9 Tips for Traveling with Autistic Children

Everyone wants to travel to get rid of the everyday pressure from the workspace and to get away from their usual daily routine. This is common for every person, including children, but a child with ASD does not feel the same way. Travelling can sometimes be overwhelming for them. As a result, the entire trip may become something stressful and burdensome.

Travelling with autistic children may become a little more hectic than usual. But does it mean you should stop travelling at all? Of course not. You can travel with your child with ASD if you keep a few things in mind. What are those? Follow the tips we have mentioned below to have a satisfactory vacation with differently-abled kids.

Things To Remember While Traveling With Autistic Children

If you are an autistic parent or one of your children is autistic, being mentally prepared to travel is as necessary as boarding the flight. So, we have mentioned all the things you need to keep in mind before and during travelling:

Mark The Calendar

Any sudden travel plan may be exciting to you. But your autistic children may not feel the same about it. Children with autism feel overwhelmed and scared when they suddenly get notified of any trip. Try to avert this kind of situation. So, we suggest you put a calendar on your children’s study table and inform them about the date you decide to set out. Ask them to mark the date on the calendar. It can help them to prepare themselves mentally before boarding the flight.

Keep The Comfort Items

If you have enrolled your children in an autism treatment program and if you are aware of their condition, you better be prepared to travel with them. For example, if you have decided to go somewhere by flight, the take-off and landing may affect your children negatively. They may get annoyed. So, do not wash the comfort items before travelling. You can carry a blanket or a plush toy with you. These can help them to feel at home and comfortable.

Candies and Snacks

When travelling by plane, everyone orders food in the terminal. But if your children are picky or on restrictions, consider buying some candies of their choice. You can also buy some fruit gummies if your children get comfortable using any oral sensory stimulation.

Autism Trained Employee

It may not sound important, but the truth is that children with autism often tend to become excited and overwhelmed. At a time like this, it becomes difficult to handle them since you are not at home. That is why consider looking for a hotel where employees are well trained to handle children with autism. They can suggest you various places to visit. They can also spend time with your kids and make sure that your holiday is spent well.

Practice Exercise

Usually, travelling somewhere far is a lot to take. Sitting in a place for hours can be annoying at times. It becomes even more tiresome for kids. If you have autistic children, it can be problematic for them. So, engage your children in some physical exercise at least two weeks ago before setting out for the trip. Choose the exercise that can increase your kids’ motor skills. For example, you can ask them to jump on a trampoline, run a few meters, etc. These are some of the best ideal activities, helpful for kids to sit patiently during those hours on the train or flight.

Ask Children to Explain the Process

If you are going for a trip by flight, the boarding, checking before the boarding, all things take time. Not to mention, everything gets hectic until you settle on your seats. At a time like this, kids with autism can get nervous and feel a bit overwhelmed. So, explain the entire boarding process to your kids. Tell them they have to wait a bit until they get on the plane. Once you realize that your children have understood everything, ask them to explain the process to you. Ask them to draw some images. If your children use a speaker box, program the device with different pictures of the day. You can ask them various questions about the process too.

Take Care of the Children’s Sensory Needs

Children having autism can have some sensory needs. Any sensory overload can make kids with autism feel worse. For example, the humdrum of the hotel, different sounds, and smells can make them feel stressed out.

So book the hotels when there is no peak time. If you want to visit any attractions of the place, visit the comparatively quiet places to save your child from being annoyed. You can also talk to the hotel staff and ask for their advice.

Soothing Environment

As we have mentioned before, a lot of noise and humdrum may irritate kids with autism, and you may end up not enjoying the trip at all. So, always choose a quiet place for your vacation. For example, you can go camping in a beautiful place where your kids can run as much as they like, jump and play as much as they prefer. This kind of place makes kids feel free and helps them to stay away from unwanted noise. Not only that, the soothing environment and the calmness of nature can help kids to feel healthier than before, which is helpful for kids with autism.


Boarding is one of the most hectic things to tolerate for autistic kids. So, you can notify the attendant guards about having an autistic kid and ask them to either board you in the beginning or at the end. It can prevent them from being stressed out while travelling.


Kids with autism get affected by external stimuli more often than others. That is why travelling with them can become a little hectic. But just like every problem has a solution, you can handle them if you remember to follow the tips we have mentioned above.

About the author of this guest post

Gordon, K. Ph.D., is a psychologist with over 15 years of experience diagnosing and treating children with autism. She is a former neuropsychology professor and has trained both parents and professionals on matters related to autism and psychological disorders. You can inquire here.