April 11, 2017

vacation tipsSummer is around the corner and many families are planning family vacations. For families with children with special needs, this can be a daunting task. Depending on your child’s needs, you may have extra equipment, medical precautions, and other limitations to consider.

Epic is here to tell you that there’s no reason to let these obstacles to get in your way. With a little extra preparation and planning, your family can have a memorable vacation too. Here are a few of our top tips for vacationing with special needs:

1) Pick an Accommodating Destination

Unfortunately, not all vacation spots are ready to handle the challenges that children with special needs may present. In a perfect world, every kid would be able to visit any vacation destination without trouble. Until then, it’s important to pick a place that will make your child feel right at home.

Google will be your best friend in this endeavor. If you already have a destination in mind, do a quick Google search to see what other special needs parents have experienced there. If you don’t have anywhere in mind yet, check out Friendship Circle’s list of vacation spots for children with special needs.

2) Celebrate Your Unique Family

What makes a vacation special is the bonding time with your family. For some families, this might mean thrilling roller coasters for hours on end. For others, this might mean long afternoons with toes in the sand. Whatever is fun for your family is fine!

Don’t pressure yourself to have Instagram-worthy moments to the point where you forget to celebrate your family. Your family is unique, and your vacation will be too. There’s no sense in trying to fit into a box that was never meant to contain you.

3) Prepare for Takeoff

Make a checklist of what you will need for the flight and check it the morning of. You can do the same for a roadtrip. Pack things like fidget toys, other activities, snacks, and anything that brings your child comfort during stressful situations.

4) Talk to the Pros

Before you head off on your adventure, talk to your child’s medical team. They may have special precautions they need you to take or tips they have learned from other families. It never hurts to reach out, and you might learn an awesome new trick. Epic’s staff is here to help.

5) Plan Like You Mean It

This is especially important if your child is very schedule-centered. Although it can be a lot of work to plan so much in advance, it will be well worth it when your vacation goes smoothly. Once you have a plan, you can make visual aides to help your child understand what to expect each day. This may help your whole family have more fun and fewer meltdowns.

Wherever your family decides to go, we hope you have an Epic time. Remember that with a little planning and the right attitude, you can make happy memories that will last a lifetime.