I don’t know about you, but taking trips takes a little bit more planning for our family. We often have to think about accessibility or what accommodations we will need.Join Erin and me on the Unexceptional Moms podcast as we talk about tips for vacationing with kids with disabilities. We asked some of our Facebook friends and we got great suggestions and tips we share on this episode.
Fair warning, sometimes I share too much. I blame it on doing a podcast with my best friend and being used to sharing it all with her. But hey, I am being real, and maybe you’ve done this, too. (Please let me know I am not alone or I might be feel embarrassed for the rest of the month.:
Listen to the show:
Tips from the show:
- Travel with food. Plan on snacks and make a menu.
- Travel with pillows and blankets to be comfy.
- Technology and tablets help.
- Books on tape.
- Travel with a potty.
- Take several breaks to walk around.
- Drive at night (if your kids will sleep through).
- Bring your chargers and make sure you have some for the car.
- If you can, bring a respite provider with you (Erin shares her recent trip with their respite provider).
- Be flexible.
- Respect your child’s limitations and needs.
- Be willing to split up if necessary so everyone can do what they want to do.
- A good vacation doesn’t mean it has to be like everyone else’s vacation.
- Sometimes staying at an Airbnb is better than staying in a hotel.
- When flying bring food, but no water. You can bring empty water bottles and fill them up after you made it through security.
- Pack toys or items that are new for the kids so they will be entertained.
- Most airlines allow you to have a purse and carry-on bag per person.
- Noise cancelling headphones can help with the sensory overload at airports and in airplanes.
- Watching shows with head-phones.
- Sometimes you can board earlier if your child has a disability, but keep in mind you will be the first and then the last person in the plane.
- When you travel with a wheelchair, you check it at the gate. Your child can be on it until they board the plane. When you arrive at your destination, they bring the chair to you. Most likely you will be the last person there.
- If you have layovers, 90 minutes is good but two hours is better.
- Sometimes, airports allow people with disabilities and their families to take a separate line when going through security. Not all airports do that.
- For kids who elope, there are cute little backpacks with a leash for those comfortable with it. There is also the buddytag and the joeytag.
- Use permanent marker and liquid band-aids to write information on a child’s arm who could elope and could not give that information if lost. There are also tattoos and bracelets.
- In some places you can rent special-needs strollers.
- For the best vacation for a family impacted by disability, please look into the Joni and Friends family camps.
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