Travel Tips for Individuals with Hearing Loss
Travel Tips for Individuals with Hearing Loss
Spring is here and summer is fast approaching! Many of us use the summer months to take vacation time and take advantage of the weather to do some traveling. Traveling is typically a fun experience, however traveling with hearing loss and hearing aids can present challenges. For example, if you’re hard of hearing, you may miss boarding calls for flights or trains. Or if you don’t speak the language at your destination, locals’ accents can make it even more difficult to communicate. With this in mind we have come up with a list of tips to help make your travel experience a stress-free one.
Travel Booking Tips for Individuals with Hearing Loss
- Book your air travel, shuttles and accommodations ahead of time with an agent. Always inform the ticketing agent that you are hard of hearing.
- Ask for written confirmation of all travel arrangements to avoid any potential confusion at your destination.
- If you choose to book your travel online, print off all confirmation information including confirmation numbers and take them with you.
- Consider booking an aisle seat in order to make it easier to communicate with in-flight staff.
Packing Tips:Best practice is to assume that your destination will likely not have everything you’ll need to maintain your hearing aids. So before you leave on your trip make sure you go through this checklist while packing:
- Make a list of everything you’ll need to ensure you don’t forget anything.
- Charge all hearing aid devices and accessories before you leave.
- Extra replacement batteries or charger.
- Pack spare attachable accessories – for example wireless accessories to connect to other devices.
- All necessary cleaning items.
- A cell phone that is compatible with your hearing aids.
- A convenient carry-on approved case if you will be traveling by plane.
- Pack an alarm clock with vibration or flashing light functionality.
- Pack a simple hearing aid repair kit.
Travel Tips for the Hard of Hearing
- Arrive early at the airport, bus or train terminal and let the boarding agent know that you are hard of hearing and that you will need to be notified in person when it’s time to board.
- Check the display boards often while you’re waiting in case of flight information changes.
- Confirm your flight numbers and boarding gates.
- Inform the flight attendants that you have hearing loss and request that you be informed personally of any in-flight announcements.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most fellow travelers are usually happy and willing to help.
Airport Security Information when Traveling with Hearing Aids:A few things to keep in mind to help keep your travels stress free are:
- Notify the security officer at airport security that you use hearing aids. You shouldn’t have to remove them, however your hearing aids may set off the walk-through detectors and you may be subject to an additional pat down by security.
- You don’t need to worry about the metal detectors, x-ray machines or hand-held detectors damaging your hearing aids. They are perfectly safe.
- You are not required to carry any sort of doctor’s note or documentation of your hearing loss. However, if you prefer to be more discreet, the TSA has a downloadable health notification card available to help you communicate your situation to the security officer. Download, fill it in and print it off prior to travel and keep it with your other travel documents for safe keeping.
- Devices like hearing aids or pacemakers are exempt from the portable electronic devices policy while flying because they do not emit a signal that may interfere with aircraft systems. The FAA does not require you to turn them off for takeoff and landing.
Tips for Hotel or Resort Vacations with Hearing Loss
- Learn the phrase, “I am hard of hearing,” in the local language at your destination.
- Inform the check-in agent of your hearing loss and let them know about your specific needs. This will make for a much more enjoyable experience.
- Ask the agent whether your hotel is outfitted with emergency notification system for the hard of hearing. (For example: Flashing lights on the smoke and fire alarms.)
- Ask for an ADA Kit (Americans with Disabilities Act)
- Put your hearing aids in the same spot every night to make sure you can find them easily.
- Pick up a local map. When you’re hard of hearing, it is easier to get directions when you can be shown on a map.
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