Travel Tips for those with Hearing Aids
Holiday season is right around the corner. Travel may be stressful, but the trip is worth it to be with loved ones for the holidays. For hearing aid wearers, certain elements of travel may prove more difficult. Airports, bus terminals, and train stations are all busy, loud, and crowded. With our handy guide on traveling with hearing aids, you’ll be prepared to face the holiday rush.
Whether you’re going for a few days or for a few weeks, it is important to make sure you have all of your hearing aid equipment. During the holidays, most businesses will be closed so you may not have the opportunity to run out to the nearest hearing aid clinic for batteries or maintenance. We recommend bringing:
- Replacement batteries/charging station (if you use rechargeable batteries or a rechargeable hearing aid)
- Dehumidifying station for drying out moisture
- Cleaning equipment
- Extra soft domes, tubing, and other accessories
- Any assistive listening devices (ALDs) or wireless accessories used to improve accessibility of your hearing aid
- A portable, vibrating alarm
- A padded case to store your hearing aids
Planes, Trains, and Buses
Public transportation hubs are notoriously noisy and full of commotion. This increases exponentially during the holiday season. Common problems you may face are:
- Difficulty hearing announcements and updates on your flight or train/bus routes;
- Difficulty communicating with ticket agents through windows or across the counter;
- Difficulty with telephone calls in noisy places.
The good news: there are many new technological solutions for the majority of these problems.
- If you’re using a smart phone, you can get alerts and updates about your flight text-messaged or emailed to you as changes occur.
- If your hearing aid is equipped to connect wirelessly with your smart phone, there are apps that turn the phone into a microphone, which you can place on the counter, amplify the agent’s voice, and receive a direct feed to your ears.
- Phone calls are also able to be streamed directly to your hearing aids, if you’ve connected them.
- Some public transportation hubs are equipped with induction (hearing) loops, which feed announcements from PA systems directly to your hearing aids. You can check before hand on their websites to see if this is an accessibility option. Simply switch your hearing aid to the telecoil option when you’re at the airport or station.
- Assistive listening devices are another option for hearing aid wearers who don’t have wireless connections or smart phones. Portable infrared and FM listening systems amplify sounds with a microphone and transmitter, making conversations easier.
Just to be safe, you may also want to print out your ticket confirmations beforehand and have everything written down in hard copy. When you are going through security, your hearing aids will not set off the detectors, but just to be safe, ask the security officer whether you need to remove them or turn them off.
Arriving at Your Destination
If you’re staying at a hotel, be sure to notify the staff when making the reservation that you are hard of hearing. Most hotels have accommodations for guests which include vibrating alarm clocks and alerting devices for emergencies. Also, be sure to have all of your reservation documents printed up beforehand.
Come visit us at Green Tree Audiology before your trip for adjustments and maintenance of your hearing aid, and to learn more about ALDs and wireless options. We wish you a happy, safe holiday season!