Social Stories for Vacations and Travel

Social Stories for Vacation Planning

As summertime approaches, for many families, that means a vacation may be in the near future!

Going away on vacation requires a lot of preparation, particularly so if you have a child with special needs. Planning in advance can help ease the stress and anxiety your child may have in the face of changes to their typical routine and new experiences. 

Try using a social story template that is customized to fit the upcoming vacation experiences that your child may face, such as flying on an airplane, going on a long car ride, or staying in a hotel. 

Social stories should be written from the perspective of your child and explain the situation. For example, if your social story is about riding on an airplane, you could include the following: 

Today, I will ride on an airplane. When I get on the plane, I will see the flight attendants. I will find my seat and buckle my seat belt. I will hear the engine and other noises made by the plane. I can listen to music, watch a movie, or play a game. If I feel nervous, I can close my eyes and take deep breaths. 

You could also incorporate your child’s favorite characters from a show or book to pique your child’s interest and help them relate to the experience. 

As your vacation approaches, read through the social story with your child with growing frequency to ensure they are prepared for the experience. This will help them set expectations and understand appropriate responses. 

Create your own social story or check out our customizable templates

These special education resources for vacations were authored by Watson Institute’s special education consultant, Katie Bentz, M.Ed.

These behavior stories may benefit your students.  They can be downloaded, saved and edited to suit your needs.  The * notation indicates the story is  formatted in a Power Point presentation and the ** notation indicates a Power Point with sound narration.  Each Power Point has animation included on each slide.  Some occur automatically – some occur on a “click”.  Feel free to send comments or questions to [email protected].

Riding in an Airplane

Beach Rules

If you have questions or concerns about the Watson Institute’s use of this information, please contact us.