Tips for Travelling with a Visual Impairment

Travelling and exploring the world is a favourite hobby for many. Visiting new places and experiencing new cultures is a glorious way to spend your free time. However, doing this with sight loss can be intimidating, overwhelming and nerve wrecking.

There are so many unknowns, new places, unfamiliar languages and lots to (over) think about when planning a trip away. I’ve pulled together my top tips for travelling with a visual impairment to try and help relieve some of this angst.

Get Prepped

If you know me, you know I love a good plan and a bit of organising. I think people who are blind or vision impaired tend to be this way as we kind of have to be! When getting ready for a trip, my advice is to do lots of research on where you are going, what you want to do and where you will stay. Get to you know your local area before you even arrive so you can more easily make your way around.

The next step is my least favourite – packing! I really dislike packing. I think I panic that I have to choose outfits for more than 1 day and that sends me into a spin. At this stage, get to know your equipment too. If you’re camping, put up your tent in your garden and understand how it all fits together, Get to know your other bits and pieces, and pack your utensils is a way that is easy for you to find them.

A single bed strewn with clothes, towels and a bag. It is a big mess!
My bed when I was packing to return to Vanlife after a weekend at home

Also – pack for ultimate comfort. It is challenging going away alone or with a group when you are blind or vision impaired. It can be tiring, draining and overwhelming. So be kind to yourself and pack the items that help you relax and re-centre. For me, this is my skincare. I love taking the time to do my morning and evening skin routine, it can be so meditative when I do it mindfully.

Get Social

If solo travelling isn’t you thing, consider going with a friend or group. Going with a friend who understands your extra eye needs means that you have someone else there to support you. If your friends calendars are full, consider a package holiday or organised trip. This is a great way to meet new people but it also means you have someone else doing all the organising. you just need to show up and join in.

Stay within your comfort zone

So often we are told to “push ourselves”, “get outside your comfort zone” or “do what scares you”. In some circumstances I agree, but in others, I think we are well within our rights to stay firmly in our comfort zones.

If you’re considering your first solo trip, testing the waters in your comfort zone is a logical approach. If camping is your thing, pitch your tent in your garden for a night, so you can get used to it. If you’re more of a hotel goer, book in somewhere local for a night and take your time getting there, checking in and enjoying your own space in a safe environment.

In essence I’m saying, start small, then move on to the bigger trips!


So you packed, researched and went on a mini trip. Ask yourself these questions to reflect on your trip. How did it go? What worked well? What could be improved? How did you feel?

Taking the time to think about how your trip went, and reflecting on you felt will greatly help to inform the next trip you do. Even 5 minutes of thinking back will help you get ready for your next adventure.

A white van parked in a green field. There is a blue awning attached to the van and held up with poles. Outdoor chairs and shoes are underneath the awning. In the background, there are huge grey mountains and a blue sky

Vanlife with a Visual Impairment

Considering going down the vanlife route? YAY FOR YOU! Its so exciting. It was only possible for me as I have my wonderful Driver by my side. I literally could not do this without him as I can’t drive.

If you a Driver who is keen to get on the road, go for it! We converted our van ourselves but there are plenty of second hand or new campervans available. These are a great option if you’re not a DIY fan.

If you’ve never camped or spent time living in a small space, consider renting a van for a week or so first as this will give you a good idea of what vanlife is really like. Spoiler alert, its not as glamorous as it might seem!

Once you get your van, spend a night or two in your driveway to get used to it, the layout and where things are. Once you get settled in, fully packed and organised, you’ll be ready for off!

Starting small, sticking to your comfort zone and doing a bit of planning are a good way to get started on your travels. Take it one step at a time, do what feels right for you and take it at your own pace. Yours is the only one that matters.