Are you traveling this summer? Are you bringing your kids? Here are 4 tips to help you maintain your sanity, and perhaps even be able to relax a little on this summer’s family vacation.
1. Are we there yet?! Avoid the long-ride blues with something new. A new toy or book can take the boredom out of a long car or plane ride. Don’t want to spend half of your vacation budget on new toys? Arrange a toy swap with a friend, family member, or neighbor. Odds are, she’s looking for something to entertain her kids too!
2. Flying into the unknown… Has your child/children never had the experience of flying on a plane? Are you anxious about getting through security? Wings for Autism has you covered! A free program started in 2011, Wings for Autism is offered at all metropolitan airports across the United States. This half-day event allows you to prepare your child for the check-in process, the security screening, boarding the plane, preparing for takeoff, and exiting the plane. The program allows for a simulated airport experience to prepare your traveler for the big day!
3. What are we going to do today? Though you may like to “turnoff” and go with the flow on vacation, it’s likely your child does not want to be without a routine. A visual schedule of vacation activities can assist in creating some structure. Knowing the available options, and being able to create a vacation-specific routine by arranging the activities into the order they want, may be fun for both you and your kiddos!
4. What did you do over summer vacation? It is likely that your child will hear this question more than once when she returns to school this fall. While you’re away, assign souvenir challenges to assist your child in collecting artifacts- keepsakes that will serve as reminders of all the fun you all had. Setting little goals or creating challenges will help your child stay engaged in the activities. It will be something tangible to help remind her of what she did on vacation (and will reduce the number of times you hear, “I’m bored!”). You could challenge her to find the prettiest shell on the beach or the shiniest rock on your hike! Plus, these souvenirs are free!
Whether you’re headed to the lake, cruising out of Fort Lauderdale, or road tripping to Wyoming, use these tips to help make the trip as enjoyable as possible for everyone in the family!
Author: Danielle Tibert, M.Ed., BCBA