So, you are planning a great vacation. Your Travel Professional has made all your reservations and arrangements, given you the perfectly customized itinerary and, you are ready to go!
You’ve decided to drive to your destination and the resort address is plugged into your GPS. Congratulations! But, not so fast. If you have kids there are a few more things to consider.
Special Needs and DIsney
Part 2 GAC/DAS
On our last installment we talked a bit about how Disney helps with "runners". Today we are going to touch on a few points about the old GAC/new DAS card.
On our first trip after the accident we found out about the GAC. Unfortunately, it was our very last day of the trip. It was a Game Changer!
It has been through a lot of changes over the years, including a name change. It remains a wonderful way for Special Needs families to tour Disney. Back when we first started using it the Guest Assistance Card was an actual paper card that allowed our family to go to the Fast Pass entrance and ride. Since one of Mr. D’s problems was the inability to understand personal space as well as waiting in lines, this was perfect for us. We only used it for things that had a longer than 15-minute wait time. Fifteen minutes was pushing Mr. D to the limit of his ability to wait. After that, he would start a meltdown. Even if he was semi quiet, it was not pretty for us or anyone around him. The GAC was a preprinted card, where they wrote the child's name on it, the dates and how many in his party. Then, they had a series of stamps they would put on it.
We purchased a special lanyard for Mr. D to keep his GAC around his neck. He liked being in charge of showing it to the Cast Member. Of course, this was one of the problems with this system that allowed so much abuse. It was very obvious to others that we were getting preferential treatment. It didn’t take long for people to figure out how to ‘use’ the system, and those bad apples spoiled the process. There were even people that were making money from it! (I cannot tell you how much that sickened me!)
This picture was taken about a week before his accident. You can see the mischief in his eyes. It is the picture we put on the window of his ICU room so people could see him the way we remembered him, not the way they saw him with tubes and wires and feeding in him.
At this point, he had been to Disney once, about a year prior. He remembers nothing about that trip, and all I can remember is we will NEVER stay offsite again!
Yet, less than a year after this picture, we were off to Disney again! This time, staying at Shades of Green. The one thing that stands out about this trip was the meltdowns. One in particular, really stands out.
It takes a lot of work to get ready for a family trip, even if you have a travel agent doing the planning and booking for you. Choosing the right places and activities, all while trying to maintain some semblance of your normal routine, especially if you have younger kids — can be a real challenge.
In the hectic pace of everything, it can be easy to forget the bigger reasons families choose to travel with their children: to enrich their lives, expand their emotional and cultural horizons, and help them become better global citizens.
So it’s great to encourage kids to be involved in the planning and to participate in family activities — but what are some ways that you can really get your child curious about your travel destinations without adding yet another list of to-dos to a parent’s already-long list?
Here are some ideas for sparking the love of travel in your child on your next vacation.
I know. Not the most exciting part of your trip, but quite possibly may be the most important thing to remember about your trip. Most people completely ignore this.
Even the most seasoned travelers sometimes feel confused about travel insurance — what’s out there, what it covers, whether or not they need it. While coverage and policies vary from state to state, of course, here are some basics of travel insurance to get you started:
1. There are five main types of travel insurance. What you might need depends largely on what kind of trip you’re taking, what kind of traveler you are, and how frequently you travel. The five main types are:
~trip cancellation and interruption (full or partial reimbursement for a trip you need to cancel prior to departure, a trip that gets cancelled because a tour company or resort goes out of business, or a trip that gets cut short for a wide variety of reasons)
~medical (for health issues that occur outside of your normal coverage area)
~evacuation (due to disaster, dangerous weather, political emergency, or medical emergency)
~baggage (reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage)
~flight insurance (also called “crash coverage,” this is basically a life insurance policy that covers you while you’re on the plane, in the event of a statistically-rare crash)
The World is Now More Accessible Than Ever - Explore and Enjoy It!
The world is now more accessible than ever before. Twenty percent (62 million) of the U.S. population has some form of disability, and the number of these individuals is increasing daily. These people need to, want to, and can travel. If you’re part of that twenty percent, a world of travel awaits you.
Travel professionals such as myself who are accessible travel advocates certified by Special Needs Group www.specialneedsgroup.com, the leading global provider of special needs equipment for the travel industry, have unique, specialized knowledge about how to help individuals with disabilities enjoy a wonderful, hassle-free and memorable trip.
Here are a few tips from Special Needs Group to ensure that when your next travel opportunity arises, you are ready to go.
Most of the content is written by people at JMorris Travel. Every once in a while we will have a guest blogger, usually it is part of our 'family'.Always with a nod to Family Travel!