There’s no reason to miss out on traveling adventures if you have hearing aids. Venues all over the world have made significant accommodations for travelers with disabilities and that includes travelers with hearing issues.
Before you set out on your adventure, make an appointment at Evergreen Audiology to make sure your hearing devices are up to date and pick up any extra items you might need. We can help with extra chargers, extra batteries, custom hearing protection and perhaps care products for your hearing aids. You don’t want to miss a minute of the great sights AND sounds you will encounter traveling. Here are some suggestions to make sure you have a safe and rewarding adventure.
Do Some Advance Preparation
Before you book a hotel, see what kind of accommodations they have for people with hearing difficulties. Hotels in numerous developed countries have special amenities for people who are hard of hearing that include flashing lights for the phone and the door knocker. If you are using a tour group, the tour group director should be able to help you with specific accommodations at specific hotels as well as venues that you will be visiting.
Public sites including museums and historical venues often offer loops or other hearing assistive technology if requested. Evergreen Audiology can help you understand how these may work before you take your trip.
Venues that also might offer assistive listening devices includes theaters and performance halls. E-mail the facilities you might be going to for the most up-to-date information. In areas where English is a second language, the internet is a great resource to look for words and phrases you might see on signs that would show there is assistance for the hearing impaired. For example, asistencia auditive, means hearing assistance in Spanish in France you would see – aide auditive.
It is also helpful to do a little homework about your destination including some of the tourist areas. If you are familiar with names in the area and some history – it will be easier to follow what a guide is saying.
There are lots of helpful apps that you can find that are tailored to help out travelers. Rail lines as well as airlines have apps that let you download timetables and maps to your phone or your iPad. Some of these apps have alerts that let you know about delays or gate changes. Familiarize yourself with the apps and what they can do before your trip.
A number of countries have apps that give specific information about tourist areas. For instance, Great Britain has apps that give specific information for tourists needing assistance. It lists what technology, like loops, are available at sites. GoogleMaps’ app includes a feature that will let you find out when popular restaurants usually have dining openings. You can try out that popular restaurant when it is less crowded and less noisy.
Tell your guides and traveling companions about your hearing loss and let them know how they can help you. You want to enjoy your trip! Ask to be seated where you can see the guide’s face when they are talking. You can certainly ask them to speak clearly and to not to block their face with their microphone. Bring an assistive listening device like an FM system that will let you stream the guide’s voice to your hearing aids. Pack a small pad of paper or notebook. Many times, the guides give suggestions on other places you might want to visit and it would be helpful if they jotted down directions for you.
Pack Ear Protection and Extras
Concerts or theatre performances can be loud in unfamiliar venues. Bring ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones. Remember, environmental sounds where you are going may be loud enough to disturb you. Bring extra supplies to take care of your hearing aids. Pack extra ear protection and if you will be swimming, consult us about custom ear molds. Remember, you may need an adapter if you need to plug in your charger in the hotel or on the cruise ship.
At Evergreen Audiology, we believe that treating hearing loss brings significant benefits to your overall life and well-being – and that includes the joy of travel! Before heading out on your trip, schedule a visit with us to make sure your hearing aids are in proper working order. Our team at Evergreen Audiology will assist you in any way we can.