Whether you’re flying or driving with your special needs child, packing the right things is essential. Some of these tips may seem obvious or simple, but with so many things to keep an eye on it’s easy to forget the most obvious and simple things. Take a look at these great packing tips for special needs kids.
Keeping the kids safe
First and foremost, make sure you’re taking care to keep the kids safe. This includes having ID cards and / or a copy of their birth certificate, some type of bracelet, sticker, or temporary tattoo that has their name, your name, their diagnosis, and phone number, and seat belt restraints if you’re flying.
Do your best to bring your kid’s favorite, familiar foods. Make sure you bring more than you need in case there’s a delay in travel or you run out of other activities. Great snack foods for planes include crackers, raisins, cutup apples, granola bars, and baby carrots. A great rule to follow is to focus on protein and skip sugar.
Dress your kids in their most comfortable clothing for the flight, and be sure to bring a sweatshirt. No matter what time of year it is, it can be pretty cool when you get up to 36,000 feet. In fact, it’s a good idea to bring an extra blanket, too. It’s also a smart idea to bring along a pair of headphones. Some kids really enjoy the steady hum of the plane’s engines, while others will be driven crazy by it.
Hygiene and health
You may think there’s no way you’d forget medication, but you’d be surprised by how many parents pack medications instead of carrying it on. Remember that you may have a flight delay or you may have an issue getting your luggage. Bringing it in the carryon allows you to assure it’s available at all times. Wipes are a great idea too, and always come in handy. They’re perfect for wiping your child’s hands, cleaning toys, and wiping out stains. Hand sanitizers are another important element that will help keeping everyone healthy.
Activities, toys, and entertainment
Keeping the kiddos occupied is essential. Some great options include:
- No mess art supplies
- Toys they can fidget with
- Card games
- Drawing boards like Doodles and Etch A Sketch
- Finger puppets
- Movie player
- Music player
Your kids can have the time of their lives at Disney World, but traveling with special needs kids does require taking extra precautions. These tips help keep everyone happy, healthy, and can reduce the chance of meltdowns while traveling. Make a checklist the week before and add things to it as you get closer to your trip to assure you’re grabbing everything you need.