Use online videos to create a sense of familiarity
In today’s world, many tourists create short videos and share them on YouTube, Flickr, and Vimeo.
Search the destinations you are about to visit and bookmark them so your child can watch them repeatedly to familiarize himself or herself with the places.
Library books and movies
Before you set out on your adventure, head on to the local library for books and movies about the places you will be visiting.It can be especially useful for look for picture books and children’s books to interest younger kids in the sites you will explore.
Do a quick Google image search and bookmark or print some pictures for a social story that you can put together on everything that can be expected during the trip.
The collection should include photos of the airport, airplane, train station, and ship when applicable, as well as the hotel(s) or any other planned place of lodging and the different landmarks or attractions you’ll be visiting.
For lower functioning kids it might be helpful to create a picture schedule for the day-to-day activities that your child with autism can follow throughout the course of the trip.
You may want to have your child write a report or write down a few of the things he or she is excited to see.Your child with autism can also use this report to share information with other friends and family members who are planning to travel with you.
Travel presents a unique opportunity for kids with autism to learn how to use maps.
Teach your children to read maps with online applications like Google maps
where they can track all the places you are about to explore.
Attend dry-run flights or cruises
Some children may benefit from attending mock flight organized by airlines and airports or visiting a cruise ship for the afternoon to give them (as well as their parents) a sense of what to expect during the actual travel.
For events in your area get in touch with the leading autism organizations the likes of Autism Speaks, contact your local airport
or check with the major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean
for specific dates.
Download family pictures
Bring a bit of home with you by downloading on your phone or tablet a few photos of the home, family members, friends, and pets to remind your child that they will all be waiting patiently for his or her return.
Bring along some favorites
Many moms to kids with autism have fondly nicknamed it the bag of tricks but in reality, each parent should pack whatever fascinates their child and can hold their interest for prolonged periods of time in places like airports and flights.
Suggestions for your family’s bag of tricks
can include coloring books, reading books, board games, fidget toys, DVDs along with a player, I-pods, I- -phones and I-pads.
Pack some comfort
Along with taking the right gear to keep your child entertained, you need to make sure they will feel comfortable especially during bedtime. So, make sure to replicate the conditions of your home while you are on the road by bringing along whatever your child is accustomed to sleeping with whether it is a sound machine, stuffed animal, or favorite pillow.
Have you traveled with a child on the Autism Spectrum-what tips would you like to add?