Mastering Travel with Children: Tips for a Smooth Autism Travel Journey

In this episode, we dive into the topic of traveling with children, addressing the concerns that arise for parents, whether their children are on the autism spectrum or typically developing. 93% of families who have a member with autism state that they want to travel, but only 13% brave autism + travel.  Our guest, Rachel Smith, shares her recent travel experience with her two young sons. We discuss the increase in conversations on our active Facebook community about keeping children occupied during plane rides, and the tips you need to have a successful trip! So whether you are embarking on autism travel or just looking for activities for travelling with kids, you are in the right place. 


  • Traveling with children: Addressing concerns and tips. 
  • Desensitizing Kids to wearing headphones
  • How to make autism travel successful
  • Must-haves to buy before air travel.
  • Activities to keep the plane fun!

We emphasize the importance of being over-prepared and offer insights into how we packed specific bags with activities and snacks for our children. We explore the unique challenges faced by parents traveling with children on the autism spectrum, highlighting the significance of familiarizing them with items like headphones before the trip. Keeping autism travel succesful, means planning!

Headphones for Travelling

We dive deeper into the process of introducing headphones to children long before the flight, starting with corded headphones that maybe have no sound and gradually transitioning to noise-reduction headphones. We discuss the benefits of headphones in noisy environments like airplane bathrooms and the importance of periodic breaks from wearing them. Preparing to wear the headphones before the flight can especially prepare children with autism for travel.

We also share strategies for preparing meals and snacks, packing single-serve snacks, and pre-packaging items to minimize mess and potential arguments. We advise against packing liquids or gels due to airport regulations.

Keeping Kids Safe While Travelling

Our aim is to provide practical tips and considerations for parents traveling with children. We stress the need for FAA-approved car seats or approved rider safety vests for added safety and convenience. Sometimes, for autism travel with young kids, having their familiar seat can keep them secure and happy during the flight.  Practicing good behavior on the plane, such as using quiet voices and keeping feet off the seats in front, is also important.

For parents traveling with children with special needs, we recommend avoiding boarding first and giving children a chance to run around before the flight. They may invite you to board early, but autism travel sometimes means doing things a little differently for success.  Limiting electronic usage before the flight so that they are excited to watch and downloading episodes to watch offline can also be helpful.

Travel Activities for Kids

We discuss the challenges of changing diapers on planes and recommend using water wow and color wonder books as engaging activities for children during the flight. We share various travel activities for kids and tips to keep children entertained, including busy books, travel-size games, Play-Doh packs, crayons, coloring books, stickers, and window clings. Travel activities for kids, and snacks are the real keys to keeping the journey smooth! 

The overarching theme of this episode is keeping kids engaged during travel or downtime. We stress the importance of being prepared and proactive in reinforcing positive behavior. We provide practical strategies and solutions for keeping children engaged during trips, regardless of their developmental needs or delays.

For more travel tips and activities, check out the MotherCould website and follow us on Instagram. Join the conversation on our active Facebook community and search for the “Turn Autism Around” page. We are here to support you and make your travel experience more manageable and enjoyable for everyone involved.try