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Utilize a Picture Exchange Communication System When Traveling


A mom and child looking at a table.  There is a title that reads Autism Friendly Travel Utilize a Picture Exchange Communication System When Traveling.  As a parent of an autsitic child, you want them to be able to communicate with others when they need to.

As a parent of an autistic child, you want them to be able to communicate with others when they need to. At home, they probably use their device for communication. However, when you are traveling to see new destinations, a tablet or other device may not be readily available. This is where the picture exchange communication system, or PECS, comes in handy. I created an editable travel PECS to use while traveling with my two autistic boys. And yes, it has been helpful in so many ways.


Utilize a Picture Exchange Communication System While Traveling

A mom and her child playing on a tablet.

What is the Picture Exchange Communication System?


The picture exchange communication system, or PECS, is a system that allows autistic children to communicate by pointing to pictures. They can easily make a request, share a concern, and so much more by simply pointing to a picture card.


PECS can reduce tantrums and crying because a child can easily show a person what is wrong or what they need.


Types of Picture Exchange Communication Systems


You can find a wide variety of PECS for your autistic child to use. But most of them will be for use at home. Regular PECS will have pictures of everyday objects and feelings.


While those PECS are helpful at home, they will not be of much use while traveling. Especially if your autistic child needs to communicate with a person outside your family when at a theme park or other attraction. In those scenarios, a travel PECS will benefit your child the most.


Travel PECS can include pictures of airplanes, luggage, theme park rides, restrooms, hotels, and even a family waiting patiently. You could easily order a travel PECS visual online. However, it would probably be easier for you to simply download my free editable travel PECS to use with your autistic family.


Since my travel PECS is editable, you can easily change the pictures so they relate to the type of travel you are taking. This will help you to Utilize a Picture Exchange Communication System While Traveling.


Where to Use Travel PECS


My favorite place to use travel PECS is theme parks. Tablets and devices are not allowed on many of the rides at theme parks. But a travel PECS can be taken on those rides and used as a way for your autistic child to communicate.


Your child can also use the travel PECS to communicate with a theme park employee if they become separated from you.


For the same reason, travel PECS are helpful for use at the beach, in the city, and even at all-inclusive resorts. Oh, and if your hotel or resort has a kids’ club, your child can use the PECS to communicate with the staff and even other children.


How to Carry the Travel PECS


I always attach the travel PECS to a lanyard for my autistic boys to wear around their necks. However, you can also attach it to a keychain latch to be hooked to a belt. Basically, attach it wherever your autistic child is most comfortable wearing it and can use it easily.


You will definitely want it attached to your child in some way though. Your child may not think to pull it out of their pocket in a moment of uncertainty.


Utilizing travel PECS while on vacation with your autistic child can be life-changing. It will allow your child to communicate on their own when they need to in circumstances they may not normally be comfortable in. And you won’t need to worry that they will become upset and overwhelmed because they will have the resources they need to share their feelings and thoughts in a simple way.


Download your free editable copy of my travel PECS today and have another resource available for your autism-friendly vacations.



A mom and her child holding a tablet and looking at it together.  There is a title that says Autism Travel Utilize a Picture Exchange Communication System While Traveling.

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