Going on vacation is extremely beneficial for the whole family. It gives you time to get away from the stresses of life, spend quality time together, and have new experiences. However, as someone who has a child on the spectrum, I know all too well the challenge of finding vacation spots that work for us.
Thinking about vacationing with a child on the spectrum can be overwhelming and stress inducing. This is because many go-to destinations can be too loud, too crowded, and too different from routine for a kid on the spectrum. So, I decided to find some amazing Autism friendly vacation spots that your whole family will love!
Autism Friendly Vacation Spots
Traveling with children on the spectrum is full of challenges, but there are several places that actually cater to children with Autism. Check them out, below!
#1 Wyndham Garden Hotel, Texas
You may not think Austin, Texas as an ideal spot to take a child on the spectrum, but Wyndham Garden Hotel makes this an easy choice. The rooms in this hotel have been designed for families with children on the Autism spectrum. Each room features:
- Quiet locations
- Baskets with snacks and games
- Special safety features
- Carpets and surfaces cleaned with non-chemical cleaners.
In addition to an Autism friendly hotel, you can find autism friendly sights and activities in Austin, Texas as well! Here are a few: Austin Nature and Science Center, Thinkery Children’s Museum, Austin Aquarium, and Barton Springs.
#2 Beaches Resorts
Did you know Beaches is the first resort company in the world to complete the rigorous IBCCES training and Autism Certification? Beaches proudly offers families with children on the spectrum and other special needs specialized services, engaging activities, and custom dining options. Their child care staff continuously receives competency training in the following areas:
- Sensory awareness
- Motor skills
- Autism overview
- Program development
- Social skills
- Emotional Awareness
You can visit multiple locations with this resort. Check out the website for more information.
#3 Royal Caribbean Cruise
If you want a vacation spot that is all inclusive and completely Autism friendly, Royal Caribian Cruise offers Autism friendly initiative for families living with Autism, Down Syndrome, and other developmental disabilities. These include the following:
- Sensory friendly films
- Sensory friendly toys
- Dietary menu options
- Autism friendly training for Adventure Ocean Staff
- Priority check-in
- Adventure Ocean flexible grouping by ability
- Adventure Ocean toilet-trained policy exception
- Pagers/phones for parents who sign their child into a care program
In addition to all cruises being Autism friendly, the cruise line also offers Autism on the Seas. These are staffed cruises that cater to families with children, teens, and adults with Autism or another disability. You will receive extra professionally trained staff caring for 2-3 special needs guests at a time, specialized respite sessions, and private activities and sessions.
#4 Edaville Family Amusement Park
Carter, Massachusetts is an amazing spot for those on the Autism Spectrum. Here, you will find the Edaville Family Amusement Park which features Thomas the train,Dino Land, and more. This park offers a train car-turned quiet room with weighted blankets and toys. Those on the spectrum can also receive fidget toys while waiting in line.
Additionally, you can visit the park during their Sensory Awareness Weekend in which the music is turned down, whistles are shortened, and altered, and accommodations are ready and available.
#5 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
On a recent trip to Myrtle Beach, we learned that Myrtle Beach along with Surfside Beach have earned an Autism Friendly designation. With hotels, restaurants and attractions all completing certifications, the entire community is working together to make sure that everyone has a fun time.
Before you arrive in town, be sure to request your CAN Card this card signals to local businesses (whose staff have all undergone training) that someone in your group has Autism. They have been trained appropriately to assist you and your group with your needs. As a bonus,
#6 Greece, A Million Senses
Are you thinking about heading out of the states? A vacation can be challenging in itself, but heading out of the country can be even more challenging. But, A Million Senses can make this experience easy, unforgettable, and does all the work for you! Their mission is to create a wonderful holiday to Greece for individuals with ASD families that are fully adapted to their needs. You can choose from several destinations which include:
- Athens, Greece
- Corfu, Greece
- Leptokarya Pierias, Greece
- Xylokastro, Greece
- Crete, Greece
Places we Have Stayed
With having a child on the spectrum, we have to carefully choose our vacation destinations. Take a look at some of my other posts to see places where we have stayed that have been accommodating:
More and more vacation spots are becoming Autism friendly. What vacation spots have you found? Please share them in the comments below!