of many well-intentioned trips. By taking the time to map out the day, and check to make certain activities are possible- such as whether or not an attraction will be open when visiting- it is possible to minimize unnecessary speed bumps that may lead to high anxiety situations, disappointment, or shutdowns while in public. Try to always have a “Plan B” in mind that can easily be adapted to fit your needs. This will help ease anxiety if something doesn’t work out the way it was meant to happen.
2. Bring essential items with you
Every individual has those few key items that they need to make it through the day. For adults it may be a cellphone, chapstick and ibuprofen. Children are no different. For your child with special needs, be sure to pack their favorite activities to keep them entertained on long car rides or flights, and coping skills to help them stay at, or return to, baseline. If food is of concern, plan to pack snacks and lunches rather than hope that the right food will be available. Bring along a bottle of water for medications as well, to avoid not being near a water fountain or store when the time comes.
3. Involve your child in the planning
Sometimes even the most thrilling adventure day turns into a disaster simply because our children had something else in mind. Having your child involved in planning the trip allows them to give input and feedback to plans, as well as helps them to understand what to expect during the activity, while building excitement.
SpecialGlobe is here to help your family travel, explore, and enjoy the world around you. Contact us today for assistance in planning your next family travel adventure.
From Parents, Travel Writers,