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Tips for Traveling with Hearing Loss

Summer holidays means vacationing with the family. Whether taking a road trip with your grandkids or flying across the country to catch up with some old friends, you have a great summer planned. Have you stopped to think about your hearing? You wear hearing aids, but managing your hearing loss might pose a few more challenges on holiday than at home. Here are some tips to help you make it through vacation season and leave the problems behind.

Packing Tips

The first step to a great trip is ensuring you have all the essentials with you before you leave. Along with your extra pair of socks and your favorite book, don’t forget to pack the things you need to keep you hearing the entire trip. If you have hearing devices that require batteries, the most important thing to pack is extra batteries. Take more than you think you’ll need, since you never know what might happen. If your hearing aids are rechargeable, make sure you have the charger with you. Traveling outside of North America? You may need a power converter or power adaptor to allow you to plug in your charger, and even your phone. Research the country you’re going to, and get an adaptor if needed.

Even if you’re only gone for a few days, it’s important to pack your cleaning kit so your hearing devices are clean and dry. If you’re going to somewhere warm and humid, this is one of the most important things to pack since the higher humidity or increased sweat will mean you need to clean your devices more often than you would at home. Pack these essentials in your carry-on luggage, so you’ll be ready no matter what.

Do you have any early flights, or appointments to keep while you’re traveling? Be sure to pack your alarm-clock, since many hotels use old digital alarms. Unlike the alarm you may be using at home, hotel clocks aren’t very loud, and definitely don’t vibrate or flash, leaving you sleeping through your flight. You may want to have paper and a pen with you as well, in case you’re having difficulty understanding what’s being said to you.

Getting on the Plane

If your holiday is a flight away, here’s what you need to know before boarding. Airports can be confusing places, especially if you have difficulty hearing and may not catch the PA announcements regarding changes to your flight time or gate. To minimize your stress, print out your boarding pass and any other relevant documents. Keep them together in a file for handy reference. Many airports are improving their support by providing advanced accessibility. Prior to your flight, sign up for automatic email or text notifications that will send updates regarding your flight status and gate directly to your phone so you’re not reliant on the garbled PA system, and can enjoy your time in the airport.

When going through security and stepping through the body scanner, there’s no need to remove you hearing aids. Keep them in! You’ll be able to hear what’s going on, and won’t be in danger of losing them.

Getting in the Car

Is your trip this year a road trip? Are you driving to the next state to visit your family or driving across the country? Regardless of how many hours you’ll be in the car, these tips will help you have a great time on the road.

The most important thing is safety. If you’re driving, always keep your eyes on the road! You want to chat with your passengers, and it’s easier to understand them if you can see their faces, but that’s not possible them when you’re behind the wheel. Ask your passengers to speak slowly and clearly. You’ll have an easier time understanding them if they speak slow enough that you have time to focus on the road as well as process the conversation. For long road trips, you could consider investing in an FM transmitter system. This wireless system comes with a mic, so whatever is said in the car will be sent directly to your hearing aids and you’ll have no trouble hearing what’s been said.

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure this summer, be prepared for whatever comes your way. For more tips on how to have a successful holiday and manage your hearing loss away from home, visit Comprehensive Ear and Hearing and keep your holiday worry-free.