Traveling is an integral part of American life, whether it’s for a business trip or a family vacation. It provides a great chance to get out and see something new, visit friends or family, or check a few items off your bucket list. Traveling with hearing loss, however, can be confusing and sometimes stressful.
Before you head out on your next travel adventure, check out our checklist for traveling with hearing loss. Or, continue reading here to learn some additional tips offered by Debbie Clason of Healthy Hearing.
Planning ahead is one way you can eliminate or reduce stress during your trip. The more you think of before you leave the house, the less you have to think about while you’re away. Let’s take a look at a few key things to arrange ahead of time.
1. Make reservations in advance
This includes everything from car rentals to plane tickets and hotel reservations. If you have access to the internet, take the time to look at all of your options. If you have hearing loss, being able to read about them, instead of having to make a phone call to ask questions, may help eliminate any communication errors and allow you to see exactly what is available.
2. Choose hearing-friendly hotel options
When deciding where to stay, pick a hotel that has hearing-accessible rooms available. These include features like TTY phones, TVs with closed captioning, and devices that provide non-auditory signals for things like fire alarms, a doorbell, or an alarm clock. If the place you want to stay doesn’t have these options available, go somewhere else!
3. Pack wisely
Of course, you’ll remember to bring all the appropriate clothes and shoes, but don’t forget about your hearing aids, hearing accessories, and backup items like batteries, chargers, and a cleaning kit for hearing aid maintenance. Make a list of all the hearing-related items you typically use and need on a daily basis and then keep that list handy for every time you travel – it’ll make packing a breeze and you will be less likely to forget something essential.
4. Get a hearing aid checkup
If you wear hearing aids or use any other assistive listening devices, there’s nothing more frustrating than getting to your destination and finding that they’re not working properly. Help eliminate possible malfunctions by scheduling an appointment with your audiologist and getting them checked and tuned up before your trip.
5. Plan for translation if needed
Having a hearing impairment can be a challenge anywhere, but it can be exponentially more challenging if another language is involved. If you’re planning a trip abroad, or to an area that speaks a language other than your native tongue, plan ahead to have translation services available when and where they’ll be needed. Or, download an app, such as Google Translate, on your smartphone so you can do your own translation as you go.
So there you have it … 5 essential tips for traveling with a hearing impairment. Now that the planning is done, it’s time to get out the door and enjoy your travels!
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