Packing Tips For Traveling With a Special Needs Child
I’ve been asked to give my opinion on the top three things you should pack when you travel, whether by air, land or sea.
1. Pack Comfort items.
Bring whatever is reinforcing to your child. Maybe that’s an iPad, or maybe it’s a certain toy they need to sleep with—whatever is going to provide comfort. This is going to be very individualized depending on your child and where you’re traveling. But whatever gives comfort, I recommend bringing whatever that is and packing it first so that you do not leave it at home!
2. Pack Comfortable clothing.
The second most important thing to pack is clothing that will bring your child comfort and meet their needs in terms of any tactile issues your child might have. Don’t forget those important items you might need like the right bathing suit, or underwear that’s comfortable. Otherwise, wherever you go, you’re going to be going to Walmart and buying something that will work!
You can bring new things but try them out at home first. Sometimes you’ll bring a new bathing suit only to find that the straps are too tight and the kid won’t wear the bathing suit. Then you’re frustrated, and we all know this story—it happens all the time. So new is great, but make sure it’s new that we understand or bring a backup that you know will work.
3. Remember Their Sleep Schedules
No, you can’t pack sleep, but this is the third issue that’s most important on trips. Our kids struggle with changes in patterns, and time changes and being up late. As much as possible, stick with some sort of schedule that will promote rest and sleep for your child. If they’re sleep-deprived, they’re not going to be nice people! None of us are nice people when we’re sleep-deprived.
And here’s a bonus tip: Talk to your therapist and find out what specific sensory and motor activities your child will need during that vacation so that you can all have a great time. Give us a call! We want to help you have a relaxing and fun summer trip.