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Travel tips for someone with vision impairment

My wife and I are leaving in 2 weeks for our first trip to England (Bath, York, and London) with a day trip to Paris. My wife has severely impaired vision and while I have checked out the accessibility options at places we'll be visiting I am wondering if their are other folks on the board with tips for me so I can help her have the best time ever. Thanks.

Posted by
203 posts

I really don't understand the extent of your wife's impairment, so my advice might not be that helpful. I've traveled to Europe several times since my dad, now 90 years old, became legally blind due to macular degeneration. He insists on doing everything that we would do if he weren't vision-impaired. I have to read him the menus and help him with the bills. He always carries a card for our hotel, so if he were to get lost, he could hand the card to somebody who could call a cab. I walk with him to the restroom. Otherwise his visual problems really haven't impacted our trips all that much....If she's still adjusting to a sudden loss of vision, this might impact her travels more than it does my dad's who lost his vision over a period of years. Also my dad had done a lot of traveling before he became legally blind.

Posted by
58 posts

My mother is considered low vision with severe myopia and the beginnings of macular degeneration. We found her a minocular at an REI which she uses in everyday life and on trips to see the sights. It works for her. She subsequently found another minocular at Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco with higher magnification. Your wife might benefit from a minocular or a binocular. Also, I have found that museums sometimes provide materials in large print. Hope this helps.

Posted by
505 posts


You should be able to find things like large print brochures and many museums have 'touchable' exhibits. Many crossings have bumps to indicate the edge of the crossing area and beeps to indicate when it's safe (though not always working).

The one caution would be that since her vision is limited she needs to be VERY careful about traffic since it's on the other side of the road (and thus coming from the opposite direction you expect). Also, for you, it's good to know that the light turns yellow before it turns red AND before it turns green. So don't start crossing on a yellow light as is often done in the US!


Posted by
12172 posts

I was also thinking a small monocular would be a good idea. Check out (might be, they have a whole section of monoculars in various strengths, sizes and qualities that are easy to carry and reasonably priced.

Posted by
5 posts

We went today and found a good quality monocular. I feel silly I hadn't thought of this before. She has been playing with since she got it - I think she has a new best friend! Thanks for the help!!!