Traveling with Special-Needs Kids

You can find vacation destinations, tour operators, and travel agents that cater to families with children who have special needs.

Q: Do you know of any vacation destinations that cater to families with special needs children? My son happens to have autism. We have rented homes and condos in various places, but just once it would be nice not to have to cook and clean on vacation.

A: I'm a big believer in not having to cook and clean on vacation! When choosing a vacation destination with a family member's special needs in mind, I recommend checking out Web sites such as the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (, which, in turn, offers links to other useful sites.

What many people don't realize is that there are tour operators and travel agents who specialize in working with travelers with disabilities and who can help families plan vacations suited to their interests and needs.

One segment of the marketplace that has been ahead of the curve in this area is cruises, especially on the newer ships, which offer accessibility and all sorts of amenities for special needs. But again, a specialized travel counselor can help determine which cruise line, resort, or destination is right for you.

Happy travels!

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