Traveling, whether on business or pleasure, is typically a fun and relaxing activity. But those with hearing loss face special challenges due to their inability to communicate normally, making travel a stressful experience. With a little preparation, however, travel can be easier and more pleasurable. The following tips will help those with hearing loss have a smoother overall travel experience.
- Pack extra hearing aid batteries. Most batteries last between 5 and 14 days; be sure to bring along enough to get you through your trip, plus extras just in case.
- Arrive early at the airport, train depot, or bus terminal. Special arrangements can be made with the boarding agent and/or flight attendants and other employees to pass along information to you in person, preventing you from missing important announcements. Fellow travelers are often more than willing to help, as well. All you’ve got to do is ask!
- Your smartphone is an invaluable tool! Use it for sending and receiving text messages that allow you to communicate with traveling companions or access public resources. There are applications for travelers that can assist with storing reservation information, alerting you to delays, and providing maps and directions to your destination.
- Don’t remove your hearing aids when traveling through security checkpoints. Let the security agent know you are hearing impaired if you’ll need help with instructions.
- Invest in a waterproof bag to carry your hearing aids and batteries, and a drying kit or dehumidifier if traveling to a humid or wet location.
- Book hotel rooms that have hearing accessible accommodations. Many hotels offer closed caption televisions, visual alerting devices and looping technology to make your stay more comfortable.
- Pack your hearing aid equipment in carry-on luggage rather than checked bags in case there is a mishap with your baggage.
- Bring printed copies of hotel reservations and any other important documents you may need.