7 Perks to Traveling with Your Special Needs Child
Traveling with kids is hard; “like between a rock and a hard place” hard…or “between rest stops on the interstate” hard. Traveling with a special needs child can feel insurmountable; your house is an oasis, It is home base, It’s where you hit the reset button at the end of the day. To leave familiar territory can sometimes feel challenging. I’m a homebody at heart, I’d be happy in my “hobbit hole” with occasional jaunts into the open air. So why try? Well, as much as I hate to admit it, everybody needs an adventure. We all need to shake things, up to shake the dust off. Our kids need to see new things, eat new foods, sleep in new places and feel wind or waves or mountain air. We need it, too. It’s worth the hassle, but here’s the thing: The strange and amazing thing that I’ve come to realize when I start to fear what’s out my front door: is that it’s actually easier to travel with a special needs child. There are perks, unexpected “kindnesses” and adventures reserved especially for you. Spring break is coming, Summer is coming; here’s to embracing the wanderlust and celebrating the doors that open when you travel with your child with special needs.
1. Handicap Parking
There is “no circling the cement jungle” at a snail’s pace for us. At the restaurant, gas station, hotel, airport and the amusement parks that perfect spot always awaits us. You are a VIP wherever you go, because your child deserves VIP status.
2. Early Boarding
Forget to get to the airport hours in advance to wait in the line and cross your fingers that you’ll be in the beginning of “Group B.” Forget vying to avoid the seat at the back that smells of the lavatory and shares direct contact with the food cart. Families with small children and children with special needs proceed to the gate like “we’re walking the red carpet”. There is no “first come, first served for us.”
3. Disney Access Service Card
I might just go to Disney simply for this one reason. “This magic card” gets you to the front of every ride in the Magic Kingdom because the Magic Kingdom understands that your child with special needs can’t always wait hours in long lines, meltdown or needs to be able to skip the line full of sweaty, sun-screened, stressed-out people.
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