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Summer Travel Tips
from Independent Speech, LLC (Web-based speech-pathology)
Summer is the time of year many people venture out and explore. Whether you are exploring a nearby attraction or traveling across the country there are many travel tips you can use to make traveling with someone who has a disability a little easier. This tips may not work for everyone or for every trip but hopefully some of them will help make your vacation easier and more enjoyable.
First, know where you are going. Once you pick your destination research it either in print or on the internet. Learn about things that are important for your loved-ones needs and how your destination can accommodate for these needs such as if they are wheelchair accessible, allow service animals, etc.
Think ahead about what things you may need during your journey that are necessary for an enjoyable experience. For example, pack extra drinks or snacks to ensure you have them when needed to avoid a frantic search at the last minute.
If you are flying, let he airline know that you are traveling with someone who experiences a disability and what accommodations you need to make the flight a pleasant one. When booking your flight consider flight length and about changing planes or layovers. Make adjustments where needed to make the trip the best it can be. For example, when booking a very long flight some elect to break it down into two days so it isn't so overwhelming while others plan a non-stop flight so that they only do everything once. Think about what works best for you and your loved one before making arrangements.
If you need medication be sure to pack enough for the entire trip. It is a good idea to pack an extra days worth of pills in case something happens such as one falls down the sink, your trip gets delayed for some reason, etc. Pack all medication in your carry-on bag. Delays and lost luggage can occur and you don't want to be caught without your medication.
When you book the hotel alert them that you are traveling with a person with a disability. Let them know what accommodations are needed. Many hotels offer rooms that are wheelchair accessible or will book you in a room next to the exit so you can take your service dog out for potty breaks.
If you are driving or renting a car call ahead to ensure they have the type of car that meets your needs. Also, if you need a handicapped parking placard from the state you are visiting you should find out how to obtain a temporary pass for the duration of your trip.
Keep a copy of your travel plans with you including your hotel's name and location so that if you get lost you can use this to help you get back on track. It is often helpful to have a plan and a back-up plan you can easily switch to in case of unknown events. For example, you are planning to visit a museum and a pipe bursts causing the museum to be closed. If you know (in advance) that there is another great museum two blocks away you are able to easily adjust your plans with little confusion which reduces stress for everyone!
Bottom line, try to think through everything ahead of time. There is no way to plan ahead for everything that may potentially occur but thinking through things would help to ensure you are as prepared as you can be. In the end, remember it is a vacation for everyone so try to relax and enjoy both the journey and the destination.
Speech Therapy While Traveling
If you are currently receiving speech therapy and are planning a trip over the summer talk to your speech therapist about things you can work on while on vacation. They should be able to provide you with some activities you can work on during your journey (such as in the car or the plane) or while you are at your chosen destination. These activities can be very simple things you can incorporate into your day.
Don't forget to protect your ears!
Many will be enjoying various summer activities that include loud sounds such as loud music, mowing the lawn, fireworks, etc. While many will remember to use sun block but most do not think about protecting their ears when enjoying summer activities. When around loud noises such as lawnmowers, concerts or fireworks. If you are going to be participating in these activities bring ear plugs with you. There are many fashionable ear plugs on the market that range in color and patterns so that you are able to choose and let your children choose the ones they like best.
Another thing to keep in mind is the use of ear-buds. These are the headphones that fit inside your ears. Remember to turn these down. Also, remember that if you are wearing them when engaging in a noisy activity such as mowing the lawn, working out, etc. Beware that turning up the volume to drown-out the background noise you may be hurting your ears. These ear phones deliver sound right to your ears so keep the volume low!
So when you protect you skin this summer also think about protecting your hearing!
Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.
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