Our own advice – more things that worked well.

Negril BalconyOur last post was about how we did with following our own advice at the airport. This continues the story to the resort. Some things we couldn’t try because they simply don’t apply to us. Some worked extremely well.

 

Be specific with room requests. Here we mean more than high-floor/low-floor. It is well worth the effort to call or email the resort ahead of time with a resort map in front of you. If you need a quiet location, ask in detail about which locations might work.  In general terms, rooms nearer to all of the main facilities are noisier and those furthest from those facilities are quietest. That isn’t, however, always the case. Reservations staff at the resort do know, but only if you ask them.

In our case, location wasn’t a huge issue but we did want to be near to the smaller pool and away from any late-night noise. Planning this ahead worked very well. We got exactly what we wanted and, as a bonus, a beautiful view. (That picture isn’t from the resort’s gallery. It is a random shot from our balcony !)

 

Take appropriate measures against wandering off. Sorry to tell you that we didn’t get to try any and, thus, can’t report on any of them. (Of course, the good news is that this is because our son isn’t a wanderer).

Take a pillow, or other bedding, from home. We recommend this, if a child is a poor sleeper. The familiarity may help. In our case, the bedding wasn’t as important as having some familiar soft toys for him to snuggle with. (Basically, his entire carry-on was taken up with these.) This worked very well and stopped the unfamiliarity of the surroundings from becoming an issue.  Those same toys illustrate the point with another tip.

 

Involve your child in the preparations. Of course, this is to the extent that is feasible for you to do so. Each toy in that carry-on was very carefully selected – by him and not by us. He was pleased to have “helped” with the packing and he had all of the right characters when he got there.

Work with your child’s strengths and interests. Actually, for this, the best illustration takes us back to the security screening at the airport.  Since he is under 12 years old, we could have asked for him not to take his shoes off. However, he actually prefers to walk around in socks without shoes. Clearly that doesn’t work in lots of situations but we were able to turn it into a game of “how cool is it to walk through a big building in your socks ?”.  Our point is that, for most people this is somewhere between an inconvenience and a real ordeal. Knowing him and his likes allowed us to make it fun.

 

Try lots of different activities. This is another “doesn’t apply” scenario. Given a huge choice of possible activities, playing in the pool was such a great hit that he wouldn’t try anything else ! This shouldn’t stop you from trying lots of things but, if you find something that really works – stop looking.

 

Get support. THIS IS BIG. No matter where you get it, support is worthwhile. This can be by vacationing with friends and family, going with a supported group or, as we did in this case, using appropriate resort staff. We were able to obtain the services of a young gentleman from the entertainment department. He had experience working with kids on the spectrum and was just a lovely, warm-hearted person. Our son took to him as a new best friend. We were able to enjoy that perfect mixture of some time to ourselves and some family time. We have tried, in the past, to do this without support and had disasters. Having support really, really works.

If you aren’t sure how to arrange the right support for your vacation, please ask us. There are a number of ways to do this so that you can have a vacation that is, well… a vacation. We just did.

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