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Traveling while Blind: 11 Tips

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blind person on iphone

Traveling can be an exciting and enriching experience, but it can also present challenges, especially for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. However, with some planning and preparation, traveling while blind can be safe and enjoyable.

Here are 11 tips to help ensure a smooth and successful trip.

1. Pack light

Packing light can reduce stress and make it easier to locate your luggage at the end of your flight. By bringing only the essentials, you can start your trip on a relaxed note.

2. Make your luggage easy to distinguish

Consider adding a brightly colored bumper sticker, fluorescent tape, or ribbon to your luggage to make it stand out. This will make it easier to identify your bags and avoid any confusion or delays.

3. Purchase an electronic bag tag

If you’re concerned about locating checked luggage at the end of your flight, consider purchasing an electronic device to attach to your bag. This will beep when your luggage is close by, allowing you to retrieve your bag without assistance.

4. Ask for what you need

Airline workers and hotel staff are trained to support travelers with disabilities. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance with boarding, navigating the airport, or finding your hotel room. Notifying your airline in advance that you have a visual disability can also help ensure that someone is available to assist you.

5. Check reviews before booking lodging

Some hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs are more accommodating than others. Be sure to research lodging options before booking and ask about any accommodations you may need, such as tactile signs or Braille menus.

6. Always carry your medical identification card and travel insurance card

In case of an accident or emergency, it’s important to have your medical identification card and travel insurance card with you. This will ensure that responders are aware of your visual limitations.

7. Download the app Blindsquare

Blindsquare is an app that uses GPS and a compass to provide navigation both indoors and outdoors. It’s designed to support individuals with a wide range of visual impairments and can be a valuable tool when traveling.

8. Plan your itinerary in advance AND carry it with you

Having important addresses and information in one place can be helpful if you get lost or need directions. Be sure to plan your itinerary in advance and carry it with you during your travels.

9. Take advantage of guided tours

Guided tours can be a great way to learn about the history and culture of a new place, even if you can’t see the scenery. Consider signing up for a tour to get the most out of your travels.

10. Bring your cane

Carrying a cane is an international sign of blindness, so consider bringing one with you even if you don’t normally use one. This will signal to others that you are visually impaired.

11. Enjoy yourself

Travel isn’t always perfect – flights can be delayed, lodging can be disappointing, and food can be expensive. But remember to relax and enjoy yourself. Traveling while blind can be safe and enjoyable with some planning and preparation.

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