Being a Deaf traveler isn’t always easy. There are bound to be obstacles, but that is expected in traveling. I know I have encountered a fair share of difficult situations abroad. Far from home, I was traveling with strangers that would soon become my best friends. I was homesick, wishing I knew these tips then. Over time I will share some tips that I learned that I wish I knew that would have helped me out of certain situations.
This week’s article is about Packing:
If you have Hearing aids. Here is a checklist of what you definitely should bring with you on your next trip.
· Hearing aid Batteries: Get several of them, and put them in different bags for easy accessibility. I always make sure that I have extras just in case I lose a suitcase, or a purse. Another thing, if you are traveling with someone, ask if they would carry one for you. There is no harm in asking, it is a small tiny box of hearing aid batteries. There have been times where, I have forgotten to pack one in my carry-on bag, but luckily the person I was traveling with had a spare.
· Extra Hearing aid hardware: Anything that is attached to the Hearing aid device, such as the tubing that links from the mold to the device. I learned this the hard way. I was traveling abroad with my people to people student ambassador peers and the hardware was damaged. It had rained, and I needed to dry it out. So I decided to use the hairdryer that came with the hotel room. Now, mind you, this is a foreign hair dryer with voltage that I am not aware off. So, after I used it on the hearing aid device, I discovered that the tube was melted and damaged beyond repair. Dismayed and frantic I went to my organization leader/ interpreter and asked what we can do to fix it. This was the day that we would be visiting the Council of Europe, however I couldn’t enjoy it without being able to hear. She had asked some of the employees there if there was a place nearby that could fix it. Sure enough, we were directed to a little hearing aid shop in the middle of Austria. We went there, and the employee there was kind enough to replace the tube, not only that fixes it for free of charge.
– A Water resistant box: To put your hearing aid into- for seaside excursions. Similar to the clear case for your I-phone, cameras, you can easily find these at any adventure/gear store such as REI.
Gadgets: These nifty travel gadgets will surely make you wish you had these on your travels.
· Hatis Headset: They are noise canceling headphones, with a cool sleek design. They go BEHIND the hearing aid. No more bulky headphones that press down the hearing aid into your skin, which makes it uncomfortable to listen to music or to talk on the phone. The sleek design makes it much more enjoyable to listen to the latest tunes. All you have to do is turn your hearing aid to the T(Telephone mode) position. Yes, it is that simple, and slim to carry around even in your purse. Another case that it has proven to be helpful is when I attend to theatres, museums where there are hearing devices, I ask for hearing devices. Plug the headphone into the device and explore the latest work of art whilst listening to the audio. Sometimes they can be out of headphones, so it’s always handy to have in your purse.
· I-phone: With so many features, it is hard not to resist. Texting, Instant messaging, Mail, Internet, Facebook, and Twitter applications, it is easy to keep in touch with your friends. A feature I have yet tried is the AOL application- from what I am told one can talk to friends by TTY via AOL. But they have yet added the i711 relay program, which should be added to the ITunes store sometimes soon. I will keep my eye on it.
Stay tuned for more tips!