Bus travel is finally on the rise in the last few years after many years of dwindling reservations, and for good reason.The new buses are not the old stuffy, uncomfortable vehicles that dominated the seventies and eighties, but new luxurious ones with extra leg space, assigned seating and free Wi-Fi.
So assuming your child with autism does not get car sick, you should add bus travel to your list of experiences. Here are some pointers to help make the trip more memorable.
- Check multiple websites for the best prices before booking, and always inquire about additional discounts available to students, military, retirees and some credit union members.
- Take advantage of two for one promotion as well as kids travel free offers if valid.
- For multiple trips consider buying a pass.
- Consider booking a short trip (under three hours ) for your first adventure to make sure bus travel is for you and your child with autism.
- Seating- Book a window seat that is next to an outlet in the front of the bus since some people feel more claustrophobic in the back.
- Stay away from back seats that do not recline and what might become smelly lavatories.
What you should remember to pack
- Pack -additional carry-on bags for each member of your travel party and label the bags accordingly
- An extra set of clean clothes in case an unexpected food spill happens and a couple of extra pairs of underwear if sudden diarrhea strikes
- Adult diapers/good nights on longer trips if potty training is an issue.
- Food snacks that do not require refrigeration as well as, bottled drinks, especially water are important.
- Wipes to clean hands, seats, toys, electronics and even spills off clothing in need be.
- Entertainment -Electronics are by far the ‘it’ choice-laptops /netbooks since there is free Wi-Fi, DVD players, music players, mini video games,e -readers, and all the assorted pods.Remember to engrave your belongings to ensure other people do not mistake them for theirs and do.
Don’t forget to bring a small light for the e-readers.
- For younger kids, a bag of goodies from the local dollar store that are given out at regular intervals might prevent meltdowns and encourage better behavior.
- Older kids might enjoy a digital camera so he or she can take ‘window shots’ of what is interesting to them during the bus ride.
Later laminating or printing the pictures and binding them with a ring make beautiful souvenir book.Avoid toy sets with multiple pieces like Legos (that will have you on your hands and knees looking for pieces) and items that make noise makers and will disturb fellow passengers.Avoid toy sets with multiple pieces like Legos (that will have you on your hands and knees looking for pieces) and items that make noise makers and will disturb fellow passengers.
- Use an I.D. tag, temporary tattoo or bracelet, especially if your kid is nonverbal.Don’t forget to pack all medicines and medical information that pertain to your child.
Ever taken your child with Autism on a bus trip if so, what would you like to add to the list?