Tips for Traveling with Hearing Loss 

A lot of the hearing loss advice out there has to with living everyday life and making it easier for people to communicate with friends and family.

But what about folks who like to venture away from home once in a while? Travelers with hearing loss face a unique set of challenges. Let’s take a look at a few possibilities for making traveling easier if you have a hearing loss. 

Look into special travel status. 

Ask your travel planner, rail carrier or other transportation provider if there are any programs available for people with impairments.

You may be able to get discounted travel along with identification that can help travel staff understand quickly that you may need special assistance.

In the case of someone hearing impaired, that could be as simple as a train conductor knowing that you need to be personally alerted to your arrival at a particular station. 

Ask for help when you need it. 

The public-address systems in railroads and airports vary a great deal in quality.

Trying to hear announcements over the din of conversations and other sounds can be challenging, even for someone with heathy hearing. Such background noise is quite possibly a hearing-impaired person’s worst enemy.

If you can’t find a track or gate based on what you can hear, look for a monitor screen that provides that information.

Should that not work out, don’t be shy about stopping a staff member and asking for help, letting that person know that they need to be very clear in speaking to you. 

Pre-plan for the help you’ll need. 

This is especially helpful in airports for people with significant hearing loss.

Just let your airline know that you’ll need special assistance upon arrival; someone will be waiting to help you navigate any communication that needs to happen in order to get you on your way.

Think of it as the hearing-impaired version of having a wheelchair waiting for when you get off the plane! 

Tell people you can’t hear them. 

Yes. Sometimes, it’s just that simple. People can’t help you if they don’t know you need assistance. For instance, on an airplane, as a flight attendant to run through the safety guidelines with you, personally, so you can be sure you understand what might be required of you.

That will also let the flight staff know that you may need extra attention in an emergency. It’s a good idea, as well, to tell any fellow passengers sitting beside you that you would appreciate them letting you know if any announcements are made. 

Be ready for bus and taxi drivers. 

If you’re going somewhere that will require you to use buses and taxis, be sure your cash is arranged in a way that will give you exact change for any fares you need to pay.

That’s a good way to eliminate an awkward encounter as you and a driver try to understand each other. Having a map with you, in case you need to ask your driver for directions, is also helpful. 

Don’t be embarrassed by your situation. 

We’ve pretty much already covered this, but it bears repeating. Your hearing impairment is part of who you are. There’s no reason to be embarrassed or self-conscious.

Let people know you have a hearing problem, so they understand right away that they’ll need to put some extra effort into communicating with you. It will make things less awkward for both of you and make whatever business you need to conduct move much more quickly.