If you have hearing loss and are thinking about traveling, it is important to plan ahead! Whether you are traveling for leisure or for work, traveling can be stressful. Making reservations ahead of time, coordinating logistics, and navigating airports can be a lot of work. Organizing travel can be particularly time-consuming if you have hearing loss.
By taking the time to think about and plan for your hearing needs, you can avoid potential mishaps and be fully prepared to enjoy your travel. Here are a few useful tips to consider.
What to Know Before Traveling
Preparing as much as you can beforehand is incredibly helpful. Knowing key pieces of information can help you plan effectively so you know what to consider as well as what to expect. It is important to know:
- Traveling by airplane: there are no travel restrictions that prevent wearing your hearing aids throughout the airport and on your flight. You are not required to remove your hearing aids while going through airport security. Additionally, hearing aids can (and should be) worn during take-off and landing – unlike other types of electronic devices. It is important that you are wearing your hearing aids while flight attendants share flight instructions, updates, and safety information. If you want to watch a movie during your flight, be sure to store your hearing aids somewhere safe and accessible after removing the device.
- Accessibility: it is also important to be aware of your rights around accessibility. There are laws that protect people with hearing loss. Most commonly known as the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). The ADA requires accessibility to services for people with disabilities, including hearing loss. This includes the Air Carriers Access Act which requires all airlines to accommodate hearing loss, hearing accessibility in public places like movie theaters and museums, hotels must provide hearing-accessible rooms, etc. Be sure to look into what you can access during your travel to help ensure your hearing needs are met as you navigate public environments.
In addition to being aware of how to navigate the airport and airplane with your hearing aids as well as the accessibility laws that support your hearing needs, there are additional tips that can help you best prepare for your travel plans.
Tips for Traveling
The following tips can support you as you organize your travel plans:
- Plan in advance: try and make all of your travel plans in advance and online. This allows you to finalize arrangements conveniently and receive automatic confirmations without issues of miscommunication or struggling to hear. Also, develop an itinerary so you can map out the activities you plan on doing as well as the environments you will be in. Identifying this information then allows you to plan for your hearing needs in these specific contexts.
- Create a packing checklist: part of planning ahead should also include making a packing checklist so that you do not forget any essential items. Your checklist should include: your hearing aid cleaning kit, storage unit, dehumidifier, hearing aid charger, extra batteries, any necessary adapters or converters if traveling to a different country, hearing aid accessories, any type of protectors etc. Be sure to have a separate bag just for your device as well as their related items.
- Have hearing aids checked beforehand: another useful tip is to have us check your hearing aids before you leave. This appointment can be completed during an open clinic which may be included in your accessory package or you may have to pay a low fee for an office visit. This is useful because you can have your devices checked to make sure they are working optimally. We can check for any repairs that may need to happen and you can get your hearing aids professionally cleaned as well!
- Share and advocate for hearing needs: disclosing your hearing loss with flight staff, hotel staff, and others you encounter throughout your travel is a great way to help ensure your hearing needs are met. Letting others know also allows them to participate in creating more accessible environments that maximize your hearing and comfort.
- Additional tips: check your phone’s roaming restrictions so you can be sure that you are able to receive text messages, activate alerts on your phone so you can receive travel updates, download useful apps like translator and navigation apps.
Hearing Aid Care and Maintenance
If you are planning to take a trip, why not include professional hearing aid care and maintenance on your to-do list? Make sure you will hear at your best on your travels and contact us at Hearing Solutions of North Carolina!