It is not long now til we leave to go on the holiday of a lifetime.
I have to say I am really looking forward to going away and spending some quality time with my family.
Planning this trip has not been a walk in the park and having children that require just a little extra help just adds to the situation.
What kind of planning am I talking about?
Firstly I have to pick my destination carefully by researching the country and what services can be provided while being in that particular country.
Then I need to work out what attractions and places to suit my family. For example; knowing Jensen’s interest with Dinosaurs and Dragons.
Charlotte’s interest in Lego friends and Lalaloopsy.
Andrew interest in Science and marvel/DC comics
Of course mine interest in everything Disney and being able to see culture.
Next is working out time frame for activities and places that will accommodate those interests for all the family.
Disney has Star wars, Princess, Dinosaurs and Toy story. This is a tick for my family
Lego land will have lego friends for Charlotte and Lego city / star wars for Jensen
Andrew will have Star Wars in legoland.
I get to see everything Disney and walk around each city.
Well I have those plans in my head now I have to work out money and if we can include accommodation, flights and attractions.
mmmm Money is tight but I think we can do this.
This is when I found a travel agent that could understand my needs as well as my wishes.
Once I had all of this sorted I then went into planning phase.
Disneyland and Disneyworld have great apps and great ideas on how families can have an amazing time while in their parks
They can accommodate for Children and adults who have additional needs by using a special pass.
I have then been able to find wonderful website that will also help me with my journey to the USA. I am very fortunate that I have had some friends go over there already and give me all their tips and hints.
I found podcast to help a lot along the way, I started to understand what was happening and learning what I needed to know to help prepare the family for this trip. There are great guides, helpful hints and even app’s to get you around the parks.
I was able to find some great youtube clips to show Jensen and Charlotte what kind of rides there are at each theme park. Jensen discovered something I didn’t even know at one of the parks. He showed me and we become just that little more excited.
Then I needed to make visual cues for Jensen so we could prepare him for the flight, for the airport and just the USA in general.
I search for books that would be appropriate for Jensen and Charlotte. I looked on Amazon were able to get some great title books
Amazon is a great way to find these books and a lot of the time the prices are really good value even with the postage.
The internet is a great resource to help with preparing for a holiday.
I have found some great websites that also help with ideas.
Autistic globe trotting like me this is from a parent’s point of view and it has been a wealth of knowledge. I have found similar blogs and websites that you just put in the search button. The down fall is going through them and making the right choice on what suits your situation at the time.
Family Friendship circle another blog that has some recommendations for traveling on the plane or taking a holiday.
Good little traveler. Though this blog has not been updated for sometime and it is very hard to get this dvd. I was very fortunate that I have a copy for my family to watch each time we travel. It is one that is a great preparation for any little person.
I have found many overseas companies that can help with different items like wheelchairs and access passes.
Families with children/adults with additional needs have such a wide variety to look at for travel.
It is sad I would say Australia is behind when it comes to travel and families with additional needs. Unless you are in a service that can help provide this information. Normally it is not forthcoming.
It is a lot more money to organise a simple holiday in australia than it is to go on one overseas.
Unless I am mistaken I have not come across many australian blogs or websites to assist with planning this holiday. We are just very lucky to have an internet that provides view of the world.
I have put together the itinerary for the family knowing there is a lot of flexibility involved in case it rains or Jensen/Charlotte are not having a great day. I just will take each day as it comes.
I found that these resources for our trip can also be used on small little people that dont have additional needs. It is all about planning to prepare the child to help prevent the anxieties and meltdowns.
When I am planning my holidays I really need to think about the purpose, where, what and how am I going to pull this off. Are my family going to enjoy themselves? When my family enjoys themselves I know I have done a wonderful job and organising this trip.
I know from all my research that not all theme parks are the same as Disney. They are not as accommodating to additional needs people. This is a shame for excluding them.
When I get to these places I will be discussing if there is anything available because on their website it is not a place for this like Disney have done. Then I can review my thoughts on this subject.
Well done to Disneyland and Disneyworld.
I am going to sign off and wait for the next adventure our trip that is finally here.