Traveling this winter? It’s fun to “get away from it all.” However, travel comes with challenges — which are magnified with a hearing loss. You could miss a lot of vital information, from announcements at the train station or airport to conversation at busy restaurants. Following these four “be’s” can help you maximize your enjoyment and minimize your risks.
Make your reservations online rather than on the phone, and request confirmations in writing. Ask whether your hotel caters to hearing-impaired guests, such as providing TVs with closed-captioning. Plan to eat out during a restaurant’s off-peak (i.e., less noisy) hours.
Pack any specialized equipment, such as a vibrating alarm clock or visible smoke alarm. If you wear hearing aids, bring plenty of batteries, especially when traveling internationally (certain sizes can be hard to find). For extra peace of mind, take along spare hearing aids.
Learn the phrase “I’m hard of hearing” in the language of the country you’re visiting. Inform hotel staff that you may not be able to hear knocking on your door or the telephone ringing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from tour guides and others.
Find out whether public spaces, such as rail stations, theaters and museums, have technologies for hearing-impaired visitors. For example, an induction loop system allows audio to stream wirelessly to many hearing aids.
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