Dec 04, 2013 4 Share

Travel Plans

Toy plan on map of Florida near Orlando.

By the time you read this, I will have returned from a week’s vacation in Florida with my family. I will have celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents and uncle and, if the weather permits, spent some time visiting Disney World. Before getting on the road, though, I was given the responsibility to complete the tricky task of scheduling what we would do at Disney. It is not a task that I looked forward to doing, but a bit of hard work on my part before I left with my family would mean a very organized schedule for us all and more time for relaxation when we reached our destination.

My parents had already figured out the dates when we would be traveling, where we would stay while traveling, how long we would stay with my uncle, and when we would head back home. They indicated that we would have three days to spend at Disney, leaving us the rest of the week to spend with my uncle, including Thanksgiving Day. Since our excursion to Disney World was mainly for my entertainment, my parents left it up to me to determine how I wanted to spend my time there. This decision was totally mine.

To say that I found this decision-making to be intimidating would be an understatement. I would be heading further outside of my home state than I had ever been, so I had a bit of anxiety to start with. Now I was in charge of planning our activities at Disney. In addition, it played into my ongoing concern of having everything in my life be in a perfect, uncluttered state, or at least as close to that state as possible. I have stated many times that I work best when things go smoothly and are organized, which is calming to me. However, I realized that forming a plan was necessary for our vacation to go well. I wanted this vacation to be as organized as the Disney parks are clean (not a speck of dirt or trash to be seen).  

To make the planning process easier, I purchased two guidebooks on Disney World which contained very helpful information about the parks and their attractions. After reading both, I determined that it would be best for us to visit the parks earlier in the week in order to avoid the crowds and long lines. I then looked through the guidebooks and chose which rides, attractions, and other features of the Disney parks I would most like to check out. After much consideration, these were my choices: the Disneyland-like Magic Kingdom, the technologically-focused Epcot, and the movie magic of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With the schedule we had worked out, we could spend a day at each of the three parks.

Finishing the schedule took some time to complete, but I knew that it was an important step to enjoying our time in Florida. It gave me some much-needed experience in determining how to best spend valuable time, a skill which I feel is essential to my life. I knew that we could not do everything during this vacation, so I had to figure out what I wanted to see the most this time around. For a person that loves everything Disney, I can tell you that I really had to consider my feelings regarding the features of each park to determine my choices. 

Even though it took some time for me to do the research and choose from the many options Disney offers, I am glad that my parents gave me this task and included me in the decision process. Not only has it helped me to learn new skills regarding time management and vacations, I also know exactly what we will be doing each day because I was part of the planning. I feel glad that I put the work into my part to make this vacation possible, and I hope it will be enriching and fun! 

Comment Options


Your writing is outstanding

Hi Ben...I have come here to read many of your columns over the past few months and although I haven't commented, I find myself today the very need to.I absolutely adore your writing and have taken much of your life skills and the ability to write them to my heart. I have a daughter with Autism, she is quite young however reading your experiences I believe is gearing me up with knowledge for what's to come for her as she matures. Please continue to write about your experiences because it's an opportunity for the world to see through your eyes what living with Autism is like. For me as a parent can say how your parents have coached you through life is inspirational and an area that I wish to excel at just as you have had such wonderful loving family to help guide you.I always look forward to reading your columns and with every word I read, I find myself extremely proud of you and it always brings tears of joy for such an accomplished young man. Well done Ben, give your Mom and Dad a great big hug from me please.RegardsJulie MarchbankSydney, Australia

Thank You

Hi, Julie!  Thanks for reading my column and for taking the time to leave a comment.  I am glad that sharing my experiences are helpful to you, and I will continue to do so. I love my parents very much, and I am still amazed by all they have done and still do to make sure I have a good life.  I am sure you are doing the same for your daughter.  I will give my mom and dad plenty of hugs and kisses.  I wish you and your daughter the best of luck.  Thanks again for reading!


Florida Vacation

Hi Ben!  I hope you enjoyed your Disney trip with your Mom & Dad.  I bet the planning that you did ahead of time made everything go smoothly.  I can't wait to see your pictures!   Love, Aunt Patti

Thank You

Hi, Aunt Patti!  Thanks for reading my column!  I greatly enjoyed my Disney World trip.  Mom and Dad had fun, too (although Mom absolutely detested Stitch's Alien Escape!).  The advance planning helped immensely; I was able to see a lot of the attractions that I wanted to see, and there were even a few surprises along the way.  Mom took lots of pictures while we were there; we will show them to you the next time we see each other!  Thanks again for reading!