Hitting the road – or skies or rails – with hearing loss may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.
A little planning and preparation can go a long way in making sure your trip runs as smoothly as possible so you can relax and enjoy your destination once you arrive. Here are some tips for traveling with a hearing impairment:
- Book online: Book your trip online whenever possible. This will provide evidence in writing of your prices, dates, and reservations in case of problems.
- Sign up for travel alerts: Get email and text confirmations and alerts so you won’t miss important announcements on cancellations or delays.
- Check accommodations: Select your destination and hotel carefully with hearing-impaired provisions in mind. If there aren’t any accommodations, you may want to check out another place.
- Pack properly: Be sure to pack extra hearing aids, batteries and cleaning supplies for your devices. Include your hearing-related items in your carry-on bags to avoid the risk of these essentials getting lost on the flight.
- There’s an app for that: Get the Google Translate app on your smartphone to ease communication overseas. You can type in common phrases and the app will translate them for you.
- Notify hotel staff: Make special arrangements with hotel staff of your hearing loss so you don’t miss a knock on the door, phone call or alarm clock.
- Persistence pays off: Communicate with airport security officers, hotel staff, and flight attendants throughout your trip. You are not required to remove your hearing aids before passing through airport security, although TSA recommends you notify the officer before you begin the screening process. Inform flight attendants about your impairment so they can assist you if necessary.