Traveling With Autism

June 20, 2023 - Ellen Mason and Alicia Ferre

Traveling With Autism

Authors: BCBAs, Ellen Mason and Alicia Ferre

Here are some tips and tricks families can use when traveling over the summer for vacation! With some preparation, vacations, and travel can be fun and exciting, and stress can be minimized for you and your child! In this blog, we will be going over three different areas regarding travel – bathrooms, food, driving, and flying!

Preparing for the Trip – How to Make It Easier

While traveling, you will encounter various bathrooms at restaurants, airports, or parks! To ease the stress around novel bathrooms, you can bring wipes, extra clothes in case of accidents, or a travel potty seat for comfort. In addition, you can practice using rest-stop, gas stations, and restaurant bathrooms before your trip!

Another area that can be tricky to manage is snacks and meals. If your child has any comfort food or snacks, you can pack a snack bag so that your child has access to familiar food. Before your trip, practice dining out at new or different restaurants in your area to practice this skill!

If you are driving to your vacation destination, pack a bag of new and fun toys for your child, such as sensory toys, coloring books, an iPad, or any small surprise your child will enjoy! You can also request a hotel room far from most noise if your child has difficulty sleeping.

Travel Resources

If you are flying during your trip, there is a program called the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program. There are over 200 airports across the world that participate in this program. Individuals with hidden disabilities can get a lanyard with sunflowers on it to wear at the airport, which would subtly alert employees that the child might need some extra support or time.

Walt Disney World Resort offers a host of services to help Guests with cognitive disabilities—including those on the Autism Spectrum—maximize their Resort experience. Services include advanced ticket purchase, stroller and wheelchair rental, rider switch, break areas, access attractions, companion restrooms, and dietary accommodations. For more information, please contact Disability Services at (407) 560-2547 or email

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the vacation with your child! With preparation and practice, it will be a great time.

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June 20, 2023, Ellen Mason and Alicia Ferre

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