But traveling with a hearing loss doesn't have to be any more difficult than travelling with perfect hearing. Just take a few precautions and make a few preparations. Here's how to make the most of your travels with a hearing loss.
Before your trip
- Ask your audiologist to make sure your hearing aids are prepared for the trip. While you're at it, ask about any assistive listening devices they might recommend. If you're going for a big opera experience, an FM system could improve your experience vastly.
- When you book seats for your flight, choose a seat that's up front and in the aisle. That way you get the least possible background noise. If you want a seat in the emergency exit rows, check the airline's policy, since some airlines don't allow those with hearing loss to sit in these rows.
- When you're packing, include extra batteries (or charger) and tubing, cleaning kit and travel case. If you're flying, bring them as carry-on in case your luggage gets misplaced. Going someplace hot or humid? Remember a dehumidifier. It's a good idea to bring an outlet converter too - for your rechargeable hearing aids or assistive listening devices
During your trip
- Have your printed reservations and tickets ready (or have them on your phone). This makes it easier to show them to airport staff for a smooth check-in.
- Keep your hearing aids on, so that you don't miss important information. But do tell the staff or people around you about your hearing loss - this will make it much easier for them to help you not miss out on any important travel information.
- If you are traveling via bus or train and there are no visual stop names, ask someone sitting next to you to let you know when your stop is coming up.
At your destination
- When out on a day tour of cities or towns, FM listening systems can help you hear the commentary. Ask the tour operator to use a transmitter microphone, so you can hear the information over radio waves via your hearing aid's receiver.
- Inform the front desk of your hotel about your hearing loss, so they know in case of emergency.
- Get a map on your phone or a printed one. If you have a hard time hearing, it will be harder to understand directions if you get lost or can't find what you're looking for. A map makes it much easier!
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