Travel Tips for People with Hearing Loss
For many people, summer means vacations and travel. But if you suffer from hearing loss, it could also mean stress and difficulty while traveling. Hearing loss can make many parts of normal travel more difficult. If you’re planning on traveling this summer and you suffer from any form of hearing loss or impairment, you should make sure you’re prepared before setting out.
Common Travel Problems
Regular travel poses many challenges to people with hearing loss – and these challenges can be especially hard if you haven’t sought treatment for your hearing. Here are a few of the most common issues people with hearing loss encounter when they are traveling:
- An inability to hear important information and announcements. These include airline boarding or flight information, in-flight announcements, tour group announcements and more.
- Difficulty making or confirming reservations over the phone.
- Trouble understanding accented speech or local terms.
- Difficulty using public telephones or using a cell phone in a public place.
- An inability to hear or participate in activities like group tours, guided tours, museum lectures, live performances, and so on.
In addition to the above challenges, hearing loss can also place you or loved ones in danger. There are several situations when hearing may be essential, like:
- Hearing warnings or safety announcements on the airplane, on tours, or in the hotel.
- Hearing smoke or fire alarms or the hotel phone during emergency situations.
- Hearing emergency vehicle sirens or emergency warnings.
Tips for Traveling with Hearing Loss
Fortunately there are some ways you can ease the struggles of traveling with hearing loss. While the best solution is to get your hearing loss treated by a certified audiologist, there are other things you can do to make travel easier as well.
Make Plans in Advance
The most important thing to do when traveling with hearing loss is to make as many plans and arrangements as possible ahead of time. This will ease the stress of traveling and give you a solid plan you can follow. If you aren’t a natural planner yourself, you can also work with a travel agent or tour agency to make plans for your trip before departing.
When traveling with hearing loss, it’s important to arrive as early as possible to important destinations in order to give yourself time to navigate and confirm details. Arriving early to the airport or to any group activities also helps ensure you won’t miss any vital announcements or changes of plan and that you’ll have time to make alternate arrangements if things do change.
If you have hearing loss that makes it difficult to hear announcements or warnings, it’s a good idea to notify staff or employees beforehand. This lets them know they should look out for your needs and keep you informed personally. Don’t be vain here – it’s better to admit you need special attention for your hearing than to miss important information. This is especially important if you’re staying in a hotel, since you could miss fire alarms or other emergency information while sleeping.
Use Visual Information
For many people with hearing loss it’s much easier to use visual sources of information to confirm details and get notifications. Fortunately, modern computers and phones have made it much easier to get up-to-date information visually. For instance:
- Instead of using the phone, you can book flights and hotels online and ensure all the details are correct at your own pace.
- Many airlines have mobile applications for smartphones which can send travel advisories and alerts straight to travellers, ensuring you won’t miss important info.
- Text messaging provides a good alternative to talking on the phone, allowing you to stay in touch with friends, family, and travel companions without the risk of missing details.
In addition, a smartphone can be used in a pinch as a hearing aid substitute (though they still aren’t as effective as modern hearing aids).
Use Hearing Aids
If you suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss, a hearing aid can make many aspects of travel safer and easier. They can allow you to stay on top of important information, participate in group or public events, and communicate easier by connecting directly to your phone. However, traveling with hearing aids poses its own challenges. If you have hearing aids, make sure you do the following when traveling:
- Bring extras of all supplies such as batteries and tubes. Depending on where you travel to you may have trouble finding the right pieces at your destination.
- Bring a case to store your hearing aids in when they are not in use, and be careful to protect them from water damage if you go somewhere wet or humid (like the beach).
- For extra protection you can talk to your audiologist or your insurance company about purchasing insurance for your hearing aids. This can be a good idea if you’re worried about the risks of bringing them along on your trip.
When traveling with hearing loss, preparation and knowledge are key. If you have questions about dealing with your hearing loss, contact us today at Audio Recovery. We’re the top audiology clinic in Oklahoma City, and we look forward to helping you treat your hearing problems. Call 405-949-1906 today or visit our Facebook page to learn more.