How to Plan a Vacation with Autism-Friendly Activities 

December 6, 2023

Vacation time, while exciting for many families, can be a daunting idea for parents with autistic children. The unpredictability of new environments and unfamiliar experiences can pose challenges. 

However, with thoughtful planning and consideration, it is possible to create autism-friendly vacations that cater to the unique needs of children on the spectrum.

Here are so pro tips and tricks for a successful vacation with an autistic child:

Give Yourself Time to Plan

The first step in planning an autism-friendly holiday is to give yourself ample time to prepare. Planning ahead allows you to research and identify suitable vacation spots for autistic children and activities, ensuring a smoother experience for your child. 

Pick the Right Destination

Choosing the right destination is crucial for a successful vacation with an autistic child. Look for vacation spots for autistic children that cater to the unique needs of your child. Consider factors such as sensory-friendly environments, quieter spaces, and accommodations that understand and cater to the needs of children with autism. Trying to research reviews from other families who have had similar experiences can provide valuable insights.

Choose Autism-Friendly Activities

Once you have selected a destination, focus on planning activities that align with your child’s interests and sensory preferences. Look for attractions that offer sensory-friendly hours, quieter periods, or specialized programs for children with autism. 

Pack for All Scenarios

Packing is a crucial aspect of planning an autism-friendly vacation. Be sure to pack familiar items that bring comfort to your child, such as favorite toys, snacks, or sensory tools. Additionally, consider packing noise-canceling headphones, sunglasses, or any other items that may help mitigate sensory challenges during the trip.

Take Small Steps First

For families new to the concept of vacation with an autistic child, taking small steps is key. Start with shorter trips or outings to gauge your child’s comfort level and identify any specific challenges that may arise. Gradually increase the complexity of your vacations as your child becomes more familiar and comfortable with the experience.

Children who are already undergoing autism therapy at home have often shown improved behavior and enhanced communication skills not only in everyday life, but also on family vacations.  
At Step Forward ABA we focus on providing ABA therapy in different settings, helping children build the skills necessary for a brighter future. Serving ABA therapy in Florida, New Mexico, and beyond, we provide autism therapy that is tailored to your child’s unique needs and goals. Contact us today to learn more about Autism therapy at home, in school, and other Florida autism therapy options for your child.

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