If you have hearing aids, you know how much they can transform your listening environment. Each day you can insert your aids and enter a new world of clearer communication and enhanced listening. Yet, keeping your aids with you while traveling can be a challenge. Whether it has to do with the need to charge your devices or to keep them in working order, you can take a few preparatory steps before traveling to make sure you are set up to use them throughout your trip.
Planning Your Trip
If you have hearing loss, you likely have found yourself in an unexpected environment where listening is difficult. When you are planning your trip, you can take a few steps to learn what to expect as you travel, and you can also keep in mind some tips to expect the unexpected! If you are traveling by air, train, bus, or other public transport, it is a good idea to download or print out as much information prior to your trip as possible. Knowing your path can help for those moments when you need to rely on audible prompts to get off a train or to make sure you catch a connection.
If you are staying in hotels, take the opportunity to talk with the reservations desk about your needs. Some of them will be able to provide rooms with accommodations built in, such as a flashing assistive telephone for a wake-up call or other emergency needs. If you are planning to go to public attractions such as museums or other guided tours, you can ask for assistive devices designed specifically for hearing impaired people.
Many of these institutions have headsets available that provide the audio for a guided tour that might be difficult to catch if you were listening to a speaker at the site. In many cases, you can sync audio from the tour to your hearing aids if you connect to their system with Bluetooth connectivity or other streaming options, ensuring you can make the most of your visit.
Prepare Your Hearing Aids
If you have hearing aids with replaceable batteries, the best you can do to prepare for your trip is to make sure your aids remain functional. Bring an ample supply of batteries for your trip, and keep in mind how long it has been since you last changed your batteries. This mindfulness will help prevent you from facing a situation where your hearing aids run out of power. Rechargeable aids work quite well when you are in a place with an outlet, and you can follow the nightly charging plan that you normally observe. However, if you think you might be in transportation for a long time without the ability to charge, you can purchase a portable battery pack specifically designed for these situations. These charging stations provide power on the go, and you can charge the entire case when you arrive at an outlet once again. These portable cases are particularly useful for times when you are in the car for a long day or when you are out camping without access to electricity.
Communicate Your Needs
While you are traveling, you might find yourself in a situation where you are without fully operational hearing aids. If that is the case, don’t hesitate to communicate your needs to those around you. Whether that is telling a flight attendant that you will need information conveyed directly to you, asking a hotel concierge to help you find a restaurant that is quiet, or asking at the visitor center about services for those who have hearing loss, each of these steps can be as simple as a conversation.
When you tell others what you need, you will be better able to connect with them, and these conversations can even open up a broader discussion about where you’re coming from and where you find yourself. With these tips in mind, you can continue to enjoy all the pleasures and enlightening experiences of traveling with your assistive technology in place. If you have not yet received treatment for hearing loss, what better time than now to connect with assistance before you embark on your journey?