Traffic jams. Security lines. Impatient crowds. Traveling is the least fun part of a holiday vacation, but unfortunately it’s necessary. It’s like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: the idea of a holiday vacation sparkles and shines, but the road to holiday riches is full of confusing twists and turns. And when you mix in winter weather like snow and ice, normal travel complications are compounded even further. So how do you navigate the perfect storm that is holiday travel? The answer is preparation; we here at Healthy Hearing have compiled a handy checklist for you to pack in your carry-on before you strap on your winter boots and head out the door.

Before you go

Make a list of what to pack a day or two ahead of time to ensure you don’t forget any of your hearing essentials, such as extra hearing aid batteries, a hearing aid cleaning kit, a hearing aid drying compartment or any other assistive listening devices and accessories you might need on the trip. When it comes to your hearing, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so pack the whole kit and kaboodle, even if you don’t use everything on a daily basis. The great thing about hearing aids is that they’re small, so you’re not sacrificing much space in your suitcase by packing all the accompanying parts. Make sure to be all packed up the night before you go to avoid any last minute hustle and bustle. 

The holidays are the busiest time of the year
for traveling. Make your upcoming trip as 
pain free as possible with Healthy Hearing’s
tips and tricks!

If you’re taking public or mass transportation to get to your destination, check the agency or company website and call ahead to ask about any special accommodations for people with hearing loss. All organizations should have some form of assistance available to patrons with hearing loss, and most will also have text telephone (TTY) lines available, in case you struggle with using the phone.

On the road

No matter what form of transportation you’re using, if you struggle to hear in large, crowded places, tell an attendant about your situation when you arrive. He or she can make sure you don’t miss important boarding or delay information, and help you with other things such as where to put your luggage, finding your seat, locating the restrooms, etc. Remember: being your own advocate is the best possible way to reduce the stress of hearing loss when you’re around other people. As soon as someone knows about your hearing condition, they’ll be much more conscious of how difficult it may be for you to navigate a world designed around the normal hearing public.

When you get there

Time to relax! But don’t forget to lock in your return travel plans before you settle in and forget about them. If you planned ahead before leaving home, you also need to plan ahead before heading back. In the meantime, find a safe place for your hearing aids and accessories when you’re not using them. Keep them away from curious little hands and paws and well away from any crackling fires.

If you can, print out your return boarding passes and stick them in your luggage so you don’t have to worry about them. And before you head back, put all of your necessary travel documents (tickets, IDs, vouchers, etc.) in an easy-to-reach place so you’re ready to go when security asks for them. The quicker you’re through the line and away from the crowd, the sooner you can relax.

Holiday cheer might come with a little holiday travel fear as well. As the cold sets in and people hit the road, travel prep is essential to navigating the holiday crowds this season. Braving the mobs of people in airports and train stations can be a frightening thought, but it’s not as scary as it may seem. If you plan accordingly, you’ll be unwrapping gifts by the Christmas tree with your loved ones before you know it.

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