Taking some time to plan ahead and prepare yourself for potential issues can help to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. In this article, we'll share some handy tips to help you navigate your travels with confidence, whether you’re flying abroad or staying closer to home.
Before jetting off, take some time to do your research and gather important information. Find out more about your destination from websites and online forums, including local transportation options, attractions, and accessibility features.
There are several websites and forums dedicated to sharing advice with other people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Make sure to ask questions about the places you’re going so you can benefit from the experience of others who have been there before.
Air travel can be stressful when you’re worrying about missing important flight announcements. But many airports now offer hearing loops, which are assistive listening systems that transmit sound directly to your hearing aids.
These loops are typically found at information desks, check-in counters, or boarding gates. Take advantage of this technology to enhance your communication and stay informed about flight updates and announcements.
More and more airports across the world are now jumping on the trend of becoming 'silent' airports, meaning there are no audio announcements. This initiative aims to reduce noise pollution in airports, but it’s good news for everyone, as there’s now less reliance on hard-to-hear boarding calls and more emphasis on information boards and visual notices.
Some of the airports jumping on this trend include Amsterdam Schipol, Dubai, Cape Town International Airport, and Changi Airport in Singapore.
Informing airport staff and flight attendants about your hearing loss can make your travel experience smoother. They can assist you by providing visual cues or notifying you directly about any important announcements or changes. Remember to communicate your needs politely and clearly to ensure effective communication.
Let security staff know if you're flying with a hearing aid, and make sure to pack your spare batteries in your carry-on bag, not your checked-in luggage. If you're wondering, "do x-rays affect hearing aids?" the answer is probably not. But it's best to keep your hearing aid on when you're going through screening anyway. Just remember to inform the staff first.
Ask the flight attendants how to use your hearing aid with inflight entertainment, and make sure it’s covered by your travel insurance before you leave.
In some flights and airports, masks are still mandatory, which can pose communication challenges for those with hearing loss. Consider using written notes, speech-to-text apps, or even simple gestures to improve communication.
It’s easy to miss your stop when you’re travelling on an unfamiliar transportation network. Luckily, these days many buses and trains have their own apps that can help you to plan and keep track of your journey. Some apps even offer real-time notifications and alerts, ensuring you never miss your stop.
When researching hotels and other accommodations, check if they offer facilities for individuals with hearing loss. Look for features such as vibrating alarms, visual notifications for a ringing telephone or knock on the door, and telephone receivers that are compatible with hearing aids.
Booking hotels that are aware of and cater to hearing loss needs can significantly enhance your travel experience.
If you're travelling to a foreign country where you may face language barriers, take advantage of translation apps like Google Translate. These apps can help bridge communication gaps by translating text or even facilitating spoken translations. Use them to communicate with locals, ask for directions, or convey important information.
Travelling with hearing loss doesn't have to be a stressful experience. With a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy your holiday and your independence and come back feeling refreshed and stress-free!
If you’re due for a hearing test or your hearing aid is in need of servicing, make sure to book an appointment with plenty of time before you go away. Connect Hearing has hearing clinics all over Australia, and you can book an appointment online
for a hearing test and care for your hearing aids.