9 Ideas For Family Vacations With Neurodiverse Children

Family Vacations

It might be difficult to choose a family vacation destination that is suitable for the whole family. Planning a trip may be easier enough with factoring in a kid with a neurodevelopmental disorder. However, I’ve discovered that families with a neurodivergent child can do more than survive a family vacation; with careful preparation, they can flourish and have a terrific time. 

If you have a family member who is neurodivergent, you shouldn’t let them suffer through the usual vacation activities. Wherever you travel, prepare to be creative and plan for downtime daily. Including everyone in the family, no matter how they like to travel, may lead to unforgettable experiences. I’ve compiled a list of my top vacation suggestions for families with neurodiverse kids.

1. Prioritize Narrow Concerns

Family Vacations

Kids with autism or ADHD could get obsessed with one thing. Use your kid’s passions and hobbies to create a trip they’ll remember fondly. Ancient Roman architecture, cave paintings, or the latest fashion might all be potential inspirations.

Fans of prehistoric creatures will enjoy visiting Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument. Tourists interested in country music will find Nashville to be a paradise. Fans of the Percy Jackson series would love a journey highlighting historical locations associated with Greek mythology. Building a trip around your child’s hobbies, whatever they may be, maybe enjoyable for both you and your youngster. 

2. Adventure Travel

Costa Rica

Children with ADHD often have an active lifestyle. Vacations to the beach with the family may be different from the kids’ notion of fun. That’s why it’s a good idea to include some kind of activity in your vacation plans so that everyone can participate. 

The all-inclusive Hilton Cancun is a great option for travelers visiting Mexico since it is a convenient departure point for excursions to the Riviera Maya, such as jungle ATV rides, visits to Mayan sites, and swims in underground cenotes. In addition, the surrounding beach and the many activities available there will keep even the most active guests entertained. The resort itself is a paradise, with a plethora of peaceful nooks and crannies and a number of swimming pools. 

An alternative that still provides convenient access to animals, zip lines, and hiking is a trip to Costa Rica. With its combination of Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, this little nation provides the ideal setting for a relaxing holiday with the whole family. Planet Hollywood is a lively, themed restaurant perfect for children. With its seven restaurants, two pools, and a splash zone, the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is a great family vacation spot for kids and adolescents. The Riu Palace Costa Rica, located near the beach, is another fantastic alternative due to its four pools and water park.

3. Water Parks

Family Vacations

Some children with neurodiversity find the ocean calming. The best water parks in the United States provide various attractions, from thrilling water slides for adventure seekers to relaxing lazy rivers for those who want a more laid-back float. Little ones and others who prefer a more intimate setting may usually find a special section set aside. 

Discovery Cove and Aquatica Orlando in the United States have earned accreditation as autism-friendly attractions. Indoor water parks at Great Wolf Lodges may be enjoyed year-round, and the chain is working toward autism certification at all of its properties. Another great option is Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, which has a water park with both indoor and outdoor facilities. Additionally, the resort’s glass-roofed atrium and natural features such as trees and a “river” running around the first floor create an outside atmosphere that is hard to believe is within. A lot of kids with neurological problems find this calming.

4. Plan For Your Speciality

Family Vacations

No one should be denied access to a destination solely due to their neurodiversity, even if certain locations are more suitable than others. Travel companies can help you organize a vacation anywhere in the world that takes into account the special requirements of a family member with neurodiversity.

5. Localized Urban Centers

Family Vacations

While visiting a large city may be enjoyable for some families, children with neurodiversity may experience anxiety. Instead, you should explore less-populated areas that still have lots to offer. If you’re looking for a smaller city with a slower pace and more options, I’d suggest Asheville, North Carolina. Some recommended activities include a hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a visit to the Pinball Museum, the Asheville Wellness Tour led by a guide experienced in assisting those with neurological differences, and a tour of the Citizen Vinyl record plant. 

6. All-Inclusive Vacations

Grand Residences Riviera Cancun

In terms of sheer happiness, there is nothing better than all-inclusive family resorts. A trip where every day is a “yes day” is one that the whole family can get behind. And after all the bills are paid, and the majority of the items you’ll need are already there, everyone can take it easy. At a resort, it’s easier to get into a routine, which may be comforting for neurotypical kids who want variety. All-inclusive resorts with several dining and entertainment options are ideal for neurodivergent youngsters since everyone is certain to find something they like.

Beaches Resorts is a fantastic all-inclusive option for families with a neurodivergent kid. The three Beaches Resorts provide the ideal balance of on-the-go fun for active youngsters and downtime for those who prefer peace. In addition, all of the staff at every beach hotel have undergone special training to assist families whose children have special needs, such as autism. All of the resort chain’s kids’ programs, restaurants, and other offerings are welcoming to neurodivergent children. 

All-suite hotel in Mexico, The Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, is a wonderful place for families with children who have special needs. Its compact size makes it ideal for families, yet there’s still lots to do here, such as two swimming pools, direct access to the beach, guided bike tours, a kids’ club, and culinary classes. 

7. Think about Staycation

omni park grove inn

Some youngsters who are neurotypical may have trouble traveling. A trip closer to home might provide children comfort with the familiar while exposing them to new things. As a parent, you may be certain that you can always pack up and go home if things go south. 

Locations that provide housing, dining, and entertainment all in one place are ideal for staycations since they simplify getting away from it all. The Gaylord Hotels and Resorts around the United States are wonderful and often hold holiday-themed events. Another alternative is Omni Hotels. Near downtown Asheville, for instance, the Omni Park Grove Inn has both a hiking path and a pool, as well as daily activities like cookie decorating and foraging trips. 

Hotels in the area that cater to people with autism should also be considered. Guests who need a sensory break will find that Hilton Hotels has plenty of peaceful locations and kind personnel. The Virgin Hotels chain has also started the certification process to become autism-friendly.

8. Check for Autism Certifications

Family Vacations

Companies such as Autism Double Checked and Autism Travel have removed the uncertainty of taking a trip with an autistic family member. When it comes to accommodating customers with neurodiversity, both groups are well-versed in training hospitality workers. The venues are put through a thorough inspection and then approved if they pass. 

New York’s LEGOLAND Resort is a hotel and theme park that has gone above and beyond to get accredited as autism-friendly. There is a quiet area and sensory guides available at the resort. The Legoland team is here to help in any way they can. Beaches Resorts and Nickelodeon Resorts are two international options with autism certification and highly trained personnel ready to help in any situation.

9. Amusement Parks

Family Vacations

Lights and music blare constantly at amusement parks. Despite common belief, many theme parks are excellent places for children who are on the autism spectrum because of the abundance of accessible services and resources. Two of the top amusement parks in the United States are Silver Dollar City in Branson and Universal Orlando Resort in Florida. Both include in-depth descriptions of the rides involving unexpected motion and loud noise. When it comes to accommodating clients who may get anxious or stressed out due to the length of the queues, both establishments provide separate sensory rooms where they may relax and recharge.

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