After hearing stories from our patients of missed connections, alarms, and added stress while traveling, we’ve packed together our best hearing loss travel tips in an easy-to-follow guide.
Before You Go:
Visit your audiologist
- Make sure your hearing aids are as prepared for your trip as you are. If you don’t have time to visit your audiologist, check to see if there is a respected practice near your destination.
- At your appointment, ask about assistive listening devices (like a vibrating alarm, Bluetooth® wireless connectivity to TVs and phones, and FM systems) to help make your stay more enjoyable.
- Be sure to bring extra hearing aid batteries and tubing (store these in your carry-on to prevent loss).
- Don’t forget a cleaning kit and a protective waterproof travel case!
- Bring a dehumidifier if you can, particularly if you’re traveling to a hot, humid, or tropical area.
- An outlet converter will help make sure you can charge your rechargeable batteries and other devices if traveling internationally.
- When booking hotels, transportation, and outings, ask for email confirmations so you can print them out or reference them via email when needed.
- Sign up for text or email alerts after booking your transportation. This will help ensure you’re aware of departure times, changes, etc.
- Ask about better-hearing accommodations or ADA compliance kits before you go. Many hotels can provide accommodations that make your stay more enjoyable, including closed-caption TVs and T-coil loops in rooms and lobbies.
On Your Way:
- Have your printed itinerary and confirmation papers in hand or ready on your phone.
- Make sure your phone is on vibrate so you won’t miss those text/email alerts you signed up for.
- Don’t be afraid to tell a fellow traveler or a staff member of your hearing loss. They can help ensure you don’t miss a change in itinerary or your boarding time.
- When flying, you typically do not need to take out your hearing technology. Save that extra energy for the rest of your carry-on.
- If there are no visuals for stops on your bus or train, ask your neighbor to let you know when your stop is coming up. Or try counting the number of stops until it’s your time to depart.
- Extra-wide rearview mirrors are handy for car travel, allowing you to see the smiling faces of your passengers.
- When out on a tour, FM listening systems can help you hear lectures, commentary, etc. Ask the speaker to use a transmitter microphone, which gives you the ability to hear the presentation over radio waves through your hearing aid’s receiver.
- At your hotel, make sure to remind the front desk that you have a hearing impairment, just in case there’s an emergency.
- Lastly, advocate for yourself. When you do this, it makes travel easier both on yourself and those around you.