David M. and Chrissy A., PIN members, enjoying their dream Disney vacation!

Chrissy and David, both PIN members and enthusiastic Disney fans, presented an exciting idea to their parents; they wanted to fly to Florida and go to Disney World, by themselves. Three years later, they accomplished their goal. In May 2022, they flew to Florida, spent almost a week at Disney World, and flew back to Philadelphia. Their trip was a resounding success.

A lot of planning, organizing and saving went into this adventure. First, David and Chrissy had to convince their parents that they could safely manage on their own. Chrissy’s parents, Karen and Don, and David’s parents, Lois and Jerry, discussed many aspect of the trip with each other, David and Chrissy, and Marc Tannebaum, Associate Director of PIN. Chrissy had been to Disney World several times with her family. It was familiar to her and she felt comfortable there. David had never been there, but had traveled quite a bit with his family, and had flown, by himself, to visit family in California and Wisconsin. He was experienced in getting around airports and going through security. Both of them use public transportation in Narberth and Philadelphia, and are not hesitant to ask for directions or other help when necessary. The parents agreed that this was manageable, but that David and Chrissy had to be responsible for saving money for part of the expenses, and to help plan their visit and their packing.

Karen took on the job of reserving plane tickets and the hotel room. She was able to book rides between the hotel and airport on a Disney van, and arrange for a meal plan at the hotel and park. The travelers downloaded a Disney World App, and planned where they wanted to be each day. They made lists of items to pack, making sure they could fit everything into carry-on luggage. Then, Covid hit. Everything was cancelled. Two years later, when it was possible to reschedule, both the Disney van and meal plan had been discontinued. Karen found another van service, and we were all reassured by the idea that other passengers on their flight would be headed to that van. We didn’t want our travelers to be carrying cash, and also didn’t want them using debit cards connected to their bank accounts. Lois suggested we get them pre-paid debit cards to pay for their meals, each of them having two cards to minimize risk if a card were lost, and just take turns paying for meals until the cards were used up. Marc, and other PIN staff helped them review their packing lists and discuss any other areas of concern, and listen to their increasingly excited countdown of days till the trip.

When asked about the trip, both Chrissy and David agreed that the best part was finally being able to go after the two year delay. Chrissy had been most worried about possible transportation problems, but felt David would be able to manage issues if they arose. David was concerned about Covid. They did wear masks in crowded lines. They said Marc helped them save money, and the app was an enormous help. Their advice to anyone else hoping to travel; be prepared to save. Chrissy said it was a lot of fun, but the planning was hard. David agreed, and said the trip itself was exhausting, but totally worth it.

As for the parents, we learned that our adult children can take more responsibility for planning and managing than we sometimes realize. This adventure was a worthwhile experience for all of us.

JEVS Independence Network is a whole life program with embedded supports serving Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Follow this link to learn more about Independence Network.

Posted in Blog JEVS Program: Independence Network