About traveling as a person with a visual impairment
Distant journeys, road trips, visiting beautiful cities, discovering new cultures, and relaxing beach vacations are something many people look forward to. This is no different for people who are visually impaired, whether from birth or later in life. They have just as much passion to travel and desire to liberate themselves and see more of the world, although it is more daunting to explore a foreign country. Luckily more and more travel agencies around the world are developing accessible travel tours for vision impaired people.
Reasons to travel
Why would someone with a visual impairment go on a trip if you can’t see anything? Well, because travelling is not just about looking and observing things, it is so much more than that. The world can be experienced in many different ways. Good sighted people often only rely on their vision and don’t regard the value of their other senses as highly. But for many VI people, whose other senses are more finely attuned, can take great enjoyment in absorbing new sounds, smells, and touches. In some countries, such as Indonesia, the smells of fragrant spices, sounds of traffic and people, and tastes of a freshly cooked delicious nasi goreng in a small roadside restaurant can have lasting impressions. Not to mention the sounds of animals in the wild. All these new sensory experiences will make your holiday exciting and memorable.
The difficulties of visually impaired travel
Travelling alone as someone with a visual impairment is not impossible, but it is difficult. So, many vision impaired travellers choose to travel with companions, which can be family members or friends or they go on an organized group tour from a specialized organization which often brings along extra guides. Companions can help you get on and off planes, trains and busses, help you finding lost items, buy items, and describe in loving detail visual interesting things or the surroundings where you might find yourself at the time. They can also offer you an elbow when strolling in a city and help with obstacles, going up cobbled streets, through doorways, and cross busy roads, among others. Important is that you travel with people you trust and who know how to support you with your vision.
Travelling with guide dogs is even more of a challenge and can be quite costly. Dogs are often not allowed on buses and other modes of transport and for many parts of a journey high fees must be paid. It is also difficult to find hotels that are welcome to guide dogs.
Our Travel Agents offer solutions for people with visual impairments
There are travel opportunities for people with a visual impairment. Our selection of experienced travel agencies that cater to VI have designed a number of sample tours which are accessible for visually impaired people. For more information please contact the agency you are interested in. They can help recommended itineraries, accommodations, sightseeing, and restaurants and make sure your holiday will be personalized to your tastes and become as unforgettable and enjoyable as possible.