How to Travel like a HOH

Monique Les

Summer is just around the corner! For some, this may mean lots of travel – whether it be a road trip, a flight to somewhere exotic, or even visiting sights in your hometown. Here are some quick tips for you to have a fabulous summer! I’ve divided it into two parts: the basics and the bonuses.

The Basics

  • Plan thy trip as much as you can, but be flexible where you can! It is still a vacation after all.
  • Have at least 2 extra weeks of battery supply on hand. ESPECIALLY if you’re going to go to humid climates. I was thankful for those extra batteries when I went to Cambodia – the humidity drained my batteries. It is better to be overstocked than understocked. Needless to say I came back with only 2 days worth of batteries left…
  • Consider bringing extra dry-aids, or a jar of rice to leave in your car/suitcase. Humidity and water accidents are bound to happen.
  • Purchase an Aqua+ or waterproof case for your hearing aids/cochlear implants. It is WORTH every penny to be able to hear while swimming. Plus, I quite like not having to stress over getting my equipment wet.
  • Have a plan for going through airport security. For those wearing cochlear implants, I suggest you bring photo cards explaining how they work. (Case in point: I went to Turkey in 2006 and security had NO idea what a cochlear implant was!) Photos definitely help to break down the language barrier.


Example of a CI photo card for travel

The Bonuses

  • Enjoy yourself, first and foremost! Odds are slim that you’ll see these people ever again. Don’t get hung up if people stare at your hearing aids/CIs. Consider it YOU educating THEM in a passive style.
  • Often, when you tell people that you have a hearing loss and are traveling alone – you’re more likely to get words of awe, amazement and cheers from your fellow travelers. Why is that, I have no idea. Maybe they think you’re superhuman?
  • Absorb the local culture. Look around you. It is the most valuable education anyone can get – not totally hearing loss related, but you get it.
  • If you’re traveling to a foreign country where they don’t speak English, you’re at a greater advantage. You can: 1) read body language more effectively than your hearing family/friends; 2) your friends/family will feel just as lost as you.
  • If there is a snafu or whatever = it’ll definitely make a great story to tell all the people that stayed at home on how you overcome it. After all, most hiccups do get resolved!

Traveling is one of my biggest passions. I could literally run a blog of all the trips I’ve done – from road/camping trips, plane trips, backpacking through Europe, bus tours, and cruises. Another story for another time.

There’s absolutely no reason why deaf and hard of hearing people can’t travel at ease.

If you’re need of more inspirational articles, check out:

  1. How traveling has made me more open and confident with hearing loss (Teen-Young Adult Recommended)
  2. 7 Tips for Travelling with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child (Parent Recommended)
  3. 11 Reasons Why Travel Makes You a Happier Person (not D/HH related, but it’s worth reading!)

Also check out PSP’s Summer Health Series from 2016, still relevant to today’s travel!

Happy Travels! I hope you’ll share some more tips with us!