Sooner or later we have to travel with our special needs children. And like most things, traveling with special needs kids requires some special preparation. As always, planning is your friend! With some advance planning, you can make your trip go as smoothly as possible. Here are our three favorite tips to make long car trips easier with special needs kids:
Make the time fly by!
Car trips can be long and boring, and that can lead to behavior issues. Plan ahead by stocking up on engaging activities. Bring anything that can engage them entertainment during that long car ride. Make sure you have a few different kinds of activities and items planned, for variety. Keep these with you and pull them out for your child one by one, spacing them out over the drive so that there’s not as much time to be bored.
Make frequent stops.
When you’re planning your travel schedule, make sure you build in frequent stops for the bathroom and for stretching legs and getting snacks. Stop at fun places, or make the stops educational, or make them into a game. Use your creativity! Sure, you won’t get to your destination as quickly, but you’ll get there with a happier child.
Drive at night.
One of our best tips for you is to drive at night. Because many of our kids have a hard time with sitting in the car for long periods, of time, it works much better if they can spend most of that time sleeping. Try getting them ready for bed, putting them in their pajamas, putting them in their car seat, and then starting off. You’ll be able to drive much farther, with fewer stops while the kids are sleeping!
So sit down and think through your trip beforehand. Think about how long the drive will be, find the fun stopping places, and put your entertainment kit together. Then you’ll be ready for a smooth and fun family trip!