Autism, travel, parenting and mental health

10 Autism Travel Essentials for Under $10

10 Autism Travel Essentials for Under $10

I’ve talked a lot about things we do to prep our kiddos for travel. I have also talked about the things we take to make sure we can handle any sensory or anxiety issues that may come up while traveling. But in this post I’m going to show you ten of the best travel essentials for people on the autism spectrum for under $10. Because traveling is already expensive enough without having to buy a ton of expensive stuff to keep your loved one safe! So here is my list of autism travel essentials!


1.Ear Protection 

I have personally bought the most expensive “autism” ear protection in the past. From my experience they were not worth it; either they didn’t last long or they were uncomfortable for my kiddos. When it comes to sensory issues, if kiddo is uncomfortable it agitates everything else. So the expensive ear protectors did not work for us. If they do for you, great; but if not you can give these a try or just pick some up at any sporting store near you!

2.Skin Ointment

Maybe it’s just my kiddos that have super sensitive skin, or that they haven’t always been able to verbalize when things were bothering them. However, there has not been one trip we’ve taken that they haven’t gotten some sort of chaffing, heat rash (underarms), or other dry spots or cuts. These travel size Auqaphor are perfect to throw into your travel kit and have on hand with you at all times!

3.Sensory Chews

My kids haven’t needed these in a few years, but they are awesome, and helpful for extra sensory input! They come in a two pack which means you have an extra on hand in case one goes missing! Because they always seem to go missing…

4.Sensory Items

These have frequently helped with waiting! If you’re waiting for a table at a restaurant, or waiting for a movie to start these are great fidget items to help your loved ones maintain their sensory comfort!

5.Kid Stuff

Of course if your autistic kiddo is an adult you can tailor this to them but for us, these are a great item to keep our kiddos busy. They are great for plan rides, car rides and everything in-between!

6.First Aid Kit

I’ve come to understand that part of being a kid is getting hurt on anything and everything. We travel with a first aid kit everywhere, because we always seem to need bandaids and pain meds. This pack comes with 100 items and is perfect for travel!

7.Portable Charger

Because, iPads, cell phones and whatever other technology you travel with will only last for so long.

8.Bag Organizer

This may seem like a non-necessity, however, when your child is in the throws of a meltdown, its way easier to reach into your bag of tricks for help if everything is organized. Plus this way you know exactly where everything is, without even looking!

9.Face Sunscreen

If you have never had the pleasure of applying sunscreen to an autistic child that absolutely loathes sunscreen, I can tell you it’s not for the faint of heart. Then once you’ve got their body covered you remember, you still have to do their face, ears and neck. While there isn’t much you can do except prep them for it, and go slowly, we have found this great product. It is a face sunscreen that is dry touch! So it does not feel as uncomfortable as normal sunscreen. Kiddos are in love with it because their faces don’t feel “gross” after we put it on them.

10.Door Alarms

These are absolutely necessary if you have a kiddo that regularly wanders. When my kiddos were small, we could keep them in a hotel safely with the door latch, because they couldn’t reach it. Now that they are taller we had to figure out a new method to keep them safe. These are perfect for traveling and for hotels with little or big kiddos on the spectrum. They also give parents peace of mind while sleeping.


You may not need everything on this list, but with these 10 items under $10 you can help your kiddos or adults on the spectrum navigate their spectrum while traveling. Is there anything that you take with you traveling that is a necessity? Leave me a comment and let me know if you have any great ideas you’d like to share with other special needs parents! 

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