Travel can be stressful, particularly in the summer and around the holidays, when most people choose to vacation and visit family. But everyone likes to avoid unnecessary stress, and that’s what this article is intended to do: make traveling and vacationing with your hearing system as stress-free an experience as possible. The following tips might make your next holiday or vacation a little more pleasant and will allow you to fully engage with the world around you — and hear your best.
- Pay close attention to travel announcements. The PA systems at airports, train stations, and bus commute centers can be difficult to hear and understand. Keep a travel itinerary with you so that you know where you should be and when you should be there. Ask for updates from a person in charge so you’ll always have an idea of what your next move will be. If you’re more outgoing, ask a fellow passenger if they can keep you posted on important announcements and other instructions.
- Don’t be afraid to text. Your smartphone is useful for more than just making calls — there’s a world of information at your fingertips. Take the time to learn a few tips and tricks from your loved ones, who may be more knowledgeable about what your phone can do. And by all means, learn how to communicate via text messages. For those with hearing loss, reading a message can be more clear and concise than talking over the phone, and it’s easier to stay in constant communication with loved ones while texting.
- Ask about better-hearing accommodations. Many hotels can provide accommodations that make your stay more enjoyable, including closed-caption TVs and T-coil loops in rooms and lobbies. Ask about these accommodations while you’re booking them.
- Keep your hearing aids in place during busy travel moments. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends keeping your hearing aids in your ears during security screenings. Ask TSA agents for assistance or to repeat their instructions if needed. The TSA’s website (tsa.gov) has information regarding the screening process for individuals who are hard of hearing and who wear assistive technology.
- Plan accordingly. A vibrating alarm, extra hearing aid batteries, a cleaning kit, and a protective waterproof travel case are all great things to keep in your better-hearing travel kit. Bring a dehumidifier if you can, particularly if you’re traveling to a hot, humid, or tropical area.