Tips for Traveling with Hearing Loss

family fishing on beach during summer evening

Traveling when you have hearing loss can be stressful as it can present challenges in navigation and communication. Here are some of the challenges that people with hearing loss face when traveling:

  • Missing announcements
  • Unable to communicate with travel attendants
  • Noisy or distorted nose when walking through scanners
  • Loud traffic and unsafe noises

However, whether you are off on an overseas adventure, visiting family or on a business trip, a few adjustments can make traveling a pleasure. Review the following tips for better and more enjoyable trips.

Make Reservations in Advance

Many hotels in developed countries have set aside rooms for people with hearing loss. These accommodations have specific features, including:

  • Flashing lights or sensors that shake the bed for the telephones and doorbells
  • A telephone that allows communication through texts
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Closed captioning TV

Before making reservations, request a hearing-accessible room in advance. If you are making your traveling plans with a tour company, let them know your accommodation needs in advance. This also applies to museums, theaters, and other entertainment spaces in large cities that provide hearing assistive technology if you ask them. 

Before traveling, learn as much as you can about your destination. Ensuring that you are familiar with the names of places or historical figures will make it easier for you to understand when you hear these names.

What to Pack

Your journey starts with packing. A little list of the things you need on your hand will not hurt. Packing all the stuff you need helps avoid the unpleasant experience of procuring items in a foreign place. Consider packing:

  • Noise-canceling earphones
  • Charger cable for your rechargeable devices
  • If traveling overseas, pack the proper converter for recharging your hearing aids.
  • A dehumidifier for drying out moisture from your devices
  • Replacement accessories and cleaning tools
  • A portable hearing aid storage box

It’s also important to check in with your audiologist before leaving town. Your audiologist can make sure your hearing devices are clean and functioning correctly. They can also help make adjustments needed for effective functioning in the types of environments you plan to visit.

Take Advantage of Available Technology for Logistics

Ensure that you have all the relevant apps on your smartphone before you start your journey. Most train and airline companies have apps that provide timetables and alerts to delays or gate changes. These apps will ensure that you do not miss out on any important updates as you wait to board.

Be Your Advocate

Hearing difficulties are not easy to spot, and most people will not be aware of this fact. However, when you let your conversation partners know that you are hard of hearing, it always helps avoid confusion. Mostly just a simple signal like holding your hand behind your ear will remind others about your needs without disrupting the dialogue.

Inform your fellow travelers and tour guide about your hearing loss and let them know how they can help you hear better. You can request to stay close to your guide to listen better and see their faces clearly for lip-reading. Request them in advance to speak when facing the group whenever they can.

Dining Out

When looking for a dining spot, opt for restaurants with quiet corners or outdoor seating when the weather is nice and warm. Ask your hotel for a suggestion for quitter restaurants. Excessive noise can make it challenging to have a meaningful conversation with your loved ones.

Have a Backup Plan

Having your hearing aids dysfunctional can cause worry at any time, but these can feel like a disaster when you are miles away from your audiologist. Having a tested backup plan before going can help avert a crisis. A pocket-talker or high-quality headset that you can connect to hearing apps or bringing spare hearing aids can prove helpful in such instances.

Traveling by car

If you are planning to hit the highway, here are some tips that can help you drive peacefully with hearing loss:

  • You can ask your audiologist to assist you in procuring an assistive listening device for improved conversation with other travelers in the car.
  • You can get an extra-wide rear-view mirror for a better view of your surroundings. It can be a safety layer as you may not be able to hear cars honk or approach.
  • You can also choose to install an induction loop. The device allows you to hear and understand your cell phone, radio and conversation with fellow passengers.

Traveling by Train, Airplane or Bus

A train, bus or plane is likely to put you in noisy and chaotic environments. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Security checks do not require you to remove your hearing aids
  • Check relevant apps and websites for unique amenities for those with hearing loss. Some transportations hubs provide induction loops devices for people with hearing loss
  • Download necessary apps and sign up for travel alerts sent by messages.

Adequate planning and advocating for yourself can have a significant impact on the quality of your trip. To learn more about traveling with hearing loss and acquiring advanced hearing devices and technology, contact us at Imagine Hearing Solutions at 530-205-0259.