Family Vacations Can be Fun!

 In Parent To Parent Blog

Does the thought of going on a family vacation seem daunting and impractical because you feel overwhelmed at the thought of managing quirky, self-injurious, or violent behaviors that your child might exhibit in public; you also fear stares, rude comments, or judgments by others. Totally understand the apprehension….. been there, done that!! Our son, Alex is on the autism spectrum so maintaining predictability and avoidance of sensory overstimulation for Alex can be challenging on vacations. By trial and error we have been able to plan our vacations in such a way that gives Alex a sense of security and comfort while the whole family ends up having long-lasting memories that we will always cherish. Within this blog I will share with you helpful tips and tricks that you can consider using so you and your family can be inspired to enjoy a well-deserved family vacations in the near future.
My husband and I have always enjoyed traveling and with our son’s inquisitiveness and sense of adventure he too is a travel enthusiast. Despite how enthusiastic Alex is about traveling I still worry about the potential meltdowns, issues with new settings and over-stimulation each and every time we travel. Be reassured, Alex has had major meltdowns on vacations that would make the most seasoned parent vow to never take another trip with the child. Through my own self-discovery over the years, the key to have the confidence that your family is prepared to travel and will enjoy the trip is to sufficiently research and plan ahead of time. The attached Vacation Tips and Trick Checklist is a consolidated list of items that I have discovered to be helpful as I research and plan our vacations.
Each of our families have just as much right to experience the pleasure of vacations as any other family that have neuro-typical children. We all need to get comfortable with the fact that each family enjoys vacations in their own unique way. A vacation is for your family, not anyone else’s family. It might look a little different, and that’s okay. Accept what you have, define your own fun and make your own memories.
For example, during one of our vacations we visited San Antonio, Texas. As a well-organized mom I had a daily schedule laid out for the entire week. Our first stop was to spend the day at Sea World. Alex was so EXCITED. As we were wondering through the park that morning we stumbled upon the Sea Lion Show. Alex was quite restless as we waited for the show to begin. But as soon as 2 adorable sea lions, named Seymour and Clyde, came out Alex became mesmerized with the show. When the show was done Alex immediately wanted to see the show again. Needless to say, for the next 2 days we watched Seymour and Clyde perform 6 times. By the end Alex had the entire dialogue of the show memorized and knew every minuet change that occurred in each show. Seeing how much Alex enjoyed Seymour and Clyde I spoke to the staff and was able to arrange for a behind the scene encounter which allowed Alex to meet Seymour and Clyde in person. Alex loved every moment of the personal interaction he had with the sea lions. Did I have in my schedule for us to be at Sea World for 2 days, see the same sea lion show 6 times and have a personal meet and greet encounter with Seymour and Clyde? Is this how most families would want to spend their vacations? Absolutely not, but with our attitude of being flexible with our schedule, accepting the fact we are a unique family and had the confidence to define our own definition of fun, we created family memories that we could of never imaged. To this day, anytime any of us sees a sea lion we think about Seymour and Clyde.
Do you have any tips and tricks to share? We would love for you to share them on the below comments. OR Mosaic Haven knows how time consuming the research and planning a vacation can be. If you need any assistance please contact our Concierge Services.

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