Advanced Pediatric Therapies

Kid-Powered

Have Holiday Travel Planned? Some Tips to Get You There….

on October 29, 2014
The holidays are a busy travel time.

The holidays are a busy travel time.

Traveling these days can be anxiety provoking for anyone, let alone our kids!  Before traveling this year, consider these tips.

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare!  Let your child know when you are leaving, where you are going, who you will be visiting and what you will be doing.  The more they know ahead of time, the less likely the tantrum.
  • As part of the preparation, do an activity.  Have your child make a drawing of their cousins.  Show them pictures of their aunts and uncles if they haven’t seen them in a while.  Or show them photos of your destination.  Even showing them photos of the inside of an airport, security lines, etc.  Let them know!
  • All of us who travel know that it can be a frustrating process.  There may be delays or other unforeseen circumstances.  Have a back up plan like a travel game or photos or a favorite book.  If your child has a “lovey” that’s manageable, let them bring it!
  • Noise reducing headphones, post it notes, usually-not-allowed treats and stickers go a long way to reducing stress when you need it.  During the travel itself, be a little looser with the rules.  It will help everyone breathe a little easier.
  • By all means, if you are staying with friends or relatives, prepare them for your child’s needs and behavior.  If your child requires special seating, let them know you need a special spot.  If your child has special food requirements, pick them up ahead of time or let your family know.  If they know what to expect, your family and friends will be willing to help.
  • If your child’s behavior is an issue, talk to your therapist about how to manage it ahead of time.  This can include using routing planning charts, receiving special buttons for good behavior or other techniques.
  • Don’t plan too much!  Keep sightseeing and activities to a level that allows for rest and time to hang out.
  • Be willing to change the plan if it’s not working.
  • Keep food and other daily expectations as close to what they would have at home as possible.
  • Remember to have fun, connect with your child and enjoy the time away.  Research shows that vacations are the perfect time to work on ridding yourself of bad habits.  Think about that as you give yourself some much needed downtime.
  • If your child’s vestibular processing predisposes them to motion sickness, prepare with some ice cubes, water and perhaps an over the counter remedy.  Some parents we know swear by lavender essential oils to ease motion sickness on a long car trip.

Have a great trip!

photo from familytravel.com

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