Building your confidence: Preparing mentally to travel with little or no sight

A blind man wearing sunglasses raises his head into the air to smell the air around im. A busy market can be seen behind him

So, you’ve got the travel bug, but the idea of navigating the world without sight has you feeling grounded? Been there, done that (with a killer massage at a super chill airport because, hey, delays happen!). But trust me, globetrotting as a blind or visually impaired adventurer is an epic journey waiting to happen.

Let’s ditch the fear factor and focus on the awesome. Imagine feeling the ancient stones of the Colosseum under your fingertips or hearing the rhythm of a bustling market in Marrakech. Pretty cool, right? Here are some tips and tricks to get you set for your next travel adventure.

Focus on the possibilities

Instead of dwelling on the challenges, focus on the exciting experiences that await you.  Think about the places you want to visit, the cultures you want to immerse yourself in, and the new things you want to learn. With a positive mindset imagine the treasure trove of experiences, sounds and flavors you can experience.

Embrace your strengths

We have unique strengths that can enhance the travel experience.  For example, a heightened sense of touch can allow you to appreciate the textures of buildings and artifacts on a level that sighted people cannot.  Your hearing can also be an asset, helping you to navigate your surroundings and to pick up on the nuances of a new environment. We can enjoy smells and flavors of a new culture like no one else. I appreciate and take the time to enjoy the new smells an environment has to offer. I find myself drawn to the new smells in a busy market and often use them as a secondary landmark when navigating an area. I find myself remembering what a shop or street vendor is selling by its smell and use that to reinforce my location as I wander, shop and explore.

Do your research

In today’s world, there are more resources than ever before for blind and visually impaired travelers.  Research your destination in advance to learn about accessible transportation options, hotels with Braille signage, and attractions that cater to visitors with disabilities.  There are also many online forums and communities where you can connect with other blind and visually impaired travelers and get firsthand advice, like this blog. We have a variety of articles reviewing destinations. You can also connect with me here on the contact page or on social media if you have any questions.

Embrace the apps

Load up be my eyes, and all the other awesome navigation apps on your phone and practice with them. Get to know them inside and out so when you are on a trip you can confidently use them to orient you, or get out of a jam.

Develop a positive attitude

A positive attitude is essential for any travel adventure, but it is especially important for those of us who have little or no vision.  Be prepared for unexpected challenges, but don’t let them discourage you.  Focus on finding solutions and on enjoying the journey. Take each road bump in stride and face each new obstacle as a challenge to be solved rather than something that could ruin your trip. Be ready for the eventual problems but don’t let the fact that there could be issues while traveling keep you from booking that next adventure in the first place.

Practice at home

Before you embark on a major trip, build your confidence by taking shorter trips in your own city or town.  This will help you to develop your orientation and navigation skills, and it will give you a chance to practice using public transportation and navigating unfamiliar environments.

By following these tips, you can build the confidence you need to travel independently and explore the world.  Traveling to a great new destination is an amazing adventure that can be both challenging and rewarding.  With the right preparation and a positive attitude, you can overcome any obstacle and create lasting memories. Traveling with limited vision can be an incredibly rewarding experience.  So why not start planning your next adventure today?

In addition to the tips above, here are a few other things to keep in mind when planning a trip as a blind or visually impaired traveler:

Get a good guidebook:  There are a number of guidebooks available that are specifically designed for blind and visually impaired travelers.  These guidebooks provide detailed information about accessible accommodations, transportation options, and attractions.

Consider traveling with a companion:  If you are feeling apprehensive about traveling alone, consider traveling with a friend or family member who can provide support and assistance.

Let your travel providers know about your needs:  When you book your flights, hotels, and tours, let the travel providers know that you are blind or visually impaired.  This will help them to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

With a little planning and preparation, we can travel the world and experience all that it has to offer.  So, pack your bags and get ready for your next adventure!


Do you have strategies you use to practice skills before you travel? Would you like to add some words of wisdom to the list for other travelers? feel free to drop me a note here on my contact page or at the social media links below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

“Traveling, without sight, is an extraordinary journey of exploration. In the quiet footsteps and whispered winds, you discover a world painted in sensations—the warmth of sun-kissed stones, the rhythm of bustling streets, and the symphony of unfamiliar voices. Each tactile map, each shared laughter, becomes a constellation of memories etched upon your soul. In the vastness of the unknown, you find not darkness, but a canvas waiting for your touch—a masterpiece woven from courage, resilience, and the sheer wonder of exploration.” – Ted Tahquechi

About the author

Ted Tahquechi is a blind photographer, travel influencer, disability advocate and photo educator based in Denver, Colorado. You can see more of Ted’s work at

Ted operates Blind Travels, a travel blog designed specifically to empower blind and visually impaired travelers.

Ted’s body-positive Landscapes of the Body project has been shown all over the world, learn more about this intriguing collection of photographic work at:

 Questions or comments? Feel free to email Ted at: 

Instagram: @nedskee

Twitter: @nedskee

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