Planning ahead can reduce challenges.
Planning ahead can make all the difference.
I was always one of those ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of woman until I hit my mid 20’s when I became a mum for the first time. Suddenly I was hit with, not just being the in-house planner but full on project management mum supreme.
Being a parent or carer of someone who lives with a disability requires planning. Planning, planning and more planning. Trial and error is a usual behaviour that you become comfortable with and when you find something that works and a strategy that works, you stick to it.
When we talk to other people about how we get through the challenges of the practicalities and get out and enjoy our days out, then one of the biggest tips we can give is – plan ahead – because the less surprises that meet you on your journey the better right!
Here are some of our top tips for planning ahead:
- Plan your day around your resources: time, energy, equipment, finances and so on. When you are looking at a day out make a list as you start planning so that you start identifying what you will need for your day out.
- When you’re planning, don’t plan on taking enough, plan on taking a little more than you need.
- Anticipate your needs as much as you can whilst travelling.
- When looking at a particular destination, do as much research as you can on the accessibility information around your needs. If the website isn’t that clear then give their customer service a ring with any questions that you have.
- I personally prefer to call when booking hotels, flights, or booking tickets and so on so that I can speak to an agent from the beginning. There’s usually so much information we then can get that we wouldn’t necessarily get from websites.
- Look up any reviews on well known platforms, the best information comes from people who have been there before you and tried and tested those services and the attractions.
The more planning that you do the more prepared you are. That was once something that my mother would nag me about until I had my own child with disabilities. That nagging advice soon became my motto and it made a huge difference to our experiences from start to finish.
Planning won’t guarantee smooth sailings because things go wrong, complications pop up and challenges manifest themselves. Remember that we are resourceful, we are resilient and there’s always a way to get around any problem.
I believe it was Thomas Edison who once said; “Just when you think you’ve run out of options, you haven’t.”
From a day out trip to travelling abroad, plan as much as you can. Plan and prepare but don’t forget the biggest thing to plan for…FUN!
The core of your trip is to have a great time, to have fun so don’t forget to plan for that and to have that too.