We wanted to share travel basics for hearing aid users with our patients. Using these trip preparation tips can make traveling smoother and more enjoyable.
Consider Assistive Listening Devices
These devices make it easier to hear the sounds you want to hear in noisy environments. You may want to discuss your upcoming trip with your audiologist. Based on your travel plans, that professional can tell you whether assistive listening devices may enrich your travel experience.
Keep in mind many attractions, such as museums, theaters, and houses of worship, offer programming using FM systems or microphones. Some of these venues also have FM receivers you can borrow for use on-site.
What to Pack
It’s a good idea to pack your cleaning tools, extra batteries (or an extra charger), and tubing for your hearing aids. At your destination, it may be difficult to find those items.
Also, a hearing aid dehumidifier is useful when your travel plans include a hot or tropical destination. Travelers who are going out of the country may need an outlet converter to plug in a charger or assistive listening devices.
If you’re checking baggage, keep your hearing aid supplies in your carry-on luggage. In the event that the carrier loses your luggage, you’ll still have what you need to use your hearing aids during the trip.
Take Advantage of Travel Apps
Technology can make traveling much easier for hearing aid users. A couple of weeks before you leave, install travel apps on your phone to make your trip easier. Downloading them in advance gives you a chance to practice using the apps.
Airline apps can particularly helpful for hearing aid users. Many of these apps have visual information such as airport maps. Typically, airline apps alert you to flight changes. Remember it may be difficult to hear announcements in a busy airport.
Travel apps aren’t limited to airlines. Amtrak and the major bus companies have apps as well. Also, drivers who have a hearing aid with Bluetooth connectivity can receive navigation app directions through the hearing aid.
Bring Your Tickets and Travel Reservations Along
Having your tickets and reservations reduces the possibility of miscommunication with staff when you’re checking in. As an airline, bus, or train traveler, you can use email or the carrier’s app to store electronic tickets and travel reservations on your phone. If you don’t have a smartphone, printing your tickets and reservations works too. In some cases, having tickets allows you to use a self-check-in kiosk and skip communicating with staff in a noisy environment.
After You Leave Home
When you’re traveling alone, it’s in your best interest not to keep your hearing loss secret. For instance, buses and trains may not have a visual aid to let passengers know what stop is next. Let a staff member or nearby passengers know you need to be told when your stop is coming up. Also, your hotel needs to be aware of your hearing loss so that you’ll be notified in the event of an emergency.
At North Houston Hearing Solutions, we want our patients to have pleasant memories of their trips. If you have any problems or concerns related to your hearing aids, one of our hearing professionals can inspect your devices. Request a callback or call us to schedule an appointment before your trip.