While new experiences await your next travel destination, traveling with hearing aids can be challenging for people who experience hearing loss. Here are four tips to help you plan for your next travel experience with your hearing aids.
Under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hotels and motels in the United States must be accessible to individuals with hearing loss. Before selecting your travel destination, research and familiarize yourself with accommodations, local area resources, and activities that are accessible for people with hearing devices. Does your accommodation provide specific amenities such as access to auxiliary aids, flashing doorbells, visual alarm clocks, television-closed caption decoders, hearing aid compatible telephones, and safety alerting devices?
If you are traveling outside the United States or to a developing country, contact your accommodation to request any specific needs that they can help with, such as a voltage converter for your hearing device. Ensure that you have packed essential supplies such as extra batteries. Research whether local supplies are available to keep your hearing aids functional for longer-term travel experiences.
There may be local activities that offer unique experiences for travelers from the deaf and hard of hearing community in some travel destinations. Contact local attractions such as museums and performance venues and ask if they provide hearing loops or other assistive technology upon request. Also, be sure to familiarize yourself with the local culture of the region you are planning to travel to, as some nonverbal cues may not have the same meaning in various regions around the world.
Are there any assistive listening, amplifier, or hearing aid controller apps or devices that enhance your travel experience?
Signing up for travel notifications and alerts on your smartphone can enable you to access any changes to your itinerary with ease and help you plan for the logistics of your upcoming trip.
Be sure to download all apps relevant to your travel experience and familiarize yourself with how their user interfaces function. While traveling, you may need access to an assistive listening app or device such as a pocket-talker or FM system to transmit a speaker’s voice directly to your hearing aids while blocking out any background noise.
Advocate for yourself
After thoroughly researching, identifying, and preparing for your needs, communicate with fellow travelers and local tour guides on your hearing loss and share any specific ideas on how they might advocate for and help you optimize your travel experience. Some local tour operators may provide accessible experiences to travelers with hearing aids.
While at the airport, it is not compulsory that you remove any hearing aids or cochlear implants. Be sure to inform the TSA officer of your hearing loss before the screening process. You may also provide a TSA notification card or other medical documentation to inform the TSA officer. Be sure to notify the flight attendants of your hearing loss to ensure you receive any important announcements.
Protect your hearing aids
While traveling, be sure to keep your hearing aids clean and dry. Ensure that you have packed the appropriate case and the necessary cleaning tools and extra tubing. Pack them in your carry-on luggage to limit the risk of damage or loss of your hearing aids. If the region you are traveling to has high humidity, ensure proper storage to keep your hearing instrument well protected.
Choose the right masks for your hearing aids
Hearing aid wearers all across the world have experienced considerable problems as a result of widespread mask use, including discomfort, lengthy efforts to put on and remove masks, and even the loss of hearing aids. When travelling, you’ll be masking up in ariports and other transit stations quite often. Here’s how to do it without losing your devices.
Consider behind-the-head masks. They keep your mask snug across your face and relieve strain on your ears. The disadvantage is that you’ll have to bring your own mask rather than using one that’s readily available in some public places. If you want the freedom to use any mask at any time, mask extenders are another great alternative. These are very useful in situations where you can’t always use your own mask.
Visit us before your trip
We believe that treating hearing loss reconnects you to the sounds of your life. Treating hearing loss ensures that you get the most out of your vacations, whether you’re a frequent jet setter or travel once a year for pleasure. Contact us to schedule a hearing test today!