How to Relieve Stress for your Visual Learner When Traveling this Holiday

Wow it has been a long almost 3 years!  And many of us have not been able to physically celebrate holidays/vacation with family or friends who live far away.

Travel is stressful as it is; but traveling with kids,especially kids who are VISUAL and sensitive can be even more challenging.

Here are some suggestions you might want to try. Depending on the age of your child, choose the ones that work best for you and them. Just remember though, if your child learns differently than you, you might not think making visuals is that important “I told her what we were going to do” or “I told him what to pack” might work for you, but it has no impact on your VISUAL learner child.

If however….. You too are visual… know that what works for you might not be the same for your child!

Pre “sell” where you are going and who you will be seeing.  Today we have the advantage of so many visual tools. Use them.  “Grandma and Grandpa’s house” ,” the beach”, “snow resort”

Have your child do some research WITH you- about what activities you could do. Plan out a possible schedule with the explicit understanding that plans might change- Plan for change! 

“What could we do if that does not work out?”  Remember, your kids visualize things AS IF THEY are real– and they are to them! It is why putting activities on paper helps so much. If plans change, these can be moved. (“later” means “never”- in their mind.) Have some choices available so that your child does not focus on just one thing.

Familiarize (or refresh memories) of people they may see. Use photos to re enforce  who they are and how they relate to you. (Great Aunt-what does that mean? High School friend,etc). Talk about and practice how to greet and address them. If your child has any hesitation about meeting people, listen to their concerns and problem solve together.  This has been a long period of not having gatherings. We forget that for 10 year old kids, this was a LONG time ago!!

If you have favorite stories to tell about experiences you had with them, share them. Find photos to help. You want to encourage as much positive energy and visual experience as possible. This really helps your kids acclimate to a different environment with the minimal number of surprises that could set them off kilter. 

 Remember to include your coming home! What will be here when you return? You are not just going away; you are coming home too.

Create a packing list together. In writing, (add pictures if needed). Talk about the various activities you might do and what clothing or special items you might need.  

As for preparing for travel- Expect and plan for delays.  (If they don’t happen, celebrate!)

Be sure to have food, snacks and drinks (EMPTY water bottles if flying!).  Besides what you think your child might like- have your child help you with this as well. Cold slices of pizza, cheese sticks, sandwiches- even if flying early in the morning! There is something about airports that make kids hungry and buying food there is both expensive and at this time of year, can take a long time.

Be sure to talk about the different possibilities of delays when traveling– not to scare your child- but to “make it an adventure”. How you frame the conversation, your tone of voice, your body language, your own feelings about it- will be VERY APPARENT to your child. They take their cues from you.  

Check out your local Dollar Store, Target or Walmart for the $1 baskets of puzzles, pocket games. Be sure you include games you can play together. Engaging with your child through this travel adventure should be a positive memorable experience for all of you.  My fondest memories, and longest lasting funniest experiences are travel related! (Travelling Overseas with 4 kids under 10, when your flight is delayed for over 4 hours, resulted in the first ever TWA Olympics. (Note: that airline doesn’t exist, but our happy memories do!]

Above all COMMUNICATE- CALMLY with your child(ren). Give them some autonomy to make choices. Laugh often. Bring music. BOTH ARE GAME CHANGERS for changing moods.

Most of the delays are beyond your control; you can only control how you respond. ENJOY the ADVENTURE.  BE SAFE.   REPEAT often!

You may also like…

Privacy Policy