20 Tips for Traveling with Challenging Children

My five year-old son loves to travel.  He packs his bag a week before we are set for departure.  When we get to security at the airport, he takes off his shoes and sets his bags in the trays to go through.  He loves looking out the window on the plane.  He even loves the food they serve.  He has definitely become a seasoned traveler.

But he likes routine.  He likes order.  He likes to know what he’s doing from one hour the next.  When taken out of his routine, he’s out of sync.

On our recent trip abroad to England and Israel, we noticed that he has gotten slightly easier to travel with, but part of it is that I’ve established tactics to deal with the unexpected behaviors.  Here are twenty tactics I’ve developed along the way to keep in mind before, during and after your trip if you have a challenging child, or two, in tow:

  1. Be patient.  Enough said.
  2. Realize the trip isn’t about you or what you want to do.  Tailor it to your children.  There will be future visits, other times when they’re older when you can travel the way you want to travel.  Have an agenda, but be prepared to change it.
  3. Give your child time to adjust to the time difference.  Allow later bedtimes and later wake-ups.  After all, you’re on vacation.
  4. You know your child best.  If your child has sensory issues, know their triggers and try to avoid them.  For example, if they don’t like noise, try to stay out of crowded places.
  5. Don’t freak out about what your child is eating.  Give it time and realize that they won’t eat like they do at home.  But their habits will improve as the trip progresses.

To read the full list, please go here.

This is an excerpt for an original posting written for TravelingMom.com.

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