Thankfully the internet makes this so easy. Months before our trip, I Google my destination, read reviews, watch the videos on YouTube and review all associated hashtags on social media. The more knowledgeable I am on the destination, the better I can plan. Traveling with an Autistic son makes this task a necessity. Now that my son is a teenager I allow him to be part of the process. He reviews videos with me and I address any questions or concerns he has before we depart. This reduces his anxiety…and mines.
A few weeks before the trip we create a personalize calendar where I try to list any major activities. For example: Dolphin Experience on Monday.
3. Bring A Bear!
Always pack a teddy and/or any favorite toys. Being far away from home is easier when you bring a friend.
4. Be Prepared
I am a traveling medicine cabinet and I am not afraid to say it. One of my biggest fears is being in a far away land without the meds needed to stop a fever or vomiting episode. I use an awesome hack from my good friends at Pinterest. This is a great idea to keep all the meds organized and visual when needed. I hang this from my hotel or cruise closet door.
5. Be Proactive
I always take copies of all our travel documents including birth certificates, health insurance cards, guardianship document & recent IEP for my Autistic son just in case I need to explain or prove his limitations. I also email the same information to myself.
6. Be Smart
I pack and label an empty water bottle to take with me to restaurants. Instead of serving drinks to your kids in a cup that 9 out of 10 times will fall all over the table…I ask them to fill the bottle and save me the aggravation. I also travel with a few packs of juices in my luggage inside a Ziploc bag just in case they get thirst in between meals.
I know folks have mix feelings on this last one but as an adult I still enjoy pictures and VHS videos of memorable experiences from my childhood. I sure wish I had more memories to share with my kids. I never leave home without my phone and at times I take my professional camera too. I like to take a lot of videos and pictures to playback whenever I need a laugh or motivation. Pack your phone charger, a portable charger and camera.