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Tips & Tricks for a Special Needs/Disability Road Trip

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

We all know that Road trips can be stressful, but with Integrity Destinations by your side we can assist with itineray planning, make your hotel reservations & plan for attractions/stops along the way.

Here are several tips & tricks for road trips:

Travel always involves some risks for children and/or adults with medical needs or sensory issues but there are also significant benefits for traveling by car, such as:

  • You will be able to bring medical equipment or comforting items from home.

  • You will have the freedom to make as many stops as necessary & to customize your itinerary.

  • Road Trips create special opportunities for up close & personal periods of family bonding.

  • Changing your daily routine & exploring new environments to learn new life skills.

  • Developing emotional regulation.

  • Stimulating speech & language development with constantly changing scenery

Some things you will want to prepare ahead of time are:

Car Saftey:

  • Install child seats correctly, using the manufacturers instructions for your seat/car.

  • Consider using covers for belt buckles.

  • Be sure to turn on child locks for doors & windows.

  • Limit the number of distractions for your child. Such as removing items they can throw into the front seat and/or out the windows. Seat organizers can be a great way to keep the back seat where your child sits clean and free of objects.

  • One week prior to departure you will want to make sure your car is trip ready. Some things to get checked are: brakes, fluids, tires, air pressure and get an oil change.

  • It is always a good idea to have an Emergency Kit in your car! Your kit should include: a first aid kit, extra water, blankets, jumper cables, batteries, flash lights, etc.


  • Prepare a cooler with your favorite drinks & snacks and necessary medications. There are many different types of coolers including refrigerated ones that plug into the 12V DC receptacles.

  • Stop along the way to restock as needed for potty breaks & exercise.

  • Suggested snacks: dried fruit, water, & high-fiber cookies

Medical Equipment:

  • Bring the right equipment (if you have the space) or let Integrity Destinations help you rent the correct equipment for any hotel stay and/or attractions along the way. Items we are able to provide are medical beds, CPAP, weighted blankets, wheelchairs (for all terrains), etc.

  • Let Integrity Destinations know about your needs so we are able to best assist you.


  • Bring a 1 page medical history that lists all medicines, physicians letter (include contact information), bracelets for wanderers, & insurance cards/plan.

  • Travel Protection Plan - Integrity Desitnations reccomends that you purchase a Cancel for Any Reason Travel Protection any time you travel. We work very closely with several reputable companies.

Prepare your Child:

  • Write a social story for your child and/or visuals

  • It may be wise to separate children if possible & allow them to change places after each stop.

  • Make regular stops every 2-4 hours for potty breaks & exercise.

  • Don't plan on driving more than 6-8 hours per day.

In Case of Emergencies:

  • Please contact your Integrity Desitnations Travel Advisor for assistance with any necessary changes to your reservations.

  • Be sure to know where the closest Hospital or Emergency room is in case of an emergency.

  • Bring extra cash in case of car troubles or other emergencies.


If your pet or service dog is coming on the road trip with you make sure to pack the following items in the car:

  • dog/cat bed, crates, leash, harness, food, water, bowls, favorite toys, towels, poop bags, seat cover/barriers

  • Don't forget carpet cleaner, paper towels and trash bags in case of accidents in the car or hotel room.

  • Integrity Destinations will make your reservations at pet friendly hotels, if we know they will be joining you.

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