Tips for Traveling with Hearing Loss

Traveling can be a daunting and stressful experience even if you don’t have hearing loss. Plan ahead to reduce unforeseen circumstances and ensure that your trip goes smoothly. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

What to Pack

If you’re traveling to a humid climate and plan to spend a lot of time on the beach or at the pool, consider bring your drying and storage equipment to protect your hearing aids. Don’t forget to pack a voltage converter if you are going abroad. Remember to pack hearing aid batteries and tubing in your carry-on bag.

At the Airport

You are allowed to keep your hearing aid on when passing through metal detectors and body scanners, but the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends that you notify a security officer. You can do this discreetly before screening begins by carrying a notification card. Print one at Additional screening, including a pat-down or inspection of a device, may be required if the alarm sounds when you walk through the metal detector or if your hearing aid appears as an anomaly when screened by advanced imaging technology.

Make sure you have a quick and easy way to “talk” to others in hectic or loud situations. Pen and paper or a notepad application on your smartphone can serve this purpose.

It’s also a good idea to sign up for text or email alerts when you make reservations so that you won’t miss important announcements about delays or cancellations.

If you are flying alone, let the gate staff, flight attendants and your seat partner(s) know that you have hearing loss so they will alert you about any announcements. You are permitted to keep your hearing aid turned on even after being asked to “turn off all electronic devices.”

At the Hotel

Make sure you request a room that is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design and are equipped with visual or tactile alarm and notification devices.

On a Cruise

Some things to ask cruise lines before you make a reservation:

  • Do your theaters have assisted-listening devices (ALDs) available and, if not, do you provide closed-captioning or scripts?
  • Do you provide sign language interpretation services on request?
  • Can you reserve a stateroom with a teletypewriter for communicating with the guest relations desk?