- Post date:
- Monday, 2 July 2018
Arranging a day trip, staycation or dream holiday can be problematic when websites are inaccessible. Travel enthusiast Stacy Rowe shares her favourite websites and apps to help you plan your summer holiday.
My name is Stacy and I have very little vision. I’m not really one for sitting still so I’m always looking for places I want to travel to next.
Recently, I wanted to take my partner on a weekend away for his birthday but I wanted to keep it a surprise. I was trying to find a bed and breakfast but I couldn’t get beyond the front page of many websites because they were inaccessible.
The weekend away nearly didn’t happen, but thankfully after a lot of googling, I was eventually successful. We went to Hever Castle in Kent, not just because it was beautiful, but I was able to find the information I needed, book a room and pay online.
How I start organising a trip
I always start by googling the “top 10 things to do in the area” and I look at TripAdvisor
, a useful customer review website. I also search for the places I want to go on Facebook
, too. That’s often the most straightforward way of looking up how people have rated a place.
My top websites and apps
TripAdvisor is a really good source of current user reviews. The hotel booking website, Trivago has certainly been user-friendly for me in the past too.
For looking up transport, Traveline is a good transport route planning site and also National Rail is quite accessible.
Applevis.com is also extremely useful for blind and partially sighted people who use Apple products. Go to “categories” and select “travel”.
The search result will show all the relevant travel apps available and the accessibility ratings, as well as a description of what the app is about.
A great app for booking accommodation is HotelTonight. It’s very accessible and you can use Apple Pay so you don’t even have to fiddle around trying to put your card details in.
Some companies have their own apps, and often you will be able to book assistance in advance of a visit.
How websites are inaccessible
I think websites are becoming more and more difficult to navigate these days because of adverts and automatic pop-ups that cover part of the screen.
Pop-ups are images that appear over whatever it is you’re looking at. It’s easy to accidently click on them and you find yourself on a completely different website.
My screen reader will be reading from the page and then just start reading the pop-up, “image, blah, blah, blah”, and a whole lot of numbers. It can be very confusing.
How to avoid pop-ups
It’s pretty much the norm now for websites to use pop‑ups to advertise things. Ninety per cent of the time I use my phone for browsing as it’s far more user friendly.
Apps are great for avoiding excessive pop-ups too. I have an iPhone and when using Safari, I enable Reader Mode as it strips out anything that isn’t plain text.
Using apps on my phone has changed the experience of booking trips online for me.
My next holiday
I’m planning a road trip in Spain. There’s so much to see and do and that’s really taxing all of my research skills. I want to see some waterfalls and go kayaking, so there’s a lot of reading to be done.
If you would like to get online or learn more about technology but don’t know where to start, our Tech for Life team is here to support you. Visit RNIB's Technology Hub
to find out more.
Other websites you might like
Euan’s Guide features hotels, restaurants, theatres and more. It’s informed by people with disabilities and offers a real look at how accessible places are.
Open Britain is accessible, informative and lets you search for destinations and attractions by region.