Load up the car for an unforgettable trip with these tips.
When you or someone in your travel group has hearing loss, it’s essential to plan an experience that’s accessible for everyone. Fortunately, it’s easy to plan a hearing-loss-friendly road trip!
There are just a couple of considerations you’ll want to keep in mind. Check out our tips below!
- Choose a hearing-loss-friendly destination
- Keep the music volume low
- Take advantage of modern hearing aid features
- Pack all the supplies you’ll need
- Reduce background noise
- Go over the route ahead of time
- Invest in a personal FM system
- Set expectations
Let’s go over all these ways to ensure your hearing loss-friendly road trip goes smoothly and leaves you with many memories to last a lifetime.
Choose a hearing-loss-friendly destination
Road trips are mostly about the journey, not just the destination… but a cool destination never hurts, right!? Check out our article on hearing loss-friendly road trip destinations, including Mount Rushmore, Sequoia National Forest, and other beautiful parks and monuments.
Keep the music volume low
In movies, road trips are depicted as drives with windows down, music blaring, and passengers rocking out to the tunes. But that could lead to communication difficulties!
When you have music playing, keep the volume low enough that everyone can hear conversations in the car. If you’re coming up to a section with lots of turns, mute the music so the navigator or GPS can accurately guide the driver. Same goes for windows — if you’re driving at a speed where having the windows down would make hearing difficult, keep them rolled up and opt for air conditioning if possible!
Take advantage of modern hearing aid features
If you use hearing aids, modern-day devices have a lot of features that can come in handy for travelers. If you have Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids, you may be able to connect them to your GPS, so directions are easier to hear. You can also get a remote microphone accessory for your hearing aid so you can point it toward the people you need to hear.
Pack all the supplies you’ll need
If you are a hearing aid user, you don’t want to get a hundred miles into your road trip and suddenly realize you’ve forgotten essential accessories! Here are some tips for caring for your hearing aids while traveling, plus a packing list to review before you go.
Reduce background noise
Many hearing aids come with automatic background noise reduction, but you can also help them along! Keep windows rolled up to reduce wind noise, or only open them on low-speed roads. You can also outfit your road trip car with noise-blocking weather seals, foam floor mats, and sound-deadening panels, which will all reduce road noise.
Go over the route ahead of time
If you’re the driver or navigator, it’s helpful to review the directions ahead of time. This gives you a basic idea of where you’re going and what highways you’ll be taking. You’ll feel more confident and worry less about missing instructions.
Invest in a personal FM system
FM systems are a type of assistive listening device that can be helpful whether you use hearing aids or not. Speakers use microphones, while listeners use headphones or connect their hearing aids to the FM system. This can really improve the sound quality of conversations between you and your family or friends sharing the vehicle.
If you have a certain preferred method of communication, or you want to head off common frustrations, it’s best to talk about it ahead of time! Make your road trip companions aware of your communication preferences, and how they can help you feel included. Patience and honesty go a long way!
Next, check out these smartphone apps for traveling with hearing loss!