5 Methods to Make Holiday Traveling Easy for Autistic People

5 Methods to Make Holiday Traveling Easy for Autistic People

Holidays are a good time for families, friends, and people to relax, kick back and enjoy themselves.

To make holiday traveling easy for autistic people preparations must be made to not get overwhelmed by the experience.

This can be achieved through the use of things such as social stories, books, visual schedules, and the like.

Autism packs containing items that help relax or distract during holiday travels are also a must-have.

Planning for breaks during holidays which will be used to maintain balance for people with autism should also be utilized.

Much more information that is helpful if one wants to make holiday traveling easy for autistic people is hammered on below.

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Abigail Corless, LPCC

Abigail Corless, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Brooke Moraski, LPCC, NCC

Brooke Moraski, LPCC, NCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Andreea Felea, LPC

Andreea Felea, LPC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Jackie Erwin, LPC

Jackie Erwin, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Kristen Yamaoka-Los, LPC

Kristen Yamaoka-Los, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jasleen Karir, SWC

Jasleen Karir, SWC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Stefanie Kerr, LPCC

Stefanie Kerr, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021

Prepare Adequately 

People on the spectrum thrive on set routines and a holiday is a huge disruption to the flow they are used to.

Preventing the adverse consequences which may occur due to said disruption is done by taking steps before going on a journey for the holiday.

The use of social stories, visual schedules, picture books, and real-life practice helps alleviate possible effects a change in routine may have.

These tools help to pass information concerning holiday travel to someone with autism.

These tools help because they give an idea of the way things usually go before travel and during the holiday.

These guides can cover road, air, and any other kind of trip that will be used to get to the holiday location.

They also cover expected behavior and possible chain of events that will occur.

Making an easy-to-follow schedule that touches every step of the holiday is advised.

Overall, good preparation helps to make holiday traveling easy for autistic people.

Take an Autism Pack With You

Unfamiliar settings can have an overwhelming feeling for people on the spectrum. 

To make holiday traveling easy for autistic people steps should be taken to reduce the effects the intake of new environments and the presence of new people can have.

Autism packs bring along fun distractions which help calm and center people on the spectrum during holiday travels.

Autism packs are usually filled with items that have positive effects.

The things which can be found in an autism pack vary depending on the likes and needs of the person concerned.

They could be headphones(particularly noise cancellation types), interesting books, smart devices which are loaded with books, music, movies, videos, etc which are fun and are enjoyed by the person concerned, favorite toys or stuffed animals, etc.

These items help before trips and during their duration.

They are also used during the holiday when things start to get a little too much.

The content and distraction provided by these items bring a sense of fun and comfort.

Practice the Use of Public Restrooms 

The problem of familiarity will always come up for experiences that are part of holidays when people with autism are involved.

This means that activities such as using conveniences can become a problem when done in unfamiliar territory by people on the spectrum.

According to coaches, this phenomenon can be termed "Home field advantage".

The stress, irritation, and even episodes associated with the use of public conveniences can be prevented or reduced a lot by practice before a holiday.

Practicing with public restrooms before travel can be done at any public convenience outside the home or familiar territory of people with autism.

This practice can be encouraged with praise on attempts.

Monitoring fluids being taken also helps increase or reduce the probability of using public conveniences depending on desired outcomes.

The plus side of making this something familiar is that it is not only useful for holiday travels but throughout life.

Plan for Breaks

This involves planning in a way that does not disregard the normal schedule and routine that people with autism have grown accustomed to.

Routine is a big deal and should be considered even when introducing a new ingredient like a holiday.

The planning of events should be done at times of the day when an autistic person is more relaxed and calm.

Whether an autistic person is in a relaxed or calm state can affect the trajectory of a holiday in a good or bad way depending on which state the person is in.

Knowing this, to make holiday traveling easy for autistic people keeping them in a relaxed and good mood should be used to secure a surefire fun experiment for everybody involved.

It is needed to tick all desired boxes for a holiday.

Flexibility should be used when trying to do this and should be used with careful observation.

If signs of distress are detected, breaks should be used before sensory overload leaves the person with autism too overwhelmed to enjoy the holiday.

Inform the Hotel About the Autistic Person

One of the best things to do when using a travel company is to call up their customer care line to inquire if they are accustomed to taking care of customers who are on the spectrum.

In cases where they are, further questions should be asked to know if these companies have special programs that you can take advantage of.

Some travel companies have recently begun to use programs that help travelers on the spectrum on their journeys so research on the existence of such programs is important.

Besides the programs, some travel companies have practice security screenings.

Some have also started to provide neurodivergent lounges where people with autism can stay in.

Many airlines also have no problem with helping people with autism check in and board faster to help with the possible sensory overload that can be triggered by grueling waiting.

These extra provisions are not limited to airlines as travel companies dealing in other types of travel provide support as well.

Hotels should also be informed and reservations should be done beforehand to avoid complications upon arrival.

Asking for quiet parts to be reserved is also one of the details that when taken care of generally helps to make holiday traveling easy for autistic people.

Conclusion

Parts of the holiday experience such as travel can be a bother for the average person and can be even more worrisome for people on the spectrum due to the possibility of a sensory overload that comes when put in new environments.

Care must be taken in preparation to avoid this possibility and to make holiday traveling easy for autistic people.

To achieve this, make a good preparation for the journey, bring along autism packs, practice the use of public restrooms, plan for breaks when necessary, and inform businesses that will feature in plans about the person with autism.

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June 18th, 2024

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