Make the most of your next solo adventure!
The thought of traveling solo with hearing loss can be both empowering and perhaps a bit intimidating. While it’s a great way to explore the world and embrace your independence, the idea of navigating new cultures by yourself can be daunting for anyone. A mix of emotions is totally normal!
If you’re interested in venturing out on your own, these seven tips for solo travelers with hearing loss will help you prepare for a successful adventure:
- Start small
- Download the right apps
- Do your location homework
- Book accessible accommodations
- Stay in touch
- Pack the right gear
- Have a backup plan
Let’s take a trip further into these tips for solo travelers below!
If you’re feeling hesitant about long-distance solo travel, it can be helpful to start small. Consider taking a short trip to a nearby destination first, to get a feel for navigating different airports and cities on your own. This can help give you a better sense of what to expect when you travel independently a little further from home.
Consider these hearing-loss-friendly destinations for a long weekend!
Download the right apps
Having the right apps and tools on your phone can be a great help when traveling with hearing loss. Google Translate, for instance, can be valuable when communicating with people in a foreign language. There are also a variety of map apps that can help you navigate your way around unfamiliar cities and regions.
Here are eight awesome apps for travel with hearing loss! Make sure to download the apps you want to use and familiarize yourself with them before leaving on your trip, so you don’t have to learn it all on the go.
Do your location homework
Before you go anywhere, do research on the places you’re going. Read up on the local culture, customs, and laws to make sure you have a better understanding of what to expect. Also, try to plan some hearing loss-friendly activities to fill up your days. For example, some museums may offer tours in American Sign Language or may have audio or video guides specifically designed for people with hearing loss. We have some destination recommendations on the blog, like these places to travel in the fall and where to go during a trip to Germany!
Book accessible accommodations
Before you book your stay, it’s important to do your homework and make sure your accommodations will meet your needs. For example, check to see if your hotel or other accommodations has an accessible phone system. It’s also essential to make sure that any alarms (smoke, fire, etc.) can be seen or felt as well as heard. Here are some more specific hotel accessibility considerations and tips for home rental stays with hearing loss.
Stay in touch
Another of our favorite tips for solo travelers is making sure you have a plan for staying in touch with your family and friends back home. If you’re headed to a new country, make sure you’ve planned ahead for how to get international texting/data access. Having a reliable way to contact someone is especially important in case something unexpected happens. This should add a sense of security and peace of mind for both you and your family and friends at home.
Pack the right gear
If you use assistive hearing technology, it’s important to bring a power bank, extra batteries, or a backup charger — basically anything you need to make sure your technology works adequately in different enviornments. A bed-shaking alarm clock or one with flashing lights can be helpful if to keep on schedule and wake up on time!
Have a backup plan
It’s always helpful to have a backup plan, whether you’re traveling with or without hearing loss! Consider making copies of important documents and keeping them in different places, such as in your hotel room and with a friend or family member. If you’re planning on taking public transportation, make sure to have a few different routes in mind in case your first choice doesn’t work out. Also, make sure to have emergency contact numbers with you in case of an accident or medical emergency.
Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! With the right preparation and tools, solo travelers with hearing loss can make the most of their trips and have an amazing time. Prepare by using the tips for solo travelers above, and don’t be afraid to try new things and explore new places. You may find that solo travel is the perfect way for you to see the world, experience new cultures, and make memories for a lifetime.
For more tips and insights for traveling with hearing loss, keep reading the CapTel blog!