Planning Summer Travel with Hearing Aids
The travel bug is about to hit its peak as warm weather, longer days and summer vacation come in full throttle. Whether you’re in an airport, train station, cab or your own car, traveling can put you in noisy and stressful environments, especially if you wear hearing aids.
While traveling can be hindered by hearing loss, an individual can also take precautionary steps to help make their trip, no matter how far, short, long or quick, as pain-free as possible.
Airplanes and hearing aids
While many airlines have been getting a bad rap lately, it’s important to remember that many have great protocols and measures to help those with hearing aids travel more efficiently and easily. People who wear hearing aids can expect many domestic airlines to:
- Provide safety assistances for individuals with hearing aids who may need additional help
- Provide monitors at the front gate detailing arrivals and departures
- Offer telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDDs)
- Alert passengers by text message about any updates or announcements regarding the flight
A word to the wise: Many airlines prohibit individuals with hearing loss to fly in exit rows, so be sure to tell the booking agent or front ticket agent when checking into your flight.
Trains, buses and hearing devices
While slower, trains and buses are a fun way to see the scenic beauty of your trip, without the stress of being behind the wheel. That said, bus and train terminals can be buzzing and busy, so make sure to take the following steps when traveling by rail or bus:
- Take a friend along with you to help navigate the terminal. Make sure someone will be waiting for you on the other end of your trip, as well.
- Pay attention to all signage; many buses display stops on electronic signs in addition to making verbal announcements.
- Book early. Amtrak requires passengers with hearing loss to purchase tickets two weeks in advance of their schedule. The benefit? Amtrak provides discounts to those with disability and provides special accommodations.
Traveling with hearing aids doesn’t have to be a difficult or lengthy expedition. By planning ahead and packing accordingly, you can make sure you have the best trip possible. Consult your hearing care provider to discuss any extra tips, tricks or concerns you might have before your vacation.