Travel, especially independent travel, is one of the pleasures that many might think becomes unavailable after vision loss. After all, navigating unfamiliar locations is something that can be complicated enough already for anyone no matter their level of sightedness, and vision loss can be an extra hurdle between you and your destination.
But in fact it’s far from an insurmountable obstacle! Travel and tourism are becoming more accessible all the time as businesses and destinations realize the sense (not to mention the cents!) of offering accommodations such as adapted menus, guide services, and more. And there are many travel companies that cater almost exclusively to people with disabilities, including blindness or low vision. Check out these four for some ideas for your next vacation:
- Mind’s Eye Travel – Cruises and city tours are among the trips Mind’s Eye offers. And if you’ve been thinking of going to Hawaii, remember that their next trip to the islands will double as a fundraiser for the Foundation Fighting Blindness!
- Outta Sight Travel – Outta Sight’s past destinations have included locations like the Bahamas and Disney World. They pay particular attention to securing permission, care and accommodation for service animals.
- VisionOutdoor – As the name suggests, this is the travel company to consider if you’re the outdoorsy sort. Spots of great natural beauty or cultural importance and outdoor sports are the order of the day.
- TravelEyes – This company puts a novel twist on the idea of human guides by pairing up sighted people and people with visual impairments who may or may not have known each other beforehand. The sighted travelers provide descriptions and guidance in exchange for reduced fares, and the pairings rotate daily, so meeting new people is built right into the tour! For more on TravelEyes, check out this write-up in the Guardian.
Image description: Two passenger jets bearing the logo and colors of Air New Zealand parked on the tarmac of an airport at the edge of a body of water