Traveling is a great way to expand your horizons and experience all sorts of wonderful new things. And, having hearing aids is no reason to think you will have to miss out on the adventures of traveling. Popular travel sites round the world have made it a priority to make accommodations for travelers with disabilities, including travelers with hearing issues.
Before you set off on your adventure, come by Southeast Medical Center. Remember, as part of our services we offering cleaning and repair of your hearing aids. You want to make sure they are in top shape before you go. Pick up any extra items you may need while you are at Southeast Medical Center – extra batteries or even an extra charger. And, pack your extra items in different pieces of luggage. That way if one goes missing for a time you will still have one set of batteries and one charger. We can help with custom earplugs you may need and custom ear molds if you are going to in the water during your travels.
Here are some other suggestions for traveling.
Do Your Homework
Before you book a hotel, check its accommodations they have for people with hearing issues. Hotels in many developed countries have special amenities for people who are hard of hearing including flashing lights to alert you that the phone is ringing as well as flashing lights to let you know someone is knocking at the door. If you are going on a tour with a group, the director should know about specific accommodations at specific hotels as well as at the venues you will be visiting.
Public sites including museums and historical venues often offer loops or other hearing assistive technology if requested. Southeast Medical Center staff can help you understand how these function before you take your trip. Theaters and performance halls will likely offer assistive listening devices. Send an e-mail to the facilities you might be visiting to get the most up-to-date information. In areas where English is a second language, the internet is your “go to” resource to look for words and phrases you might see on signs that would show there is assistance available for the hearing impaired. For instance, “asistencia auditive”, means hearing assistance in Spanish in France you would see – “aide auditive.”
It might help you to do a little research on your destination including some of the tourist areas. Being familiar with names in the area and some history will make it easier to follow along when the guide is talking.
Technology is Your Friend
There are dozens of helpful apps for your phone or your iPad will help you when you are traveling.
Rail and airlines as well as subway or bus lines have apps that let you download timetables and maps. Some of these apps have alerts that let you know about delays or gate changes. Practice using the apps before you go on your trip so you are familiar with what they can do.
A number of countries have apps for specific tourist areas. Great Britain has apps that give detailed information for tourists needing assistance. They list what technology, like loops, are available at sites.
Tell your guides and fellow travelers about your hearing loss and let them know how they can help you. Ask to be seated where you can see the guide’s face when they are talking so you can use facial cues. Bring an assistive listening device like an FM system so you can stream the guide’s voice to your hearing aids. Pack a small pad of paper or notebook. If guides give suggestions on other places you might want to visit, it would be helpful if they jotted down directions for you.
Don’t Forget Ear Protection
Concerts or theatre performances can be loud in unfamiliar venues. Bring ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones. You may not be used to the type of environmental sounds you will hear when traveling, so ear plugs could be very helpful for a number of reasons. Pack extra ear protection and a dryer if you are going to be in a very humid climate for an extended amount to time. Remember, you may need an adapter if you need to plug in your charger in the hotel or on the cruise ship.
Above all else – enjoy yourself!
Southeast Medical Hearing Centers
Our team is here to help you with hearing aid repair and maintenance before you travel. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to make sure your hearing devices are sound for your big trip!