Vacation on the Spectrum

July 3, 2018

This past Father's Day Liam and I embarked on our first vacation as a mini family unit to Destin, Florida. Allegiant Airlines had a kick ass deal on their newly added route from LEX to VPS. Liam has traveled a few places in his 8 years here on Earth, but this was our first vacation with Mom and son. It was also my first time traveling alone with Liam since he was officially diagnosed on the spectrum.

We departed from Lexington and the flight was about 1.5 hours. It went surprisingly smooth because we had Liam's trusty iPad along for the flight even though he slept for about 45 minutes. Our flight was a later flight, so even with the excitement, he/we were able to get some Zzzzzs in! (Thank ya jeezus). Also, working in our favor was the fact that we reside in Eastern time and the gulf coast of Florida is in Central time :).

The next 3 and 1/2 days were spent relaxing, beachin' and eating our way through the Gulf coast lol. The most important part of the trip for me and for Liam was that this was a deviation from his normal schedule and routine and it was a test for both of us to see how he handled it. I must say he passed with flying colors.

There were no meltdowns and Liam was even willing to try new things (like feeding donkeys, goats and llamas at a local wildlife reserve). Liam did exhibit some stimming behaviors (things that happen when he is overstimulated), but that was to be expected.

Here are a few tips for how we survived our 5 day, 4 night mini-vacay:

1) I had to explain to Liam EVERYTHING we did/were doing. So while we didn't truly have an itinerary, I made sure to keep some things constant. We basically revolved our activities around breakfast, lunch and dinner and that seemed to work pretty well.

2) Liam has never had an issue flying - I mean he literally took his first flight at 2 months old and has been in the air ever since. But electronics, a small blanket and me as a pillow helped. I also made sure he was well fed before our 8pm ish departure.

3) Back to the activity thing, I bought Groupons ahead of the trip so every day we had something to do. Sometimes twice. Liam went bowling for the first time, we went to the movies and did a little shopping, we went to the beach three times, we swam at the hotel pool once, we went out to eat several times and we went to the zoo/wildlife reserve. I made sure not to back too much into one day. I always wanted to relax. 
dinner at Bric A Brac restaurant

selfie before dinner

beach day 1

Arcade at Uncle Buck's Fishbowl (also a bowling alley)

4) I made sure he was able to bring some of his favorite play things from home (i.e. his iPad and his favorite stuffed animal teddy). While on our trip Teddy even gained companion. In the Emerald Coast Zoo gift shop we found Teddy's new BFF a wolf named by Liam, Howl.

5) We couldn't pack food, but I made sure to find a grocery store and buy some snacks. Liam is a snacky kinda guy and he needs his faves on demand (He currently loves Go-Go squeeze yogurts and applesauces).

6) If you don't fit everything in or there are some deviations from the plans, don't sweat it. My biggest take away from this was that Liam can and will thrive in different situations with me there to redirect/guide. My main goal in life is to assure him that he can and will have to do these things without me one day and empower him to do it!

Henderson Beach State Park - Destin, FL

Until again,
Bougie Beauty Babe

Copyright © Bougie Beauty Babe
Design by Fearne