As spring finally rolls around, many people are thinking about holiday destinations for the summer. If you’re a hearing aid-wearer, don’t hesitate to book that trip. Many global vacation destinations are more accessible than ever and with a little preparation, your holiday will go off without a hitch. Before you pack your suitcase however, here are some tips to make your holiday go as smoothly as possible.
Ensure you have enough batteries for your hearing aid. It sounds like a simple tip but you’d be surprised how many are caught out when they realize they can’t find batteries on arrival. As a failsafe, call your hotel to see if local supplies are available close to hand.
It’s even easier if you have a rechargeable hearing aid, but don’t forget that voltage converter! Certain destinations have different voltages to the US and this could cause a problem if your power supply is only 110V. Check to see whether your charger supports 220V plug sockets so it can be safely used overseas. And depending on your destination you may need a plug converter.
If you are travelling to a humid place, it’s a good idea to bring a dehumidifying unit. This unit helps remove excess moisture from your hearing aids and help them to work better. You will also want to pack your hearing aid cleaning tools too as you never know what elements you might encounter on the trip!
When packing for the airport, pack your batteries and other hearing aid supplies are in your carry-on bag. Don’t risk being without your batteries in the unlikely event that your luggage is delayed. Also remember that all batteries need to be placed in a separate container during security screenings at the airport, so pack them in a bag which helps you easily separate them for an easier time at security.
Are you staying somewhere inside the States? According to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), hotels and motels in the United States are required to be accessible to individuals with hearing loss. When choosing a hotel, call ahead to see if they provide services to help you during your stay. Here are some things you can ask about:
For those traveling outside the United States, contact places before you book to see if they provide these services. If your friend or relative is providing accommodation, make sure they are aware of your needs. They might even be able to provide valuable local advice.
It may be difficult to catch announcements on the PA systems at airports, so in the weeks leading up to your flight it is helpful to sign up for email or text message alerts. These will keep you up to date on any changes or delays to your flight.
Airports can be overwhelming places for those with hearing loss, but with a little foresight you should be able to navigate them with relative ease. Luckily, during security you are also permitted to wear your hearing aids when passing through body scanners.
For those who are staying within the country, many people are not aware that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have printable cards on their website which let TSA agents and other airport personnel know of your hearing loss. They will then be able to provide special assistance should you require it.
Some airports will offer hearing loops which you can connect with your own hearing aids to stream important announcements directly into your ear. Check online to see whether the places you’ll be passing through have the same.
Some local attractions and many public places might also offer hearing loop coverage. Ask around and look for the hearing loop logo. You would be surprised at how many places now offer this, from the airport ticket counter to the teller window at the bank.
Before your trip, it’s a good idea to get your device professionally cleaned and maintained. Why not visit us at State Hearing and Audiology? We have all the facilities to ensure your hearing aid will not let you down when you’re on the road.