traveler with hearing challenges in an airport terminal

Tips for Traveling with Hearing Challenges

With the busy holiday travel season upon us, we thought it a good time to share some travel tips we’ve learned, several from customers. Crowded airports, airplane engines, and road noise can make it nearly impossible to hear flight attendants and fellow travelers, especially if you have difficulty hearing in loud environments.

Here are a few things you can do ahead of time to prepare for easier communication:

  • For complex travel arrangements, consider working with a travel agent. They can do most of the facilitation and communication for you if flights change, weather happens, rental cars go missing, or airport pickups don’t show.
  • As Gifts for Globetrotters suggests, bring a Noopl with you when you’re heading off on an adventure. From communicating with ticket agents in echo-y airports to asking questions about foreign menu items to chatting up fellow travelers by the busy pool, Noopl will help you hear through the noise and bring peoples’ speech into audio focus.

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  • Download the NALscribe live transcription app, which facilitates speech understanding for people with hearing loss. The easy-to-use captioning tool allows easy communication with ticket agents, hotel managers and tour operators. It’s helpful, too, when the person speaking is wearing a mask, since lips are hidden and sound is muffled. The app is also available with language translation on iOS 15, making it super handy in foreign countries.
  • While you’re downloading apps, grab “Like Yelp for noise,” SoundPrint’s decibel meter allows you to measure sound levels in any environment, as well as to find quiet restaurants where you can enjoy your poutine or paella in peace.
  • If you’re in for a long drive with passengers, Skip Gregory’s Noopl Story attests to how well Noopl works for hearing in the car. Just pop on your AirPods Pro or Beats Fit Pro, point your Noopl toward your passenger, and hit the road.

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    Photo Courtesy of Skip Gregory
  • Inform flight attendants and ticket agents ahead of time that you have hearing loss. If flight changes, in-flight announcements or other communications happen, they will know to tell you personally, since the loudspeaker can be very difficult to hear over the airport and engine noise.
  • When flying, learn how to prevent and alleviate airplane ear, which makes hearing that much more difficult.

As hearing loss becomes more common, travel professionals are getting more used to accommodating passengers and customers with hearing challenges. Never hesitate to speak up about what you need in order to hear, ensuring a smooth and safe trip.

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