We're right in the middle of holiday season, and while some will soak up our Summer around Australia, others will travel abroad to cool off! Whatever you choose, having hearing loss won't slow you down if you follow these great tips...
Before you go
What makes a hotel room hearing accessible? It varies, but generally these types of rooms have:
- A telephone that allows guests to communicate via text or typing, such as a TTY phone and/or a phone with added amplification
- Sensors that shake the bed and/or flash a light to alert guests that someone has rung the doorbell, or is calling on the phone. These types of alerts are also required for emergencies. Alarm clocks also must provide some sort of non-auditory signal, as well.
- A TV with closed captioning
- Signage indicating assistive listening devices are available
What to pack
- Hearing aid storage case/drying container
- Small hearing aid dehumidifier
- Hearing aid splash protectors or wind sleeves, if your plans include active outdoor activities, such as camping and hiking
- Adapter for your charger if you’re traveling abroad
- Extra batteries
- Cleaning kit
- Assistive listening devices
- Hearing aid accessories
Get a hearing aid tune up, if needed
Traveling by car
- Ask your hearing healthcare professional about purchasing an assistive listening device that will improve your ability to hear conversations with fellow travelers while in the car.
- Consider purchasing an extra wide rear-view mirror so you can see more of your surroundings. Because you may not hear cars approach or honk, this is an added layer of safety.
- If you frequently take road trips with passengers, look into having an induction loop installed. This electronic device will allow you to better hear and understand your radio, cell phone and conversation from other passengers. (Induction loops are also found in some airports and travel hubs like train stations.)
- If you rely on texting or emailing for conversations, don’t compromise safety. Pull to the side of the road to send or receive these messages or ask one of your passengers to act as your reader and scribe.
Traveling by public transportation or airplane
- You do not have to remove your hearing aids when going through airport security.
- For any transportation, check relevant websites or call ahead to ask about services for those with hearing loss. Many facilities require at least two weeks’ advance notice for sign language interpretation, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time if this is a service you require.
- Some travel hubs have induction loop systems to allow people with hearing loss to hear announcements more clearly.
- Pack necessary travel documents in an easy-to-reach place.
- Sign up for travel alerts via text messaging, which can be useful if announcements are garbled.
During your trip
Hearing aid problems
If you're traveling to a foreign country
- Downloading a translator app on your smartphone or keeping a translation dictionary in your bag
- Alerting the travel personnel ahead of time about your hearing loss, so they can help point you in the right direction when you arrive
- Seeking out translator and hearing loss services ahead of time online
Planning is key
Also, your hearing aid professional or audiologist can provide you with more tips on what to consider before traveling the open skies, rails or roads.