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Essential Travel Tips For The Hearing Impaired

How to travel the world with a hearing problem.

Traveler with backpack

Whether for business or pleasure, it is best to always be prepared for the unexpected when traveling. Voyaging is a hard-of-hearing person can be challenging, even in today’s technologically advanced world. 

Despite today’s technological advances, hearing loss problems affect more than 5% of the world’s population. Hearing loss has several different causes, including injury and congenital disabilities.

By planning, you can face any issues that may come your way while traveling. These valuable tips will help keep you safe on your memorable and rewarding adventures. 

General Maintenance

Before leaving on your new adventure, ensure your hearing aids are in the best possible condition. This may mean a visit to your hearing healthcare professional.

Your audiologist will ensure that your hearing aids are clean and functioning correctly. Discuss your plans with your healthcare provider so they can make any adjustments that might be needed.

Remember to pack backup batteries for your hearing devices, a storage container, a cleaning kit, and any accessories you might need to protect your hearing aids on your travels. 

If you use assisted listening devices (ALDs), try to optimize your experience; this may include clipping your device to your companion’s seatbelt or shoulder strap. Clip your microphone to an article of clothing closest to the speaker while listening to the radio.

Plan In Advance

Planning ahead of time is helpful for anyone who travels and will make your travels easier regardless of your situation. Planning is crucial to a seamless trip when suffering from hearing loss. 

When making any booking make sure you request a hearing-accessible room. This type of room is equipped with flashing lights for the phone and doorbell. Any alarms you might be given will vibrate instead of making a noise as a notice. 

Plan how you will pack your bags; anything necessary for your hearing aid equipment should be put in your carry-on bag because checked luggage is at risk for loss. 

Familiarize yourself with any crucial landmarks and historical spaces. That way, if you hear them mentioned, you will be able to identify the words quickly. 

Prepare yourself for any emergency situation. Keep identifying documentation or a medical alert bracelet on you. If you have a cochlear implant, you might consider creating a cochlear implant ID card that includes your hearing impairment status, your devices used, and your doctor’s information.

When Traveling By Public Transport

Public transportation includes airplanes, buses, and trains. Your hearing aids will not interfere with the plane’s navigation, so keeping them on even when electronic devices are asked to be switched off is a non-issue. 

If you are alone on a flight, it is recommended that you tell the flight attendant and your neighbor that you have a hearing impairment; this will prevent you from missing any emergency announcements made over the intercom. 

You are allowed to keep your hearing aids on your person; you are advised to fill the TSA agent in on your hearing impediment to prevent unnecessary hassles. The carry-on conveyor belt may create static electricity and affect the functionality of your hearing aids. 

Communication Is Key

You may find it challenging to communicate with hearing-abled people when you suffer from hearing loss. It has been recommended to travel with an auditory-abled person who will be able to interpret for you. 

This might not always be possible, and traveling with a pen and paper might be just as effective. Inform the workers at the airport check-in desk or the hotel reception desk that you are hard of hearing, and they can provide you with a pen and paper so that you can communicate by writing.

If you prefer, many phones come equipped with a note app that may assist your communications. Deaf travelers can also communicate through sign language. However, just as there is a wide range of spoken languages, there is a wide range of sign languages.

There are many ways to communicate effectively without the use of speech. Find what works best to make your travels as fun as possible. 

Although traveling as a person with a hearing impairment can be frustrating, it is not impossible. You may even streamline the process and pass on any advice and tips you learn through your travels. 

Advocating for yourself is a good idea if you feel it is necessary. Don’t be afraid to explore new possibilities. 

Research as much as possible to get a general idea of what to expect while traveling. Even if you’re living with significant hearing loss, you can still travel the world and enjoy all it has to offer. 

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