Traveling with children can be a handful, but if your child has special needs then a holiday may be more challenging, but it’s not impossible! All it takes is good planning and a bit of extra research. There are steps you can take and destinations you can choose that will make the experience positive for the entire family.
Prepare your child for the excitement.
It’s natural that your child will be excited to go on holiday, but that excitement can quickly turn to confusion, panic, and temper outbursts. If your child has never been on holiday before, consider going on a day-long “test holiday” to see how they respond to the changing environment.
If possible, choose destinations that feel more familiar; climate, terrain, food, and culture that are similar will help your child adapt. Even in foreign destinations, you can help by choosing a resort stay that surrounds your child with elements that feel familiar.
Set firm rules.
Before leaving, explain to your child what the trip will entail and see if they have any questions. Set ground rules on what will be expected in their behavior and what will happen if these rules are broken. Stick to these rules.
Choose a friendly, full-service location.
More and more accommodations are offering full-service childcare facilities. Club Med offers a “Children’s Club” that is especially notable for how active and engaged it keeps your children. Before you finalize your booking, call ahead to notify the staff of your child’s needs and ensure that the location is able to provide an appropriate level of care.
Bring some of home with you.
Any item that has special significance for your child can be extraordinarily helpful. The most tried and tested approach is bringing your child’s favorite movie and a portable DVD player. Even in an exotic locale, that dose of Pinocchio or My Little Pony can work wonders in calming your child down.
Have a care group on call.
Your standard care providers should be made aware that you’re going on vacation. Some providers may prescribe as-needed medication for stressful situations. Request the most accessible number of these providers in case of an unexpected reaction to medication or an especially volcanic meltdown. Additionally, track down a number for at least one care group at your destination.
By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your vacation helps you shed some stress rather than adding new layers of tension.