Waiting in long lines, trying new foods, walking through packed crowds, dealing with motion sickness…traveling with kids is not easy. And for families with children on the autism spectrum, there are often even more challenges to consider in order to ensure a successful vacation. Which is why for many parents of children with neurodiverse kids, the thought of travel can be so intimidating that they may not even attempt it. Yet every family deserves to travel, asserts Dawn M. Barclay, travel expert and author of Traveling Different: Vacation Strategies for Parents of the Anxious, the Inflexible, and the Neurodiverse.
In her book, Barclay interviews psychologists, travel agents, parents and more to create a travel guide for families with special needs. With best practices for navigating air travel, rail travel, cruising, hotels, restaurants and more, there’s a wealth of information in her book for all kinds of scenarios and concerns; but here are seven travel tweaks that the expert says can promote an enriching vacation experience. (And by the way, these tips are helpful for all families, not just those with neurodiverse children.)