If you can answer these five questions…
then you have a plan for your special needs vacation.
No matter what system you use for planning your vacation
, you need to answer these questions. Once you have done that, you do have a plan.
As to the system. Use whatever suits you. It can be anywhere between the back of an envelope up to a Project Management app on your smartphone. (Yes, those are a thing.) If checklists are your thing, we’ll be publishing some at a later date.
Who? This should be your first question. Obviously it is you and your child. So, maybe, the question is really “who else?” Immediate family? Extended family? Friends? Others? Exclude complete strangers (please) and you’ll still have some possibilities. We’ll talk about this in the very next posting.
When? Does your job have seasonal peaks and troughs? Do you need to take account of school breaks? This comes with a follow up question. How long do you want the trip to be?
What? As in what do you want to do? Sun and sand? Visit a big city? If so what do you want to do in that city? Answering this question may be very central to success for kids on the spectrum. If they have special interests or fascinations, are you able to include those within your trip? If you can, it will make for a good vacation.
Where? The answer to this will certainly need to take account of your answer to “what?” but, hopefully, there will be a number of options even when you’ve allowed for that.
How? Of course, that is the big one. Some, or even most, of the answers to this will be obvious when you have figured the answers to the others. This also has a follow up question. How much? You won’t be able to answer that until you have all of the other questions answered. And, of course, you do need to know how much you can afford within your family budget.
The answer to one question has an impact on some of the others. For example, you want to do sun and sand (what?). That answer may impact others (when and where?). The Jersey Shore in February may not be so much fun.
Start by recording some of your answers on a sheet of paper and amending them as you go along. If you get to the point of needing those Project Management apps, you’ve probably overthought it. (By the way, on our count, the Apple Store had 14 different apps for this)