If you’re like most parents of a special needs child, then the idea of taking your family on an Orlando vacation is likely both exciting and scary. The good news is that countless families have been there before you, and they have incredible experience and suggestions. Here are seven quick tips that can help you take control and feel confident in your abilities.

special needs child travel1.         Be brave!

Special needs kids and their families are often afraid when they’re away from home. Don’t let your fears take over your trip – be brave and remember you’re here to have fun!

2.         Planning is essential

Your best chance at success comes from planning, planning, planning. Of course you’ll also have to be flexible, but having a foundation will make the trip go much more smoothly.

3.         Talk to your doctor

Your physician knowns your kid better than anyone. Ask them for recommendations, tips, and get information for your travel pack:

  • List of all prescriptions your child is taking
  • Physician’s letter describing your child’s condition and needs
  • Phone numbers of your physician
  • Recommendations for physicians in Orlando
  • Health insurance information
  • Contact details for medical supply companies you may need access to

4.         Pack extras

special needs child toyThe old adage is true here: better safe than sorry. Bring more than you need of the special items your kid is going to want. When you have a few extras on hand, you won’t risk your own meltdown if a family member drops or spills something on your child’s medicine, workbook or other necessity.

5.         Remember: you’re in charge of your personal essentials

Don’t assume you can find exactly what you need once you’re in Orlando. If your child needs a specific toy, medical item, or security item, the last thing you want is to be halfway across the country from home and not be able to find it. Make a checklist of every essential item you need and double check it before you leave.

6.         Find the best transportation for your needs

Orlando has innumerable transportation options. You can rent a car, take free resort shuttles, or flag cabs. As you consider your options, don’t just take cost into mind. Is your child going to have a much more peaceful time if you spend an extra $20 getting a cab versus taking a shuttle that may stop several times?