Traveling during the holidays can be challenging under the best of circumstances. But, throw in a hearing loss, and the level of difficulty can grow exponentially! Here are some tried and true trips for making it to your destination with your sanity intact:
Prepare In Advance
Before booking a hotel, ask about available accommodations for people with hearing loss. Many hotels have specific amenities (e.g. flashing lights for the phone and doorbell). Research your destination. Familiarize yourself with the names of streets, places, etc. That way, when you hear those names, they will sound more familiar to you and be easier to understand. Make sure your hearing aid has been recently cleaned and that you have new wax traps in place.
Ask People to Help
People may forget or not know about your hearing loss because it is invisible. A gentle prompt like holding your hand behind your ear often works well and does not disrupt the flow of dialogue. When logistical information is provided, request it in written form. Carry a notebook and pen to make that an easy process. Remind friends, family or fellow tourists about your hearing loss, and provide specific instructions on how they can help you hear your best. Kindly request that they speak clearly while facing you.
Bring Ear Protection
Travel can be loud. Traffic and construction noises are everywhere. Family gatherings can be boisterous. Don’t be afraid to turn down or remove your hearing aids and wear ear protection when needed.
Pack Extra Batteries and Chargers
Be sure to bring a sufficient supply of batteries and extras. Replacement batteries in the correct size may be harder to find in unfamiliar locations and during holiday hours. Pack a supply of batteries in different travel bags in case one gets misplaced. Check that all your chargers are working well and bring extra if available.
Have a Back-Up Plan
Hearing Aids on the fritz can be troubling at any time, but when you are far from home and your audiologist, it can feel like a disaster. Set a back-up plan in place, and test it. Examples include using an FM system or a pocket-talker, and if you have spare hearing aids, be sure to bring those, too.
Learn to De-Stress
When a stressful situation occurs, take several deep breathes and remind yourself that you are in control of your thoughts. Try to logically think about what the next best step should be, and follow through on that. Give yourself plenty of time when planning your travel schedule.
We wish you the safest of holidays! To make an appointment before you travel, please call us at 817-488-1637.