Traveling is an important part of many people’s lives, both hearing enabled and hearing impaired. Traveling for the hearing impaired can be challenging, though, with many different types of hurdles to pass through, including a lack of oral and sign language interpreters, difficulty using public or hotel phones, difficulty hearing airline boarding notices and in-flight notices, inability to hear travel tour guides, museum lectures and tours, and live performances.

Fortunately, there are special arrangements that can be made with just a little bit of extra planning. While making travel arrangements from home, request that written confirmation be mailed or e-mailed. Print those travel arrangements and be sure to bring them with.

Although sometimes slightly more costly, working with one specific travel agent can insure that he or she can ensure a smoother trip. He or she can inform the airline, tour company, and hotel of any special assistance the hearing impaired individual may need. Many tour agencies, museums, and travel companies have special devices to assist the hearing impaired.

Arriving early to the bus, train, or plane terminal can also help. Alert the gate representative and flight attendent that you are hearing impaired and request that all communications and announcements be done face-to-face.

Don’t forget to pack extra batteries for any hearing aids and pack aids and extra batteries in carry-on, not checked, luggage, for safe keeping.

Traveling doesn’t have to feel out of reach for any person, hearing impaired or enabled. With a little extra time spent planning, everyone can have an enjoyable trip.

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