Autism and Holidays – 10 Tips For Enjoying Holidays With Your Autistic Child

The holidays are a special time to share with family and build memories. This can be very difficult for families with an Autistic child. You can still have an enjoyable celebration, it just means that as a parent you will have to take some extra care and be sure to plan ahead.

Keep Visits Short: Plan shorter visits with family and friends. This will help prevent your child from getting too tired or overstimulated. You can schedule several visits so you can still have the same quantity of time.

Have Fewer Visitors: If possible, keep the visitors to a few at time. This isn’t always possible in a large family or where people are traveling from out-of-town. Another option is to have a quiet place for your child to retreat where they can be alone or with just a few family members.

Don’t Force Activities: If you put too much energy into pressing an activity your child doesn’t like, it will cause grief for all involved.

Keep Routines: If it is important to your child to go to bed or eat at a certain time, then hold to it. If it is not possible to keep the full routine, have them engage in similar activity at the regular time such as a nap, a snack, or a quiet time.

Divide Your Time: Spread holiday activities out to help keep your child’s time and energy more balanced.

Shop Kid-Free: This is especially important if your child does not like crowds. The amount of activity during the holidays can be overwhelming enough for those of us without Autism.

Open a Few Presents at a Time: The excitement of opening gifts can get out of control and lead to overstimulation. Opening a few presents at a time can help your child enjoy their gifts even more.

Make Others Aware: It is important to communicate with family and friends. They may not understand the nuances of what your child needs or what is going to cause harm. There will probably be some who find fault in your methods. Remind yourself of what you know to be true about your child if a conflict occurs.

Focus on the Holidays: Holidays are meant to be spent with family and loved ones. Focus on your blessings and on the love you have for your family.

Reward Your Child’s Good Behavior: This will be a positive reinforcement and may inspire your child to be on his best behavior.
Bonus TipLet Yourself Relax: If your child senses stress or anxiety from you they will follow suit. Remember to breathe deeply and remove yourself from the situation for a few minutes if necessary. Take some time to pamper yourself. It will help energize you to better care for you child.The holidays with an Autistic child can be a wonderful time. Step back from your daily problems and struggles. Remember your blessings and enjoy the holidays with your family.

Long Distance Travel and the Ozone Layer

Have you noticed that on long haul flights we are charged more for emissions than on short haul flights?
The presumption being that long haul flights have a bigger carbon foot print than short haul? Possibly in terms of total C02 discharged, but something does not make sense here and a little bit of research was called for. Check any online flight C02 usage calculator.A trip from London to Cape Town in a full 747 will impart 860kg of C02 per passenger for the journey. The journey is 9642km or 0.089kgs of C02 per passenger kilometer.Let’s go further a field to Perth Australia, the same plane will belch out 1293kg C02 per passenger, the trip is 14711kms therefore using 0.087 kgs of C02 per passenger kilometer. Roughly the same C02 per passenger mile as the Cape Town trip.Now I’m absolutely sure that all this means something if you a polar bear, and this is not to make light of their predicament, however I am not a polar bear and do travel occasionally on long haul flights, and so a little miffed at paying the extra surcharge for long haul flights when some short haul flights cost less than the beer long haul passengers can’t afford at the airport!To see why short haul flights belched so little of the bad stuff, I looked at a few, the ones you can get for a couple of pounds plus airport tax.London to Rome is around 1570km and emits 178kg of the nasty stuff per passenger or 0.11kgs per passenger kilometer! 123% more, per passenger mile than used on a long haul flight?!This of course does make sense as the majority of the bear scarer being emitted must come on take off. Yes? So the plane to Cape Town takes off in London belching out dirty great holes in the ozone then settles back for the next 10 hours making only small contributions to the bear’s discomfort, per hour that is.The short haul flight however, blows the self same holes then a short while later lands, turns around fairly quickly and heads straight back scaring the polar bears all over again?It’s only an hour or so for the flight so presumably they can do this 3 or 4 times a day? So 3 or 4 ozone chomping take offs in the same time that the long haul, overly taxed, passenger is idling along at 33 thousand feet safe in the knowledge that he is contributing to the happy short haul travelers holiday budget whilst at the same time being a lot nicer to the bears?

Marketing For Travel Agents

Global Travel IndustryGlobally the travel industry is worth over £100bn and this is growing as the developing world starts to travel more.The UK however has seen a slow down in the travel sector due to the effects of the recession people are choosing to cut back on their holidays. In the boom times people were taking holidays 1-2 times per year, this has gone down to 1 or maybe none (a stay at home holiday or holiday in the UK). People do not have as much disposable income to spend as they once did, and as living costs are going up this is a trend that the travel industry is trying to adapt to.Another factor that complicates things is that the cost of travel is going up, as fuel costs rise, food costs in hotels and wages in foreign countries rise the overall cost of cheap package holiday’s on average is higher now than 5 years ago.The result is that consumers are more price orientated rather than destination orientated, opting for a cheap holiday in the sun anywhere rather than locations that make profit for the tour guide.National Travel IndustryThe UK is one of the most expensive places to holiday, with fuel costs, VAT, food costs, drinks and day excursions, many people still opt for overseas package holidays.However, the UK is investing into themed holidays, similar to Butlins from the 1970’s spa breaks and resort holiday’s closer to home are becoming more popular with busy families that cannot take more than a week off together at a time. Resort holiday’s offer full activity facilities (such as golf, horse riding, childcare, tennis, swimming etc.) to families making the UK a alternative option to going abroad.Competition In The Travel IndustryThe holiday industry is notorious for competition, ranging from freelance travel agents, holiday websites and the traditional travel agent.As more companies start up, the industry is only becoming more and more competitive causing companies to reduce their profit margins to meet sales figures.Marketing For Holiday CompaniesThe internet is the primary tool that is used now as most people prefer looking at holiday destinations from the comfort of their home rather than going into town on a Saturday to go round the various holiday shops collecting brochures on the way.With this in mind, most holiday companies use their websites (that now have good quality pictures of holiday destinations or multi media files) to attract customers using internet marketing, paid advertising (PPC) and social media channels.TV advertising is still used in marketing for travel agents mainly to reinforce their brand name; however the web based companies (and freelancers) do opt for the internet.Most holiday companies find that the traditional forms of marketing (such as TV advertising, magazine advertising) is quite expensive and only helps ‘sow the seed’ of a holiday – there is the danger that people will go to a competitor after seeing the advert. This is why the internet is more more efficient, as the advert/website will draw holiday makers onto the website and hopefully they will select and pay for their trip there and then within minutes.One popular kind of marketing for travel businesses is ‘re-marketing’. This is where a travel business will continue to market their holiday’s to existing customers, in the hope that they will come back and re-book their next holiday (rather than shopping around or going elsewhere). Bringing on old holiday clients is much cheaper than bringing on new ones.The key tool for any travel company is the website, in today’s world, a website is essential and 90% of holiday makers will view and book their holiday’s via a website. Coupled into internet advertising, SEO and paid advertising (PPC) the internet is the essential marketing tool for any travel company in 2012.