How to Travel with an Autistic Child
Whether you suffer from anxiety or occasional carsickness, almost everyone has a unique need to consider when traveling. Still, those who are traveling with an autistic child — or traveling with autism themselves — face an even greater challenge when planning their getaway.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever for these special travelers to make the most out of their trip. Furthermore, agencies like Orlando Vacation have specialized training for helping clients travel with an autistic child, regardless of their destination — so don’t hesitate to contact us today!
Now, to ensure your family’s experience is as enjoyable as possible, keep the following travel tips in mind to help your child feel comfortable throughout.
Prior to Your Trip
Since most vacations for special needs families involve flying, there are a few proven strategies you can use to keep your child’s anxiety as low as possible. These include:
- Increasing Familiarity: The more that your child knows what to expect, the less likely they are to be frightened by the unfamiliarity of an airport — or even a new rental car. So, be sure to review as many details as possible, including the process of entering security, the sensation of flying, and more. Pictures can also be of great help!
- Bring Comfort Items: If your child has a comfort item, it’s wise to bring it along. Avoid washing it close to your departure date, as its smell of home can help soothe fears.
- Create ID Tags: If your child has wandered off in the past, it’s a good idea to create wearable ID tags to ensure someone else can help them find you again if they get lost.
- Release Energy: Whether you’re driving or flying, your child will spend quite some time sitting in a chair. So, grant them the opportunity to exercise prior to departure!
During Your Trip
You’ve finally made it to your destination! Now, make the most of your vacation with these tips:
- Make Special Requests: Most parks offer special services for guests with cognitive disabilities, so be sure to call before your arrival to make requests.
- Schedule Breaks: It’s important to occasionally get away from the commotion and recharge. Contact us to find autism-friendly resorts in Florida located near your destination!
- Pack Emergency Items: Headphones, activity workbooks, tablets, and other emergency items can be a lifesaver when your child needs a comforting distraction.
- Have Choices Available: Though you might be tempted to plan every aspect of your trip on your own, granting your child a sense of responsibility can help them relieve anxiety. Try letting them pack their own backpack, choose snacks, and more!
- Make a Routine: We know that kids traveling with autism benefit from familiarity, so creating — and keeping — a routine can keep them from growing anxious.
Need Help Planning?
If the prospect of traveling with an autistic child seems overwhelming, there’s no reason to fear; you’re not alone. Contact Orlando Vacation today to speak with an experienced vacation agent who can work with your unique requirements and plan a memory-making getaway.