Tips for Traveling with Hearing Aids

Here at Pacific Hearing Care, we believe that treating hearing loss reconnects you to the sounds of your life – and that includes travel! There’s no reason to forego traveling and finding adventure if you have hearing aids and hearing loss. You’ll be surprised how accommodating many tourist destinations as well as historical venues and monuments have access for the hearing impaired. Before you set out on your trip, give us a call or drop by Pacific Hearing Care to make sure your hearing aids are in top-top shape and you have all the accessories you need. And, if it’s been a year or more since your last hearing evaluation, schedule an appointment before you go! Here are some suggestions to make sure your trip is the best ever. 

Do Your Prep Work

Before making reservations at your hotel, find out if they had specific rooms for those with hearing difficulties. Many hotels in developed countries have amenities for the hard of hearing like flashing lights for the door knocker and phone as well as special phone accommodations. If you are going with a tour group or using a travel service, the director might be able to help you. It’s likely a request they’ve had before. Venues open to the public such as museums, historical sites, concert halls, theaters and other performance venues often offer loops or other hearing assistive technology if requested.

E-mail the facilities you will be visiting to get the most relevant information about their accommodations. If you are going to a country or countries where English is not the primary language, do a little work on the internet to familiarize yourself with words or phrases that might be used in signage that would show aids for the hearing impaired. For instance, assistenza uditiva means hearing assistance in Italian. 

It is also helpful to learn a little about the area before you go. If you have some familiarity with names and history, it will be easier to understand what a guide is saying.

Make Use of Technology

There are plenty of helpful apps for your phone or iPad that will be very useful when traveling.
Railways, city subway lines, and airlines have apps where you can download timetables and maps to your devices. Several of these apps have an alert feature that lets you know about delays or gate changes. Try practicing with the apps so you are familiar with all the functions and you are well-versed on where you need to go in the app to get the most use out of it. 

Great Britain has several apps that give specific information to tourists on what services are available for hearing or visual assistance. It lists what technology, like hearing loops, are available at sites. The Google Maps app has a feature that lets you find out when popular restaurants are the busiest. If you want to try a restaurant or diner but background noise is a concern, click on the business, then click the pin for “further information” and go to the section called popular times. You can skip the popular times for quieter dining.

Be Proactive

Inform your guide as well as your traveling companions that you have hearing loss and give them some tips on how they should communicate with your so everyone can have a great experience. Ask to be seated so you can see the guide’s face when they are talking. Ask them to speak clearly, but not in an exaggerated manner and ask them to try and not block their face with a microphone.  Bring an assistive listening device like an FM system that they can wear so you can stream the guide’s voice to your hearing devices. If they are giving directions to places, they suggest you might want to visit, ask them to write the directions down and pack a small pad of paper and a pen so you’ve got something handy for

Bring Extras

Pack extra batteries, an extra charger, and if you’re going abroad, a voltage converter. If you are going to be in a damp, wet climate, pack a dehumidifier or dryer and materials to clean your hearing aids. Make sure your hearing aids are up to date with a professional cleaning and maintenance check if you are going to be gone for a lengthy amount of time. Remember, too, that many of the hearing manufacturers have helplines that you can use where ever you are.

We think it’s great you are traveling and we hope you drop by Pacific Hearing Care before you go so, we can make sure you’ve got everything you need!