Travelling abroad with a vision impairment

Can you travel abroad if you have a vision impairment?

Of course! To travel abroad is one of the greatest experiences you can have. If you are at university then try and study abroad. If not, then the most important thing to remember is that world is your oyster and you can do whatever takes your fancy regardless of your vision impairment. You should feel confident because all the main rail, air and sea providers and most good hotels offer really comprehensive assistance.

You will need to plan well, but with good organisation you can travel abroad regardless of your vision impairment and have a successful trip like I did when backpacking round Brazil, Argentina and Peru. This trip included completing the Inca Trail to the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. Here are my top tips for travelling abroad independently.

  1. Use a travel agent. This makes booking flights, hotels, guides, etc. so much easier. My company of choice would always be Travel Counsellors.
  2. Book direct flights if at all possible. Transiting between flights can be tricky with a vision impairment. The fewer flights you need, the easier your journey will be.
  3. Arrange transport to and from the airport. This gives you peace of mind ensures you are where you need to be at the right time.
  4. If you can, stay in hotels with restaurants rather than youth hostels. There are more staff in hotels and hotel rooms have telephones meaning it’s quicker and easier to access support.
  5. Book a guide in each place that you’re visiting. Guides allow you to see the sites safely and give you great insight in to the local history and culture.
  6. Always let someone know where you are and what your plans are, especially if you are travelling alone.