A Guide to Travel.
Or, how I make flying easier on myself as an aspie.
I’ve traveled a lot in m life, and have learned the hard way that it can be very painful for myself to fly. So here’s a list of things I do to help myself. It’s not comprehensive, but…it might help you.
- Purchase ticket online early.
I know I find being seated either by the window or aisle works best. I don’t like sitting in the middle and I prefer to be in the front of the plane as opposed to the back.
By getting my ticket early, it means I have a better chance of selecting the perfect seat.
- Arrive Early.
It allows me to check in early, get to the gate early and get through security without a crowd.
- Getting Through Security
Take off all jewelry, things from my pockets, etc and put in the front pocket of my carry-on backpack. Wear sneakers that I can easily slide on and off. Don’t wear a belt.
- Check in online if possible(or at the kiosk inside the airport).
Means no lines, no drama, no having to talk to people at counter.
Bring headphones and an iPod (or kindle or tablet). Even if I’m not listening to music, it looks like I am.
I always bring a back-pack on the plane with me. I put a change of clothes (or all my clothes I’m bringing if it’s short trip), notebooks, pens, books and fidget toys. If the flight is long, I’m going to need them.
Dress in my most comfortable clothing. I’m not there to impress perfect strangers. I’m trying to get through a stressful thing without a meltdown. Ensuring my clothing is comfortable is one less thing to worry about.
- On the subject of packing.
Check the TSA guidelines out carefully for carry-on luggage. Nothing stresses me out more than getting something wrong and having to throw stuff out to get through security.
Wait to buy water/snacks until you get through security. There’s always little stores/restaurants near the gates.
- Reserve Energy
I know people are going to talk to me either on the plane, or at the gate. It’s going to happen. So have a quiet evening the night before, indulge in my special interests to recharge my batteries so I’m capable of handling it.
Keep lotion handy in backpack. My hands get itchy and can cause sensory overload. Lotion helps that quite a bit.
- Remember to say Thank You.
It goes a long way with airline employees. Be polite.
Seems silly to remind myself of that, but I’ve found as an Aspie, sometimes I get lost in my head and social niceties don’t come naturally to me. I’m not trying to be rude, I just don’t always remember that I should say things like good morning, etc.