6 Travel Tips For Those With Hearing Loss
Published: December 23, 2020
Updated: July 20, 2022
Traveling with hearing loss can present unique challenges, even if you are a hearing aid user. If you’re traveling for a vacation or a fun activity, having difficulties with your hearing or hearing aids is the last thing you want to deal with.
Traveling involves a lot of planning and preparation. You may be traveling for work-related purposes, for leisure, or to explore unknown places. Through your travels, hearing loss should not hold you back from having the full experience. Let’s take a look at some travel tips for those with hearing loss.
7 Travel Tips For Hearing Loss
Always wear your hearing aids (even when flying)
Many people with hearing loss are worried that they may not be able to travel by air with their hearing aids or have easy access at airports because of the wireless signals that the devices can send. The good news is that you can safely travel with your hearing aids, and most countries have statements that support people when traveling with hearing loss.
Devices like hearing aids, cochlear implants, and pacemakers are exempt on airplanes because they don’t emit signals that might interfere with aircraft controls when flying. So, it’s not necessary to remove your hearing aids when flying. Airport security checkpoints will also not put you at risk as hearing aids should not be affected by x-ray inspection or when you walk through metal detectors.
Once on the plane, keep your hearing aids and their wireless features on to hear announcements or instructions.
If you have any concerns about your specific device, it would be advisable to check with particular manufacturers. To put your mind at rest, consider the following:
- Ask for a full-body pat-down inspection instead of going through security detection
- Show your device to the airport security officer for visual and physical examination and inform them of your hearing disability
- Some countries provide hearing disability identification cards that can be worn when traveling for peace of mind.
*Cochlear implant (CI) users should take note that specific safety recommendations apply for CI users when going through security checkpoints or gates at the airport and where metal detectors are used. Your cochlear implant center can support any concerns you have.
Preparation is key
Planning ahead can make traveling simpler in general, and the same goes for those with hearing loss. For example, some hotels can provide accommodation, especially for people with hearing loss if they’re informed in advance. If you have hearing loss, it can be helpful if there are rooms with assistive technological support that can include flashing lights for the phone or doorbell.
If you’re traveling with a tour group, it’s helpful to tell the tour company you travel with about your hearing needs. Museums, banks, concert halls, taxis, public sites, and conference centers that you may visit often have specialized loop systems or assistive equipment for people with hearing loss, signage will indicate if it is available. These devices can link to a hearing aid via telecoil, and improve your ability to hear in those places.
When you travel, it is also beneficial to pre-book restaurants, you may prefer a quiet corner when dining at a restaurant to make hearing easier.
Familiarize yourself with the destination
How much do you know about the place or people where you are going? It is much easier to listen and follow information if you get background knowledge about a place you want to visit, that way you’ll be familiar with the names of sites in the area and may know what to expect.
Inform others about your hearing loss
It is not always easy to tell other people that you have hearing loss. Hearing loss is not always visible to others, and you may need to remind them that you need to lip-read or need good lighting to see their faces for better communication. Inform staff, flight attendants, security officers, or others about your hearing loss and hearing aid use so that they can assist with your needs.
Don’t forget your supplies
You never know what might happen during your travels. Take extra batteries and check that you have the correct size. If you use rechargeable batteries or hearing aids, make sure about what power supply and connections or adaptors for electrical plugs are used abroad.
Remember to take your drying crystals and cleaning tools to keep hearing aids dry and clean as well. Hearing aid users often leave their drying crystals or dehumidifiers at home when they are away, due to their size, but smaller, more compact storage options can be useful for travelers. Remember, you may not be used to the climate and conditions of the place where you are traveling to and you don’t want to worry about keeping your hearing aids protected and dry.
It’s also advisable to check if travel insurance covers your hearing aids and equipment.
Upgrade your case
Consider using a small durable waterproof protective case for your hearing aids, especially for those more adventurous trips. This will keep your hearing aids well protected and minimize the risk that you’ll be without them for part of your trip.
Keep your supplies and accessories close by
Carry your extra hearing aid supplies, accessories, chargers, cables, and connections with you so that they don’t get lost. Don’t put them in your luggage—it is better to have them in your carry-on bag or personal item for easy access.
Don’t forget to mark your hearing aid casings and accessories for easy tracking should you forget it somewhere.
Don’t let hearing loss stop you from traveling
Hearing loss is a challenge many face, but it doesn’t need to stop you from traveling and seeing the world. By keeping your hearing aids on, informing others about your hearing needs, and being mindful of other travel tips for hearing loss, you’ll be free to enjoy your travels.
If you travel often, or are simply planning for an upcoming trip, Lexie Hearing can help. Our hearing aids make traveling with hearing loss simple. Along with features like noise reduction and sweatproof technology for wherever your travels take you, the Lexie Hearing app provides access to our team of hearing experts no matter where you are. Pair this with Lexie Care, which covers your hearing aids should something happen while you’re away, and it’s a great recipe for traveling freely.