ADHD-Friendly Tips For Travel During The Holidays

According to the United States Department of Transportation the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest for travel. The number of long-distance trips increase by 54% at Thanksgiving and 23% at Christmas time. I’m sure this comes to no surprise, especially if you’ve been in an airport during November or December. You have witnessed the crowds and felt the anxiety and stress all around you.

So in hopes of easing some of the stress that comes with the busy travel season, I've provided a few tips that can help:

1) Use the Vacation Checklist - available in our downloads, this free guide can be used as a roadmap to prepare for your travels. You can add and delete wherever you see fit. My guess is, there will be something on the list that you didn’t think of and that's the point. The key to reducing stress and being more successful is to write down what you are thinking and rely less on your memory. 

2) Pack Mindfully - One of things people often do is overpack. The less you have, the less you have to cart around and remember when you leave. Plan your outfits by the day and think of items that go with more than one thing or can be worn more than once. Picking a color-scheme can help with this. If you have access to laundry services, then pack even lighter.

Make a list of the items you plan on packing and check that list off as they go into the suitcase. The key here is the item doesn’t get checked off until it is actually packed, that way you avoid forgetting anything. Bring a copy of this list with you, so when you pack to go home, you go through the same process. Many people forget this step and then end up leaving items at grandma's and grandpa’s house.

Another resource is a great video from Real Simple titled, "How to Pack a Suitcase." There are some helpful ideas and I highly suggest taking a look at it prior to packing.

3) Be Prepared when Traveling with Children - When I travel with my kids, I always try to be as prepared as possible. I pack lots of healthy snacks and water and I have been known to let them buy something new to play with, like a new book to read, coloring or activity book, or even a new app on their electronic devices. If your in the car, it helps to take breaks often to let them run around or if you are confined in an airplane, getting an aisle seat for the kiddos can also be helpful so they can move around more. 

On Everyday Health, I found a great article called, "Children with ADHD: Family Travel Tips." I especially like the focus on praising good behavior. I know in my own experience, that approach has always made our trips more successful. 

For more resources around traveling, take a look at some of our past shows on Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast: 

Downtime and Finding a Recharge with ADHD

Prepping for your Digital Summer Travel

Tips for Planning a Vacation - Last Minute

I would love to hear more about your travel experiences. What tips or ideas do you have around holiday travel? Are there other topics you'd like to address? If you'd like to share, please call us at 541-644-4ADD or leave a comment on Twitter or Facebook.

Until Next Time...

Take Care,