Traveling is a typically a fun activity, especially when you're going on your summer holiday, but it can often be a nuisance for those with hearing loss and hearing aids. Remembering these tips can keep your travel stress-free and your hearing aids well-maintained.
- Tap into your resources. There are many online resources for those traveling with impairments. Take advantage of these and make your reservations online or work with a travel agent who specialises in working with the deaf or hard of hearing. Ask for emailed confirmations of all reservations and carry these in a folder with you as you travel.
- Make a list and check it twice. Make a checklist of everything you’ll need and double-check it before you leave: batteries, extra tubing, remotes and chargers for any devices like your SurfLink mobile and lastly, power converters for chargers if you’re traveling abroad. You may even want to bring a pair of old hearing aids as a backup.
- Good holiday= good communication. Identify your needs at every step in your travel process so staff can communicate effectively with you – at airports, train stations, hotels and restaurants. Do this as soon as possible when you arrive or even ahead of time so staff can personally alert you of changes in flight times or gates. Most airlines and train services allow you to receive alerts via text or email. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from other travellers if you are going solo; most will be happy to help!
- Keep them clean. As you move from place to place, remember to keep your hearing aids clean by wiping them down every night. Remember, hearing aids can gather bacteria on airplanes and at tourist spots.
- Finder’s keepers. To prevent loss, store your hearing aids in the same location every night. Include batteries and hearing aid backups in your carry-on rather than your checked luggage. If you're visiting someone who has small children or pets, keep your hearing aids and spare batteries in a safe place out of reach of small hands and hungry animals.
- Assist future travellers. If you spot an opportunity for improvement, let staff know. If the closed captioning on your hotel room TV is complicated, or if there is no ADA kit available for a visual alarm clock/smoke detector, the hotel should be alerted immediately. In doing so, you may be helping the next hard of hearing traveller.
Do you have advice from your experience traveling with hearing loss? Please share in the comments section below!