For people who experience hearing loss, travel presents a number of additional challenges. If you have a condition related to hearing loss, travel can present a change in how you manage your ear health while you are away. These travel tips can help you take care of your hearing so that you can enjoy every phase of your trip.
When booking your hotel, ask about hearing-accessible features before you go, such as text options instead of audio calls and closed-caption TV. It’s also a good idea to check for any roaming charges or restrictions on your cell phone so that you’re able to text while you’re away. Another option is to request travel alerts by text in case you need them.
What to Pack
While the prospect of bringing your hearing aid with you might be unappealing, it’s not a good idea to leave it at home. Impaired hearing can make you vulnerable to danger if you’re in a public space, especially if you are somewhere unfamiliar.
Hearing aid repairs might be difficult to access overseas, so make sure yours is fully functional and ready to go. If you are traveling from Saskatoon, it’s a good idea to visit Hearcanada, where you’ll find a range of hearing aid maintenance services including checks, cleaning and adjustments.
- Extra batteries or a charger
- A plug converter, in case you are using a charger in a country where the power outlets differ to the ones at home, such as three-pin sockets
- A dry aid kit, especially if you’re likely to be near water
- Any additional accessories such as a remote microphone
- A map, as this can make it easier to get around, especially if communicating with local residents is a challenge
- A small bag for your carry-on luggage. This should include your hearing aid supplies
For the Journey
Many airports have devices like induction loops at key points like check-in and passport control. They also have accessibility programs in place, so if you need help with anything (for example, if you are finding it difficult to hear flight announcements), let them know.
Most assistive devices for hearing tend to contain less metal than older versions. However, you should still wear yours when going through TSA. While damage to hearing devices by X-ray machines or metal detectors is unlikely, you can also request that staff search your hearing aid by hand if they ask to do so.
Once on the plane, you should not need to switch your hearing aid off. Devices such as hearing aids don’t emit signals that interfere with air traffic controls, so you should be fine to use them on the plane.
During Your Stay
At hotel check-in, remind staff that you are hearing-impaired and request a do not disturb sign to avoid anyone (for example cleaning staff) unexpectedly walking into your room. Once you unpack, set up a hearing aid station with all your supplies in an easy-to-access spot (such as your nightstand) to avoid spending valuable vacation time looking for them.
Before you go, it can also help to put together an itinerary of accessible venues: if you have hearing loss, noisy spaces such as indoor dining areas can add unnecessary stress, so check ahead for accessible places or outdoor seating arrangements.