We understand that travel can be stressful, and adding even more planning to the mix can seem excessive. However, keep in mind that a few extra minutes can help you be as prepared as possible and minimize potential hearing damage, allowing you to enjoy your journey thoroughly.
To begin, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the duration of my flight? Are there any stops along the way?
- What are the activities on my to-do list?
- Which mode of transportation will I use?
- Am I going to the pool?
- Is there anything more I need to get for my hearing aids?
- Are there any extra batteries in my bag?
These questions might help you consider the kind of surroundings you’ll encounter and what you’ll need to keep your hearing safe.
How to travel better with hearing loss
It doesn’t have to be challenging to travel with hearing aids. All it takes is a little planning ahead of time and a few extra precautions while traveling. The following are some helpful hints:
Prepare ahead of time
This is the most important way to make sure you’re ready. You should set aside enough time to pack adequately, and we recommend compiling a list of all the goods related to your hearing aids that you will require. This contains extra batteries, a cleaning kit, any accessories, and international outlet converters, among other things.
Make sure to keep your hearing aids and accessories in a separate bag that you can access easily when traveling. This bag should always be close by and easy to get when needed.
Charge your hearing aids the night before you depart. This may seem self-evident, but we all need to be reminded. The last thing you want to be concerned about is hearing aids with a low battery.
Notify others about your hearing aids
Remember that you have the same right to communicate with airline personnel as other passengers. Once you’ve informed the airline that you have hearing loss, you can make specific requests to ensure that you are aware of any pertinent information. For example, you might want to be contacted immediately with pre-boarding notices of any in-flight safety announcements such as turbulence, gate changes, or late arrivals.
Informing others about your hearing aids can help you avoid missing critical information. It is suggested that you notify security agents at the airport. Informing flight attendants before takeoff might also remind them to repeat any information to you if necessary throughout the journey.
Also, bringing your entertainment, whether it’s reading or downloading videos to a tablet, is a good idea.
Always use your hearing aids
This is essential. Hearing aids do not have the same limitations as other electronics. This means you can (and should) wear your hearing aids through airport security (screening equipment does not affect hearing aids); you are not compelled to take them off. Additionally, your hearing aids can and should be used throughout takeoff and landing.
Take advantage of hearing loop technology
Induction loop devices, consisting of a wire loop that emits an electromagnetic signal directly received by hearing aids, are becoming more common in airports. Hearing aid and cochlear implant users can hear more clearly with telecoils and induction loop systems, even with background noise or poor acoustics.
Switch your hearing aids to the “telecoil” or “T” setting to connect to the airport’s induction loop. Inquire with your hearing healthcare practitioner if your hearing aids feature telecoils.
Traveling in the time of COVID
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is slowly reopening, and many people have opted to go forward with their summer and fall trip plans. While travel may have been second nature to some, the ongoing pandemic has imposed additional limits and measures on tourists, making it a unique experience. Traveling with hearing loss can be daunting enough; changes in how we travel due to the pandemic only add to the challenges the hearing loss community encounters.