Consider these helpful hints before setting out on your next guided excursion.
Whether on foot or by bus, guided group tours are a wonderful way to explore a new destination, learn interesting information, and meet like-minded travelers. These tour group-specific travel tips for hearing loss can help you make the most of the experience:
- Ask about hearing loss accommodations before booking
- Arrive early to confirm details and situate yourself
- If you wear a hearing aid, carry extra batteries/supplies
- Advocate for your needs
- Travel with a hearing buddy
- Bring a written communication tool
- Request assistive listening devices if available at various stops
- Keep a sense of humor
Learn more about these travel tips for hearing loss below.
Ask about hearing loss accommodations before booking
If you’re deciding between several different tour companies, a key part of your research could be how hearing loss-friendly they are. For instance, is there a written version of the tour you could follow along with as the guide speaks? Do they provide captioning for any videos that are part of the tour? Getting in touch with the tour organizer to ask these and other questions that are important to you can help provide peace of mind.
Arrive early to confirm details and situate yourself
Getting to the departure point early will give you a chance to introduce yourself to the group leader and ask any questions you may have. If you feel comfortable, you may want to take the opportunity to let the tour staff know about your hearing loss. Arriving early can also give you the chance to grab a seat near the front to make hearing or lip reading easier. If on a walking tour, consider orienting yourself toward the front of the group.
If you wear a hearing aid, carry extra batteries/supplies
This tour group travel tip for hearing loss depends on the duration of your tour and whether you use hearing aids. If you’re going on an all-day or multi-day excursion and you wear hearing aids, you may want to bring your supplies along. Fresh batteries, a cleaning kit, and other accessories will help ensure your hearing aid or other assistive devices will be ready to use for the duration of the tour.
Advocate for your needs
You want to enjoy your tour, and your companions and group leader want you to have a good time too. Both are important reasons to consider advocating for yourself if there’s something you need. If you are comfortable, go ahead and ask for something to be repeated if you didn’t quite catch it. If you are on a seated tour, consider letting your seatmate know that it’s easier for you to lip read if they look at you while they speak. You can also ask for written instructions or anything else that would improve your experience.
Learn more ways to advocate for yourself when you have hearing loss on our blog.
Travel with a hearing buddy
Consider enlisting a friend or family member who can offer any level of hearing assistance that you might need on a group tour. Not only can a travel companion make catching important information easier, but you can also share the tour experience with someone you know.
Bring a written communication tool
If you prefer written communication when you’re with others, consider bringing along a tool that will help. Smartphones make this tour group travel tip for hearing loss easy—you can use a notepad app to exchange ideas with others. Alternatively, you could pack a notepad or small whiteboard that you can hand back and forth with a travel companion or the tour group leader.
Request assistive listening devices if available at various stops
Will your tour stop at places like hearing loss-friendly museums, national parks, theaters, or a botanical garden? Many of these attractions offer accommodations to make the experience more enjoyable with hearing loss. When booking your tour, consider researching the stops beforehand, so you know your options and whether advance notice is required.
Keep a sense of humor
Hearing loss or not, we’ve all had funny situations of mishearing something, be it a song lyric or historical fact that makes you think, wait, that can’t be right! If a hearing mishap occurs, it’s okay to laugh and keep the good vibe of the trip flowing.
Are you planning to explore a new destination? Find more general travel tips for hearing loss here!
To discover how a captioned telephone for hearing loss can help you or someone you care about, call 800.233.9130 or visit CapTel.com today.