The world is slowly reopening following the COVID-19 pandemic, and many have decided to follow through with their summer and fall travel plans. While travel has become second nature to some, the ongoing pandemic has added more restrictions and precautions for travelers, making it a different experience. If you have hearing loss, travel can already be slightly intimidating; changes to how we travel due to the pandemic, only adds to the difficulties the hearing impaired community faces. However, the following tips can help you navigate dealing with your hearing loss while traveling during COVID-19 and have a smooth travel experience.
The most important and tedious part of any trip is planning. For the hearing impaired, this step has an even bigger impact. When planning your trip, be sure to choose lodging that has the accessibility features you need, such as a fire alarm that also flashes. Also consider accessibility features at attractions you want to visit such as guided tours, museums, and theaters – call ahead to ensure there are teleloops or interpreters available. Be sure to ask facilities you’ll be visiting about their cleaning procedures and seating arrangements to make sure they are following the most up to date guidelines provided by the CDC.
As an extra precaution to avoid any mix-ups during travel, sign up for text or email alerts to make sure you don’t miss any changes or updates to your reservations. Lastly, charge your hearing aids the night before your travel day.
When packing to travel during the pandemic, remember both your hearing-related needs and your health needs. Keep your hearing aids accessories such as chargers or batteries in a protected and easily accessible area in your carry-on bag. Also, remember to keep cleaning supplies for your aids as well as hand sanitizer or cleaning wipes for surfaces you may come in contact with while traveling. Lastly, don’t forget your face mask and face mask extenders to ensure maximum comfort while wearing it with your hearing aids.
One of the best things you can do on travel day is to arrive early. If you need to take a rideshare such as Uber or Lyft, schedule your ride ahead of time. Be sure to communicate to your driver that you are hearing impaired to ensure the best communication.
Arriving at the airport, train or bus station allows you extra time to locate where you need to be and inform representatives of your condition and any additional assistance you may need. This will also reduce stress or anxiety in the event something comes up that can change your original plans.
For even more convenience while traveling, check out these hearing aid features to use during your trip. If you have any additional questions about hearing loss and hearing aids, feel free to reach out to the experts at New Generation Hearing Centers.