You work hard for fifty weeks out of the year, so you deserve to be able to enjoy two weeks’ vacation without any stress or hassles. But if living with hearing loss on a day-to-day basis is difficult, the problems increase tenfold when you travel somewhere far from home. Should you just stay home and catch up on some reading, or is there a way to plan a worthwhile vacation despite your hearing limitations?
Traveling With Hearing Loss Involves a Little More Preparation
While it may seem daunting to take a trip when you have a hearing condition, you may find that a little preparation ahead of time can save you from common hearing-impaired challenges. Keep in mind the following tips as you begin to plan your next getaway:
- Booking. Keep paper copies of your travel and hotel information in an organized booklet that you can keep handy. This is easy if you book online, as you can simply print off all of your flight numbers, terminal information, confirmation numbers, maps, and hotel information. Many airlines and hotel websites offer an easy one-click option to inform the staff that you are hard of hearing, so watch for that option as you book.
- Packing. It pays to overpack if you have a hearing condition, or even a hearing aid device. Even if you are only traveling to the next county, assume that your final destination will not have everything you need to maintain optimal hearing function. You should pack your hearing aids, spare batteries, spare accessories, any chargers, cleaning items, and a small hearing aid repair kit. As a bonus, your packable alarm clock should have a vibration setting or flashing lights.
- Flying. If you are flying, always arrive early at the airport to find your gate. It helps to notify the airport security officer that you have a hearing aid, just in case your device sets off the metal detectors. Once you reach your terminal, let the boarding agent know that you are hard of hearing and confirm the flight information.
- Traveling abroad. Always tell the check-in clerk at your hotel that you are hard of hearing and ask about any available options that could improve your stay. If you cannot hear well in groups, take advantage of private tours offered at major tourist sites so that you and the tour guide can speak one-on-one. If you don’t speak the language, you can opt to learn the phrase, “I am hard of hearing,” in the native language, learn sign language (helpful no matter where you go!) or pick up a local map in case you need to ask for directions.
- Taking a cruise. Many cruise ships are at least as well-equipped to accommodate guests as hotels, and in some cases, much more so. Some ships offer assistive listening devices and closed-captioned telephones, while others offer sign language interpreters for live shows. In most cases, all guests have to do for these accommodations is ask.
Of course, one of the best preventive measures you can take before going on vacation is to have your hearing tested with and without your devices to make sure your ability is the best it can be. Call the number on this page to make an appointment with our hearing care specialists today!