Traveling to new and unknown places can be a wonderful experience and being deaf or hard of hearing shouldn't stop you. Here are our tips for traveling with hearing loss.
Packing a vibrating alarm clock can be really helpful if you're staying in a hostel or you can't count on the place you're staying at to provide you with a wake up service. If you wear hearing aids, make sure to pack spare batteries or any chargers you may need. And make sure you have the right power adapters if you're going overseas!
When booking your accommodation, make sure you inform the place you're staying of any thing you may need and let them know that you are deaf or hard of hearing. Specify what type of access you need and don't need. Deaf people have sometimes been given wheelchair-accessible rooms because of very confused hotel staff!
Another helpful tip is to print off all your booking confirmations and flight itinerary and put them in a folder to take with you on your trip. You never know when you might not have internet access to check your email confirmations and information online, so it's always handy to have that paper copy as well.
If you're going to be traveling by plane, there are certain things that you can do to make your experience easier. It can be useful to inform airport staff and flight attendants that you are deaf or hard of hearing straightaway, so staff can communicate with you effectively. Also let them know what communication method you prefer. It's also a good idea to sign up to flight change alerts through email or text message to stay informed. These days lots of airlines have their own apps that you can download on your phone to stay up to date with your flight.
4. Train or Bus
If you are traveling by train or bus and the stops are not visible, ask a fellow passenger to let you know when your destination is called out. Also notify any staff of your communication requirements so they can inform you of any safety announcements you may miss.
5. When You Arrive
When you arrive at your destination, you may need to catch a taxi to your accommodation. Having the address of your accommodation written down or on a business card will really help with directing the driver. Having a pen and paper with you while you're seeing the sights can also help with breaking down communication barriers. You can also use your phone to type words and communicate with people. Most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself!