Summer holidays are something to look forward too, aren’t they?
When you have a child with Down Syndrome you may just wish to consider a few other things before booking. If you are anything like me your holiday choices come with a list as long as your arm in addition to sunshine and cost from

  • Daytime flights (Ellie will not fall asleep on a plane)
  • Not to far from the airport (as my children are young the quicker we get there the better)
  • No hills to climb (this would just cause a lot more energy)
  • 2 bedroomed accomodation (Ellie fights her sleep unless she realises it’s bedtime)

The Lanyard Explained
Have you got yours?
I only found out about this recently and I think it is a fabulous service offered. The lanyard helps all airport staff assist a child with a disability (including unseen ones) and the family with extra support including reduced queuing times. This is perfect for children with Down Syndrome who just don’t comprehend the reason for queuing or have little patience to do so. I have since heard that Manchester Airport has now opened The Sunflower Room which helps those families that need to avoid noise and crowds because of their disability.

The Lanyard

Holiday Secrets
Each child and family are unique in what they are looking for from a holiday but you may find that when one destination fits you revisit it time and time again. I personally have found that Greece is ideal for us a family. Usually a family run hotel in a quiet area with the sea nearby and it must have a pool. Other places highly recommended by other parents include

  • Orchard Holiday Park in the Isle of Wight
  • Golden Valley in Derbyshire for camping
  • Butlins in Skegness
  • Centre Parcs
  • Lake District
  • Loch Lomond in Scotland
  • Florida
  • Newquay Wales
  • Menorca
  • Ribby Hall in St. Anne’s
  • Haven and Park Dean holidays camps in Dorset
  • EuroDisney
  • Canaries
  • Portugal

If you would like to see where you can get free admission as a carer, please refer to my previous blog
https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/sharoncrowley.wordpress.com/907

Your Journey
What I love about children with Down Syndrome is that their likes and dislikes are all different so what will work for one child might not another. This is my own experience when we’re travelling, first I like to pre-warn Ellie of what we are doing and what is going to happen. When she was younger I would show her pictures of a plane or a video of a campsite so that she knew what to expect. Her Ipad is like her right arm as Ellie doesn’t enjoy crafts, so I will download as many video’s/games/educational apps as possible and ensure it is fully charged. We often carry a charge pack and ear phones too. Ellie amused me early on with plane journeys as she absolutely loved the butterflies we all experience with turbulence, I on the other hand do not!
I also ensure there are plenty of treats/food and drinks to hand.

Finally
I always take plenty of relevant medicine on our family holidays including Calpol and Piriton which have come in handy with bites and high temperatures and whilst it is no longer needed, in previous years I have had to inform our travel insurance where we were going as Ellie has a VSD.
Now there is no talk of surgery and no medication, this is no longer relevant so always find out with your travel insurance what do they need to be aware of.

I hope you have found this article useful. I would love to know if you holiday regularly to the same destination so I can add it to my list or if you are an inclusive holiday that would like to share your destination.

As always, thank you for reading and until next time
Sharon x

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12 thoughts on “Secret Summer Holidays to Enjoy with Down Syndrome

  1. I recommend the Isle of Wight as a destination. There are a wide range of activities, Robin Hill and Blackgang are a must! If you have the weather the beaches are glorious.

  2. Great tips Sharon. We just signed up for the sunflower lanyard scheme at Heathrow. I think there is lots of help in the airport its getting my son on the plane that worries me!

    1. Is it his first time? I know of parents that have left it until the last minute and I did hear of one story where the stweardess coached a young boy and the pilot helped and gave him a shout out on the plane. I hope it all goes well πŸ™‚

  3. The lanyard – what a great idea. I hadn’t heard of this. Some handy tips here for everyone. Xx

  4. I read about the lanyard recently and thought it sounded great, hope it helps you and lots of other families. X

  5. The lanyard is an amazing idea! It’s so good to hear companies figuring out new and improved ways to support people with additional needs. It sounds like they would be good for mental health and anxiety issues too, which often stop people from travelling.

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