How to Travel with Hearing Aids
Are you planning any trips this winter? Maybe you’re spending Thanksgiving with the extended family, going to Mexico for a week in February, or have a work trip coming up. The question is, how do you travel with hearing aids? Don’t get stressed, or let hearing loss keep you from traveling. Read on for some useful tips and tricks to keep you hearing your whole holiday.
Packing the Essentials
Along with your toothbrush and extra pair of socks, there’s a few things you should definitely be packing if you’re traveling with hearing loss. The most important thing to bring is extra batteries (or your hearing aid charger) so you don’t run out of power after a couple days on the road. If you’re traveling overseas, you may need to invest in an outlet converter, so check into that before you leave home.
Another essential is your cleaning kit, so your hearing aids stay clean and dry and you won’t miss out on any of the exciting sounds happening around you. For safety, always pack your hearing aid equipment into your carry-on bag.
Other things to bring include your alarm clock, since many hotels use old digital alarms. These won’t vibrate, and you don’t want to sleep through a flight. Carrying a notepad and a pen is always a good idea, just in case you need another way to communicate.
Flying and Hearing Aids
If your upcoming trip involves flying, knowing what to expect in the airport can take a load off. To navigate the airport as easily as possible, print out all your travel documents ahead of time, and keep them handy. Did you know that you do not need to remove your hearing aids before going through the body scanner? They won’t beep.
Loudspeaker announcements can often be fuzzy or just too quiet, and many travelers with hearing loss get anxious about missing information about their flight. Airports around the world are making it easier for hard of hearing individuals to fly in comfort. Most airlines offer email or text notifications regarding your flight or gate number, so you’ll be updated on the right gate and time for your flights.
Spending Christmas with the family and driving there this year? Passengers can be hard to understand if there are a few people in the car, and straining to hear can be both annoying and dangerous. Keep your eyes on the road! We know it’s easier to understand someone if you can see their face, but if you’re the driver that’s just not possible. Ask your passengers to speak more slowly – or even one at a time! – so you have time to focus on the road and also process what they are saying. If you’re going to be in the car for a few days, you could pick up an FM transmitter system. This will wirelessly transmit sounds right to your hearing aids so you can hear and drive safely.
While driving, remember to use hands-free devices. Certain hearing aids allow you to connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone, which means you’ll be able to stream phone calls directly to your hearing aids rather than holding your phone up to your ear.
Hotel and Accommodations
For people with hearing loss, staying in hotels can be frustrating since the supports they are used to at home aren’t in place. Research hotels carefully before deciding to stay there to ensure they have the provisions you need. Call customer service ahead of time and notify them of your hearing loss.
As you check in, make sure the hotel staff know about your hearing loss, and ask for the ADA kit. This package includes visual alerts for the important things in the room such as the doorbell, alarm clock, and fire detectors. The kits should also be equipped with a telephone amplifier and a closed-captioning TV remote.
Traveling with hearing loss doesn’t have to be a headache. Be prepared. Follow these tips, and have a great time!
For more information on hearing loss or to schedule a hearing exam, contact us at Gulf Gate Hearing.