“Holiday, celebrate
Holiday, celebrate

If we took a holiday yeah”

Ahh way back in 1983, when a young singer called Madonna was dancing around a pool dressed in a lime green top and shorts with a blue ribbon in her hair and chunky jewellery around her neck ahh the 1980’s!

We were relaxed and carefree and we didn’t own a mirror because we thought that fashion wasn’t important.

it was a case of grabbing the nearest thing we could and wearing it and being expressive but now in 2018 when we look back at those times we have a lot of regret and shame.

But this blog isn’t about the 80’s and Madonna. It’s about holidays.

And more specific mine!

Yes, I am going away for a week to Melbourne it’s been four years since I last packed a suitcase and strolled through an airport, queued up and handed my passport and ticket to an over made up check in person whose hair is gelled to within an inch of its life, for Rachel a single strand of hair isn’t going to ruin her immaculate look no sir.

As a person who struggles to deal with everyday sensory information I can experience sensory overload, or information overload. Too much information can cause me stress and anxiety.

Airports are not the best environment when it comes to ensuring too much sensory information but what can you do? I am not going to never travel or board an aircraft.

“When I get sensory overload I just shut down; I get what’s known as fragmentation…it’s weird, like being tuned into 40 TV channels.

Here then are some key points that I try to remember and they are:

  • Be aware. Look at the environment to see if it is creating difficulties. Can I change anything?
  • Be creative. Think of some positive sensory experiences that I’ve had.
  • Be prepared. Is there someone that I can spot who can assist me?

For me I am particularly concerned with how overwhelming it is going to be for me to enter a busy working environment such as an airport.

Now I wasn’t aware that this service was being offered but after a web search I found that Qantas who I am flying with offers this service.

A Meet and Assist Service

This service must be requested at the time of booking and generally commences once you have checked-in. Depending on your specific needs, Qantas can do any of the following:

  • Assist you from check-in to the departure gate by airport wheelchair or people mover and from arrival gate to baggage claim;
  • Meet you at the departure gate to collect your mobility aid (where possible); or
  • Meet you at the arrival gate to deliver your mobility aid (where possible).

So all my anxiety and panic about it being all too much for me has somewhat been eased by this service that Qantas offer. I am not sure if all airlines offer the same service but it’s handy to know.

So I guess I will have to wait and see how this proceeds as I am going to be using the service for the first time.

Upon my return I shall report back on how it went.

For more information about what disability services Qantas offer you can check out the PDF document here

I am looking forward to my week’s getaway and getting the chance to explore Melbourne and catch up with some friends who live over there.

Carry on the Conversation

What are your thoughts? Have you got a holiday booked anytime soon? Where would you go? Let me know in the comments below.

As always, I can also be found on Twitter: @AutisticNick9 and at my email

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Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.

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