Aside from finding time to relax and unwind, another way to unwind and recharge from all the stresses at work is to take advantage of vacation leaves or long weekend holidays. Whether it is just a day trip, overnight trip, or a fun trip abroad, traveling is a great way to take a vacation, even though it may be tiring at times. In line with this, I decided to compile a list of helpful tips that might help aspie adults when it comes to going on a trip for vacation.
1. Know What Kind of Traveler You Are & Your Comfort Level
Before you start to plan, it is important to know what kind of traveler you are and what kind of traveling accommodations you would be comfortable with. Some can backpack and sleep at whatever hostel they find that has good reviews, others need a more comfortable and clean space. This will help you figure out what kind of hotel, hostel or in you should book. Knowing what kind of traveler you are will also help you decide if you are going to go with family, go solo, or go with a group. As for me, I have a big thing about clean bathrooms and a clean sleeping space with a sense of comfort; and I like traveling with a small group of people I know. So, I know, even during the pre-planning stage, that I like booking hotels that are at least three stars (as long as they have mostly good reviews) and up, Air BnB’s that have good reviews, and I like traveling with a friend or friends, or family. If it’s a day trip, going to a familiar place is alright with me, but if its someplace new, I really look at the reviews first.
2. Plan Your Itinerary Well, Have Backups & Do Your Research
I think its a good thing if we do help out in the planning stages of the trip, so that you will have enough time to do your research and know about the different places you will be going to, and where you will be eating at. This will also give you some time to look them up, check out what the layout is, and prepare yourself mentally as to what to expect when you get there. It is also good to know the other places you can go to or eat at just in case things don’t really go as planned. In my case, when I travel with family, as much as I love planning things out, they don’t really let me do the planning because I just get upset when my proposed plan doesn’t push through. During our quick holiday getaway though, I ended up helping plan things out for the day based on my research of the place. It would also be fun to know more about the actual history and facts about the places you will be going to, as you will have a greater appreciation for it. Also, if you will be staying for sometime at an airport, check out if there are any autism friendly places, as there are some airports that might have a particular area like that. You should also know how you will be getting around once you are at the place and what physical activities you will be doing there, so you can also prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for it.
3. Have A List When You Pack
Having an actual checklist really comes in handy when you pack, whether its a quick overnight trip, daytrip, or a longer trip abroad. Having that list when you pack will make sure that you have all the essentials with you, including proper documentation.
4. Have an Autism Alert Card With You & Your PWD Card
When you are traveling abroad, I think it would be a good idea for you to have an Autism Alert Card with you complete with emergency contact information, just in case anything happens. If you are traveling locally, have your PWD Card at the read, as it can be used in most commercial establishments and hotels.
5. Pack “Comfort” Items With You
Packing “comfort” items with you, or items that make you feel safe and comfortable during trips are always a must. It can go from practical, such as me bringing my travel neck pillow with me during long car trips, from bringing my power bank, charger, phone cords, my phone and my earphones. I always make sure that my phone has music that I am either into at the moment or that calms me down, and for the recent holiday getaway I went on, I made sure that I downloaded something to watch during the trip as well. Of course, this varies from person to person, but make sure that your comfort item isn’t too big or bulky as that would be impractical.
6. Emotional Self-Management
One of the big reasons why you should really know what kind of traveler you are and why you should look up where your going is so that you can mentally prepare yourself for anything that may come up. Aside from this, you should be mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared for everything that will come up. It would also be a good idea to think beforehand of unexpected situations that might come up and practice or come up with responses for those particular situations. Sometimes, it is also good to talk with whoever you are traveling with, so that they can help you out just in case. For example, when my family and I went to Hong Kong around two years ago, we made sure that there was always someone who was leading us, or if we had to split up, we always went with a buddy, and we made sure to help one another. Doing all this,In doing so, you will also be ready when it comes to your emotional self-management. Aside from this, you should always be ready for the possibility that not everything will go your way or the way you expected it to be. This will help you manage your emotions better especially when unforeseen circumstances happen and when tourist spots don’t live up to your expectations. After all, you don’t want to be the one who brings the whole group’s mood down, especially if they are still have a good time despite everything. And most of all, just relax and enjoy!
7. Make Sure to Get Plenty of Rest Before & After the Trip
Make sure that you get plenty of rest before the trip itself because traveling and sight seeing will be tiring. Try to get some rest in between the trip itself, especially during the night as well. After the trip, give yourself enough time to adjust, regardless of whether you went abroad or not. You will need some time to adjust and get enough rest to be productive and return to your daily life.
And those are my seven tips for having a smooth and less stressful trip for the adult aspie, whether it be a short day trip, a longer trip abroad, or a quick holiday or weekend getaway.
Do you have any other extra tips to add? Do you, as an adult aspie, travel a lot? Where have you gone? Were there any issues that came up during your trip and how did you overcome them? Let me know in the comments below!