Looking forward to an upcoming vacation? With or without hearing aids, traveling can be stressful. Keep in mind the following tips for traveling with hearing loss for your much-needed escape from the daily grind and get the most out of your journey!
Location is everything, whether you are in a busy city or a beach town. Check if your hotel is on the main road filled with nightlife attractions. Live music at all hours of day and night, blaring horns and heavy foot traffic from passersby might not be ideal. Choose wisely for an optimal location for your hard-earned respite.
Do some research on accessibility
When booking a hotel, investigate its provisions for the hearing impaired and if they have facilities and services you require. Can they provide you with assistive listening devices, a wake-up call, emergency alert systems, or hearing-aid compatible (HAC) phones? Communicate with your hotel beforehand to inform them of your needs whether it be a flashlight, or adjustments in travel accommodation.
Make your queries beforehand so that hotels, tour companies, or guides can be better prepared to accommodate you. All places of lodging in the USA are required to be hearing impaired accessible by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If your vacation includes exploring heritage sites, do a little research to become familiar with the names of these landmarks or figures of historical and cultural importance. It will be useful when they are spoken about. Are you going on an organized tour? Let the travel agency know of your needs so that they can make the necessary arrangements.
Also, keep in mind that theaters, renowned museums, and other public spaces offer accessibility devices for the hearing impaired. It is best to check all such destinations prior to travel for your greater comfort and enjoyment.
Use technology to your advantage
Airplanes and other transportation hubs can be incredibly noisy places. Even if you are using hearing aids to treat your hearing loss, the background noise in these spaces may make it difficult for you to hear announcements for last-minute changes, such as a change in your flight gate.
When checking in, set up email confirmations and text alerts so that any changes in travel from timetables to gate changes can be monitored and adjusted to easily. Download the necessary flight, travel advisory, weather, map and hotel apps and become familiar with them and all pertinent apps for your journey, lodgings and destinations before you set off on your adventure.
Be your own advocate
Don’t be shy in communicating with fellow travelers and tour guides and remind them that you are hearing impaired. Hearing loss is an invisible condition and can be overlooked by those unaffected. Notify the bus/train conductor or flight attendant of your hearing impairment, so that if an emergency situation arises, they will know to signal you in good time.
When traveling in the US, you can get a TSA notification card or simply inform the TSA officer that you are hearing impaired before you are screened. If you are on a guided tour, a hand behind the ear will let the guide know to speak up or to maintain a position in your view without any disruption. Let the guide know that you will be staying close to them so that it will be easier for you to hear or read lips when on tour.
Have a pen and notebook on hand at all times and ask for written clarification when it pertains to times, dates and locations – just in case technology fails! Ask for suggestions to quieter locales, cafes, and eateries and ask to sit in places where there is less noise when already in an establishment. If you are faced with overbearing traffic, sitting at a high decibel musical performance, or stuck in a loud entertainment space, don’t hesitate to turn down your hearing aid or put in earplugs.
On your list of things to pack
When packing for your trip, be sure to include clean containers, chargers, tubing, converters (for overseas use), earplugs, and extra batteries. Dirt and bacteria thrive in moisture, so if you ae traveling to a humid climate, be sure to bring a humidifier to keep your hearing implements dry. Keep your hearing devices clean, stored in the proper container, and kept in the same place every night before you sleep.
When you pack replacement batteries, make sure you have them allocated in several different pieces of luggage, just in case baggage is misplaced in transit.
A pocket-talker, an FM system, or connecting a high-quality headset to an app like EarMachine on your smartphone are some alternatives you can also pack in case your hearing aids malfunction.
Visit us at Absolute Audio
Check all your electronic equipment before you pack so you know that they are all in working order. Consider visiting us at Absolute Audio before your trip for routine hearing aid maintenance and repairs. With a well-serviced pair of hearing aids, you’ll be more confident about enjoying your vacation!