Traveling can be a stressful experience for those with and without hearing loss. There are a number of common challenges that those with hearing loss may experience, including:
- Inability to hear in-flight/boarding instructions and announcements
- Difficulty with flight or hotel reservations
- Inability to hear hotel alarms, door-knocking, or hotel room telephones
How can you prepare for these challenges while traveling and what can you pack to make sure that you are well prepared for your vacation? This post aims to answer these questions and provide tips to help you feel ready for your next vacation.
Before traveling, it is important to make necessary arrangements in advance. This will ensure that you and the organizations you are traveling with will be better equipped when difficult situations arise. In addition, it is important to make sure that you arrive early to all stations and ports. If you require assistance, inform the agents that you have a hearing loss and request to be informed when your craft/bus/train has arrived and when it is time to board.
When planning a trip, make sure to consider the following tips:
- Request written confirmation of bookings to ensure they are correct before you leave.
- Meet with a travel agent beforehand to provide the opportunity for lip reading and visual access.
- Make sure to check the display board, if available, repeatedly for updates and important information.
- If traveling by air, wear your hearing device or keep your hearing device close to you to prevent loss.
- When going through security checks and metal detectors, inform the security officer of your device before the screening begins. You do not need to remove your hearing aid when going through these devices and they will not damage your device. If you wear a cochlear implant, it is possible to request a body check.
After you have made the necessary arrangements in planning your trip, it is also important to consider what to bring. Being prepared can help save you trouble and stress when on your trip! Here are a few items you may want to bring when traveling:
- If you wear a hearing aid, make sure to bring the appropriate equipment to take care of your device. This can include:
- Extra batteries
- Sport clips
- If you are traveling to a warm or humid climate, it might be worthwhile to invest in a dehumidifier to prevent moisture accumulation in your aids each night.
- Bring a paper and pen with you everywhere to help you communicate!
- You may want to bring your own personal electronic device, such as an iPhone or iPad, to watch videos and read on. Many aircrafts do not have closed captioning for in-flight entertainment, so it will help make a long flight more fun!
- Written directions for accommodation, and a copy of the hotel business card
- Copies of all flight and travel information and a photocopy of your passport
- Travel vibrating alarm clock to help you wake up on time for timed tours or plans
The most important thing to remember when traveling is to have fun! This is your vacation and as long as you are well-prepared, you are bound to have a stress-free traveling experience! Have any more tips on what to bring when traveling? Comment on the forum page!