Traveling with kids isn’t always easy. When you’re traveling with special needs children, there are plenty of more challenges that come your way. Here are some tips that help you prepare for travel with special needs children.
- Prepare Yourself
Don’t be scared when it comes to traveling with special needs children. Give yourself a good pep talk and prepare yourself for the upcoming trip. There may be public meltdowns or situations in which your child may get overwhelmed – be ready to tackle such situations, should they arise. Unless your child’s doctor advices you against travel, make plans and don’t let fear take over. It is important to get away once a while and a little planning and preparation can make things easier.
- Plan it out
If you’re planning a road trip, select destinations and stops that can accommodate your child’s special needs. This helps your child adapt to the travel more comfortably. Also consider what are the items that are essential for your child – what they need during bedtime, bathtime and mealtimes. You can call your destinations in advance to find out if they have the things that you need and if they have accessibility for special needs children.
- Get recommendations of your doctor
Talk to your child’s doctor about your travel plans and ask for recommendations, tips and items that you need to carry in case of an emergency. These may include:
- Prescription drugs that your child is taking, and a copy of prescription
- A doctor’s description letter of your child’s condition and needs, in case of an emergency
- Phone numbers and e-mail details of your doctor
- Recommendations for doctors and specials in the area you’re visiting
- Carry Extra items
When traveling with special needs children, carry more items than your child requires. It is better to be safe than sorry. There may be spills and you may run out of critical items. Carrying extras can avoid these problems and help you enjoy a stress-free journey with your child.
- Keep track of essentials
When packing your child’s favorite toys, security items or essential medical things, make sure you keep a track of them at each stop and until you reach your destination. Make a check-list of all these items and double check those before you leave each stop of your journey. Repeat this before you head back home from your journey.
- Determine appropriate transport
If you want to make your trip as stress-free as possible, decide what kind of travel suits your child’s specific needs. Is the destination close enough to travel by car? Would air or train travel put you too far from your emergency medical personnel for an extended period? Does your child require specialized seating support? Answering these questions can help you narrow down your means of travel and make things easier.
- Don’t aim for perfection
When preparing for travel with a special needs child, don’t be obsessed with everything going perfectly. Travel, in general, is full of surprises – doubly so if you’re traveling with a special needs child. Put their comfort above everything else and hope to have things go as smoothly as possible. Remember to enjoy the journey with your child. Time spent establishing relationships is time well spent.
Above all, remember that every trip is a learning experience for you and your child. Soak in the lessons that life has to offer and give your special needs child memories that he/she will cherish for a lifetime.