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Travel Tips For People Who Are
Blind or Visually Impaired

Plan ahead. Read about your destination before your trip so you know what to expect and what sights you'll want to visit. Make reservations whenever possible. Call airports and airlines ahead of time to find out about services, including seating arrangements, special meals and shuttle services.

Carry written directions with you. Have directions written down before leaving. Even if you can't read them you can ask for help by showing them to someone else if you get lost. It's also helpful to have a copy of the exact address of where you are going. A driver may not know where a specific hotel is, especially if there are several with the same name.

Keep necessities with you at all times. Carry your money, keys, tickets and bus pass in a pocket. If you happen to misplace your purse or wallet or someone takes it, you still can reach your destination. Keep some extra money handy for tips.

Know the bus schedule. Inform the bus driver where you want to get off so he knows to call it out. Sit near the front of the bus.

Notify others about your needs. Inform your travel agency or companies such as airlines you are using that you are visually impaired. Tell your companion or those around you about your visual limitations.

Ask questions. If you cannot see a monitor or find a gate at the airport or bus station, ask a customer service representative or another traveler to help you find your way.

Carry your cane. Whether you choose to use it or not for mobility purposes, your cane helps to notify others that you are visually impaired.

Ask about amusement park or other tourist discounts. Some of the amusement parks give discounts either to visually impaired visitors or to their sighted guides.

Preboard and bring carry-on luggage. Avoid the hassle of crowds and obstacles in aisles by preboarding trains and planes. Packing only carry-on luggage saves you time and trouble by eliminating a visit to the baggage claim terminal.

If you do bring a suitcase, remember its type and color. It may be helpful to affix a colorful piece of yarn or sticker to help you or anyone assisting you with easy identification.

Plan for guide-dog restrictions. Some countries and states such as Hawaii either do not allow guide dogs for short visits or have quarantine requirements. Call your local guide-dog school for information on restrictions.

Enhance your sensory experience by going on tours and visiting gift shops. Some tour groups allow travelers who are visually impaired to experience an exhibit by touching object otherwise off-limits. Gift shops often selll small scale replicas of monuments you can touch.

Research accommodations. Foreign destinations are likely to have accommodations or services different from your home city. Prepare yourself by researching your destination before you plan your trip.

Information provided courtesy of:
The Braille Institute Education and Awareness
PO Box 491546
Los Angeles, CA 90049
310-473-0653 888-868-2455

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