Autism Friendly Holidays
As you can imagine, here at HolidayPirates we are often receiving requests from various people with a multitude of requirements. We have a great team back here that work endlessly scouring the internet to come up trumps and help you all with what you need. One request that is made regularly is for autism friendly holidays which are safe and suitable for families. What we discovered on our investigations is that there seems to be quite a limitation on this and of course the price is always high - not fair huh, well us Pirates set to work to see what we could come up with to help make great savings on holidays to suit you!
- The National Autistic Society
- The Carer Van
- Badaguish Outdoor Centre Scotland
- Happy Kids Holidays
- Major Tour Operators
We would like to start with the fact that this was no easy task for having no experience in the subject, so any extra input anyone can add which you think would be helpful for other members would be more than welcome, just drop us a comment below. One thing we did notice reoccurring in much of the information we were digging through was that Autism friendly holidays often cater for the autistic member of the family alone, this is a family holiday right? There should be something in it for everyone, that's not a selfish thought, that's an unselfish thought - So that's our aim. To find holidays that are not just "suitable" for the WHOLE family but "enjoyable" for the whole family too.
The first thing we discovered was that UK Autism Friendly Holidays were much more sought, this being due to the trails and tribulations of getting to the holiday destination to start with. The hustle and bustle of the airport and the tight confinement of a plane could be extremely distressing in itself so that is where we started my journey.
We found many helpful sites on the net such as The National Autistic Society (probably old news to anyone reading this) however it was a great place for us to start. A charity run organisation with stacks and stacks of helpful information including a great section on Autism Friendly Holidays (click here to view). They point you in the right direction for accommodation and venues of tried and tested holidays with plenty of information for your to browse through, everyone is different after all and will have specific requirements.
One of the holiday venues that is advertised on this site is for "The Carer Van". This is a static campervan which is modifed and equipped with everything that could make your stay a pleasant and happy one. This caravan was purchased after fund raising by the Borders Aspergers & Autism Group Support and has recently been upgraded and modified. Located conveniently on the borders of Scotland making it ideal for many surrounding areas and within easy reach on the main train lines of Newcastle to Edinburgh and Carlisle to Berwick this carer van, as you can imagine proves very popular.
What pleased us most (and no doubt you too) is that the price for hiring this caravan is really reasonable! You can hire the carer-van for as little as £160 for a four night break or if you are looking for something peak season in the holidays then this will only set you back around £450 for a week! Not bad for the whole family of up to 8 people. Check the Carer-Van out HERE.
Badaguish Outdoor Centre in Scotland offers an active and adventurous holiday for any family, it has bags of attractions and facilities within the area for you to explore and a massive range of activities on site you will be spoilt for choice. Badaquish also offer respite breaks where they will provide 24 hour care to your loved ones so you know they are in safe hands. Family breaks can be booked at this great centre and their accommodation is fab, specially designed lodges which are equipped with everything that you could possibly need or want will make your stay a very pleasant one, have a look at Badaquish Outdoor Centre HERE.
Want to head a little further afield? Check out the Happy Kids Holidays Website they offer fantastic autism friendly holidays to France which provide a wonderful break for the whole family. Happy Kids Holidays was founded by a British Teacher who shortly after moving to France recognised the difficulty in families getting enjoyment from holidays due to the lack of options available to them when it came to Aspergers friendly holidays. After making some enquiries, bish bash bosh, Happy Kids Holidays was born and immediately families began to flood across to France to take advantage of the care free and happy environment that was provided.
What this great lady did was make communication with the French Authorities to ensure she was all registered and above board and then spend time contacting cottages and holiday lettings owners to discuss with them what she had in mind, you can rest assured that only the best and fully accommodating letting properties were taking on board after a lot of research.
As well as finding you the perfect venue for your holiday Happy Kids also offer an array of other support and facilities to assist you with your holiday planning, whether that be meeting you from the airport, a spot of baby sitting or shopping or even accompanying you on day trip, they are there to help. CLICK HERE to check out this great holiday experience site.
So we have come this far, is it time to take the bull by the horns and head up into the clouds in search of warmer climates and cocktails by the pool?
There is much planning when it comes to taking such a task on board but there are ways to make it easier on yourself. Maybe a visit to the airport a few weeks prior to your departure to make the surroundings and the process a little more familiar, the last thing you need on the day is a big shock. Get yourself plenty of travel brochures and scour the internet and sites such as TripAdvisor for pictures of the accommodation you choose. Google Street Map is also a good way to "virtually" walk around the outside of your hotel and surrounding streets. Prepare your holiday in advance, check out the local attractions and choose as a family what you would like to do, that way you will have a routine to follow. Being organised and knowing what will happen from one day to the next.
Plan your holiday carefully, a villa or apartment may be more suitable to allow more space and cooking facilities to avoid busy restaurants and cafes. When choosing your resort, make sure you are choosing one which is not too far from the airport so that you are not stuck on a coach for a long time after your flight.
Believe it or not, large holiday companies can be autism friendly we have heard they are incredibly supportive and helpful in terms of planning and making the in-flight experience as pleasant as possible for children with autism, this applies to all the major scheduled carriers, charters and low cost carriers. Many of the carriers offer in-flight activity packs for children also which can be handy for giving the children to do whilst flying, but it also might be a good idea to bring along some of their favourite toys and/or book. Make sure you make contact with the airlines before you travel to fully update them with your requirements/needs. Thomas Cook offer a good range of Villa Holidays at reasonable prices, have a look at this one we previously blogged, there is plenty of space and it is also located in more of a rural area for peace and quiet.
If you have any tips, tricks or ideas for making your family holiday a fun and pleasant one? Let us know, we would love to hear from you. You can drop us a message below or send us a private message through our contact button. Alternatively check out our Facebook page where we are always happy to help.