Jade Page lives in Keynsham, near Bristol, with her husband and two boys, age four and six, who are both autistic. She shares information and resources related to autism on her blog The Autism Page
When and where did you last go on holiday?
Our last holiday was the biggest one. Last summer we went to America to stay with my mother in law in Washington State. This was the first plane journey for the boys and the first time outside the UK so was equally stressful and exciting.
What is the best family holiday you’ve been on?
My favourite holiday was also last summer. We had a long weekend at a friends caravan in Padstow, Cornwall.
Why did it work?
It worked because it was stress free. We were in a caravan, which was small enough so we could easily keep an eye on the kids all the time. It was a site where most caravan’s are owned so it was small and quiet. There was a lovely heated pool on site that we got to ourselves most days. Stunning beaches nearby and we could get takeaway from Rick Steins Fish & Chips while the kids had their usual cheese sandwiches.
How do you decide where to go on holiday?
Most of the time we go away to visit family or friends so it is usually about what is the most practical location that is affordable for the group. If it is just us it usually revolves around having something to entertain the kids like a beach or theme park nearby.
What’s the biggest challenge for you on holiday?
Keeping my kids safe. My kids have no danger awareness so we need to have locked windows, doors and safe furniture. My kids are fast too so the smaller the accommodation the better otherwise I am just running round a house trying to keep track of them. Knowing where we are staying and what the accommodation is like in advance is key for us.
What’s the one thing you always pack for a flight?
iPad full of their favourite movies and games. I am so glad we did this as my eldest wouldn’t use the headphones to listen to the plane screen. It also gave them something familiar to focus on.
What’s your top tip for going on a long journey?
Be prepared, lots of snacks and entertainment. Plus a bag full of spare clothes and wipes that is easily accessible when someone is sick or spills a drink all over themselves.
What’s your favourite holiday memory?
Visiting the mountains in America with the boys’ cousins. Whilst it was a stressful trip keeping the kids on the track, getting to experience something so different and new for them was wonderful. They were so excited and amazed that we found some snow in the summer.
What place is the top of your bucket list?
New Zealand, this is somewhere I would love to visit.
What’s your top travel tip for a family with additional needs who is planning their first holiday?
Find pictures and videos of where you are going online and help your children prepare for where they are going. If they have seen somewhere before it is less overwhelming when they get there.