Summer is just around the corner so the kids are almost out of school and its finally time to start thinking about your family summer vacation. However, for families of special needs children, planning the summer vacation can be especially stressful. Over the years, Mom’s of special needs children have shared advice and tips on how to make your next family vacation a great experience for everyone!
- Don’t Be Afraid
The idea of going on a family vacation can be quite scary with medical issues or public behavioral outbursts. However, unless you have specific travel restrictions there is no reason not to get out this summer. Everyone deserves a vacation.
- Plan Today, Enjoy Tomorrow
Plan out every possible detail, from travel stops to destinations and events. The internet is a powerful tool and so is the phone. Find accommodating rest stops, call ahead and ensure hotels are equipped for your needs. It is better to find out now, than while you’re on the road.
- Ask Your Doctor
Sure, there are the basics such as prescription lists, specialists in the area, ensuring you have your insurance information, etc. However, doctors and their staff can be an underutilized tool for such an occasion. They have likely picked up some tips over the years from other families and can be a wealth of knowledge.
- Know the Rules
This is especially important when your family is flying to your destination. Not to worry, The TSA has an entire website with a plethora of information for families with special needs. Be sure to consult this well in advance to understand what steps need to be taken and what rights you have.
- Know Your Limits
Understand beforehand the stress of traveling and plan accordingly, this can be as simple as planning a day of rest when you arrive at your destination. Take a day and let the kids explore the accommodations of the hotel—let the kids go swimming, eat at the hotel restaurant. Once you’re relaxed and rested you’ll be ready to tackle anything that comes your way.
- Don’t Forget the FAMILY
Remember this is a vacation for the entire family, your primary concern will always be about your special needs child. However, try and ensure the other members of your family get some individual attention as well—this includes YOURSELF!
- Have Fun
Have you ever heard of a perfect vacation where absolutely everything went as planned? No. You should always keep in mind a small amount of chaos is unavoidable and don’t let it ruin your vacation. The goal of any vacation is always to see your family having fun together, the memories of family vacations will last a lifetime for everyone involved.