Ahh, summer. It’s the perfect time to take a vacation where you can rest, relax and recharge. Whether you’re looking forward to a romantic trip with your spouse or gearing up for a getaway with your friends, you want the experience to be as stress-free as possible. However, if you have hearing loss or know someone who does, you may need to do a little extra planning to ensure your vacation goes smoothly.
Before Your Trip
Pack your hearing device accessories—If you wear hearing devices, make space in your suitcase for everything they need to work their best. A charging station, charging cable, dryer/dehumidifier, cleaning kit and extra batteries, domes and wax guards are all must-haves for keeping devices happy while you’re away from home.
Remember your itinerary—Make sure you have access to all your reservations and trip details either via hard copies or on your phone. Many airlines have apps you can use on your smartphone that will give you alerts for gate changes or delays, so it’s a good idea to download them before you get to the airport.
Book a hotel room designed for people with hearing loss—Many hotels have rooms that contain certain amenities for hard-of-hearing individuals, like flashing lights for the phone and doorbell.
Traveling by Plane
Wear your devices through security—Taking devices in and out can be a hassle, so go ahead and leave them in. Just let the security agent know that you’re wearing hearing devices before stepping through the metal detector.
Connect to the airport’s hearing loop—To help hearing device users hear announcements more clearly, many airports have induction loop systems, which produce a wireless signal that devices with telecoils can pick up. Remember to switch your hearing devices to the “T” setting, and you’ll be good to go.
Wear your devices during the flight—When you hear the stewardess say, “Please turn off all electronic devices and stow them in your seat pocket,” you don’t have to! This rule doesn’t apply to hearing devices. While it can be tempting to take a vacation from your devices while onboard the aircraft, they make it easier for you to interact with flight staff, chat with your seatmates and hear the captain.
Let the flight staff know you have hearing loss—In-flight announcements can be difficult to hear even if you wear devices, so ask the flight staff to come directly to you to relay any critical information face to face.
Choose a quiet table at a restaurant—When dining out, ask to be seated away from the noisy kitchen or outside if the weather is nice to make it easier for you to hear the conversation.
Use assistive listening technology—Many museums and theaters in large cities offer hearing loops or other assistive listening technology to make it easier for people with hearing loss to enjoy displays and performances.
Advocate for yourself—You’ll likely be interacting with many people who don’t know that you have hearing loss. Let your waiter, tour guide, hotel concierge or other individuals you meet know that you have hearing loss, and ask them to speak as clearly as possible. Most people will kindly accommodate your request.
Above all else, remember to have fun! You deserve it.
If you’re concerned you or someone you care about may have a hearing loss, call Precision Hearing at 352-765-8008 today to schedule an appointment.