When you’re about to embark on your upcoming adventure, it’s great to have a checklist ready to ensure that you’ve packed all the essentials. Of course, if you’re traveling to an area that isn’t off the grid, most of your daily use items can be purchased if you’ve accidentally left it out of your packed luggage.
But if you wear hearing aids, you are probably dependent upon their good and working use in order to have the easy listening experience you’ve become accustomed to. Accessories for hearing aids aren’t as easily purchased as a travel sized tube of toothpaste. So, it’s important to take extra care in preparing for your upcoming trip as a hearing aid wearer
Make a checklist of essentials
Pay attention to the items necessary for the routine associated with your hearing aids. You’ll need to pack your storage case, extra batteries, a soft cloth and any other items you use to maintain your hearing aids. Backup batteries and chargers are especially valuable when traveling away from home.
Once you have the checklist, it’s good practice to also include a special carrying case for your hearing aid accoutrements. This makes it effortless to keep all of your like-items in one place. If traveling by plane, don’t store your hearing aid bag in packed luggage, and keep it in your personal bag or carry on. You’re less likely to misplace or leave behind something as important as your storage case, for instance, in a hotel room or guest accommodations.
Mark your items with your name and contact info
In the unlikely or unfortunate event that you do leave your special hearing aid bag behind, mark your name and contact info clearly on the bag. This makes it easy to call hotel staff or the friends and family you’ve lodged with in order to be reunited with your important belongings.
Inquire about accommodations
The venues you visit or the group you’re traveling with might have special accommodations or procedures for guests with hearing loss. This can be something as simple as an assistive listening device at a museum or hearing loop technology in the banquet hall.
Choosing unfamiliar dining spots can be dicey if you have hearing loss. Your hotel concierge might be knowledgeable about which restaurants are known to be quieter. When making reservations, ask to be seated at a corner table so that background noise at the restaurant is minimized. Other aspects to ask about are whether the restaurant has carpeting, which will improve your auditory experience, or if they play music at high volumes.
You don’t need to remove your hearing aids when going through TSA security and you should never place them on the conveyer belt or in plastic bins. You can also keep your hearing aids in and on during your flight, regardless if they use bluetooth technology. Some people find they are more comfortable removing their hearing aids during flight. If that is the case for you, check in with your flight attendants to let them know you have trouble hearing and will be removing your aids. That way, in the event of an emergency or other issue, they have foreknowledge that you will need additional communication. Never store your loose hearing aids in the seat pocket in front of you, which is notoriously a black hole of lost items. Instead, return them to your special hearing aid case in your carry on or personal bag.
Even folks with wonderful hearing health have difficulty understanding airline announcements over the speaker while you’re waiting at the gate. Be proactive by downloading the airlines app, so that all flight changes and notifications can be sent straight to your smartphone. You might also alert the airline staff that you have hearing loss and would like to be personally notified when announcements are made.
Enjoy a safe and rewarding trip
Traveling in unfamiliar places can always bring small anxieties with anticipation. It is always brave to visit a new place and try new things. While wearing hearing aids adds another list of essential items to remember and maintain, they can also make travel especially fruitful for a person with hearing loss.
Before intervening in hearing loss, travel might have seemed too overwhelming or effortful because of communication difficulties. Taking charge of hearing loss by intervening also allows you to get back out and enjoy the vibrant activities, like traveling, that truly make life worth living.