Monday, 28 May 2012
The Autism Society is committed to providing information that will help you live your best journey with autism. In celebration of the unofficial start of summer, we would like to share with you this helpful list of vacation tips. Read on and please share in the Comment box your own experiences and lessons learned while traveling. And don’t forget the sunscreen!
If you’re traveling with an individual with autism this summer, check out the following tips from experts to make the trip more enjoyable for all.
Plan in advance. Call ahead and inform the airline, hotel, resort or cruise line of the individual’s situation, and inquire what special accommodations (for example, fridge inside room) are available.
- Prepare the individual before and during the trip on what to expect. Use pictures, the web or objects, as appropriate, to communicate.
- Don’t hesitate to explain and share information about autism to others you may encounter, including flight attendants, hotel staff, employees at the amusements you visit and other vacationers.
- Bring familiar items that you think will make him or her more comfortable.
- Select vacation destinations with environments you believe the individual can handle.
- Book a cruise or resort vacation during “low season“ so there will be fewer guests and the staff will have more time to devote to your needs.
- Travel by car if flying or other public transportation seems too difficult.
- Choose hotels/motels with kitchen suites or room service so you have the option to eat in your room.
- MP3 players with headphones, loaded with favorite music, can soothe individuals who are disturbed by noises. Personal DVD players can also help make a long trip more enjoyable.
- Adhere as closely as you can to aspects of the individual’s normal routine.
- Whatever happens, stay calm and remember tomorrow you can always try again.
Many thanks to the Indiana Resource Center for Autism and Dr. Cathy Pratt of the Autism Society Board of Directors for their work on these tips.