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Challenge: Kids with Special Needs

How to Successfully Travel with a Special Needs Child

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Destination: Travel

So, you’re ready to fly to your destination. Everything is prepared and ready to go from snacks and diaper bag for the ride to your best double jogging stroller to push your kids around in at your new location.


Preparation is an important key for traveling and will also give your child a system for how the traveling is being planned and will help them to adapt to the change.

Getting There Successfully

Traveling with your special needs child could be a fantastic experience for you and your child. Your special needs child may have different needs than other, but these tips will still benefit you and your child have the best trip you can!

Tip 1: Snacks and Toys

Snacks are important, but only if they are snacks that increase movement and motion. Things like snack cakes and candy aren’t stable sugars and can cause crashing and irritation. You want to bring snacks with healthy sugars, such as veggies, fruits, and crackers.

These types of snacks increase movement by having to move their hands and fingers continuously. This is useful for improving development and coordination.

Same with toys or games you bring along. These games should be something engaging and will help stimulate your child. This will continuously work their brain and keep them occupied for the trip duration.

Tip 2: Engage and Entertain

If games and toys are keeping your child occupied, try talking to them and entertaining them yourself. Try joking around, tickling, and even play some ‘I Spy’ games to engage and help your child gain critical thinking and deduction skills.


Try watching a movie with your child and talk to them about the film, ask them their opinions and thoughts. Try to keep your child entertained and engaged with you, so they aren’t focusing on the plane ride or car ride that is taking a long time.

Tip 3: Comfortability and Sleeping

If your child is in a wheelchair, if you can take them out of the chair and the spaces next to you are empty, try having them sit in the seat next to you if you’re on a plane. Have them lay down and put their head on your lap to gain quality bonding time.

If your child is uncomfortable and tired, they can become irritated and cranky. If they become vocal, the people around you may not be so happy, so it’s best to try and accommodate your child to help make them comfortable and help them rest.

Tip 4: Meals and Medications

If you’re on a very long flight, I find that the meal you get can make for an interesting conversation with your special needs child. This is particularly the case if the meal you are about to enjoy is international cuisine!

Medications can be difficult to administer on a flight, but remember the staff is there to help you however they can. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask, but if you can manage yourself, medications are best administered with mealtime to make it easier if you help feed your child.


There are my four tips on how to travel with your special needs child, mostly by plane, but also by any other method. Remember that hunger, lack of sleep, and boredom can make for an angry and cranky child.

Hopefully, with these tips, you can help ease your child’s trip anxiety. I hope you arrive at your destination quickly and with everything going well.

Do you travel with your special needs child a lot? Where are some of the places you have taken your child? Do you have any tips you use that you would like to add to my list? see more at my blog:

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