Travel Companies for Wanderlust VIPs
I am in the vagabond mindset as of late. You know the “get me out of here...NOW” mood. I held off my wanderlust all summer with a handful of fun experiences but now fall and winter are settling in and I need a “fix” if I am going to see them through. I gotta get out of Dodge!
Blowing this town used to be easy. I got in the car and off I went. Not so easy now. My husband and I are taking a standard cruise. I don’t expect him not to be able to accompany me any time in the foreseeable future. Just the same, I sometimes wonder what I will do if that time should come.
Accessible travel for the visually impaired
There is, however, hope for us VIPs with the travel bug. Did you know accessible travel is a growing industry? And that includes blind and visually impaired travel. Do a quick search and several companies pop up.
Here comes the disclaimer. I have not traveled with any of these companies. I have no idea if they deliver what they claim. The closest I ever came to any of them was being a year ahead of one of the companies’ founders when we were in high school. She was a nice girl 50 years ago.
That said, where do you want to go? There is probably a travel company that will take you there. A travel company that doesn’t cringe at the idea of you having a vision loss but is actually set up to accommodate you! Cool.
Traveleyes appears to be a British company. At least they consistently refer to vacations as “holidays.” Safe bet they are Brits. Today their website is featuring Japan. However, Nepal and Morocco are available. Walk along the sea in Portugal or tandem bike in Thailand, your choice.
Traveleyes does not mind solo, blind travelers according to their website. Part of the service is providing sighted companions. They get these sighted companions by offering deep discounts to sighted folks who don’t mind lending a hand. This practice appears standard across companies.
Responsible Travel advertises a wide variety of exotic locales and activities for the visually impaired. Some of the tours their website featured were horseback riding in India and yoga and massage in Portugal. They also talked about providing one-location vacations with experienced staff as well as vacations that are multisensory.
Responsible Travel is also a British company. Their pricing is in pounds. Which does not, however, say they will not accept the Yankee dollar. Both Traveleyes and Responsible Travel serve an international clientele.
Bringing us around to the American offering, Mindseye Travel. Mindseye Travel is based in Maine and run by Sue Bramhall. She also happens to be a fellow alumna of my high school. There is my disclosure of a previous “interest” in this company.
While Mindseye offers land-based tours, they also offer cruises. Most recently they have been doing river cruises in Europe.
Interviewed by her local newspaper (Courier Publications) a few years back, Sue told the reported how her tours involve a wealth of sensory experiences such as touching the pelts of local animals at visitors’ centers. She also talked about specialized help with any needed paperwork and about helping to make onboard orientation and mobility easier on cruise ships. For example, Sue’s assistants are not afraid to put big, colorful signs on cabin doors or bump dots on hallway walls if these can help people find their rooms.
There you are. Ready to blow this ‘burg? There are options and opportunities for us VIP vagabonds. The world awaits! What did you think of riding horses in India? Exploring the hills of Greece? How about taking in the nightlife on Ibiza? This girl is ready to GO!
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