Travel tips for the ‘hard-of-hearing’

Ms Bev Eintracht

Holidays can be stressful for people who suffer from hearing loss and/or tinnitus. These tips aim to make any holiday a pleasurable and stress-free experience. For starters, holidays can be used as a ‘lever’ for someone who needs hearing aids i.e. they make the holiday more enjoyable. For some, noisy main roads and crowded restaurants are not their friend.

General Tips

  • Don’t forget extra batteries, wax filters and cleaning tools.
  • For accessories, such as a recharger or phone clip, don’t forget the chargers and adaptors if travelling overseas.
  • For the hard-of-hearing, print off all bookings and flight info, or save on your phone. Download the app from the airline that notifies changes to flights.
  • Going to a foreign country? Download a translator app with voice to text translation.
  • Being organised can reduce stress that worsens tinnitus.
  • Keep earplugs in your bag for those unexpected loud noise situations.

Improve sleeping with tinnitus

  • Take a portable sound machine and pillow speakers to help to sleep/relax at night.
  • Maskers, such as BOSE noise masking ear plugs can also help with tinnitus, or stop you hearing a snoring partner, or a noisy party in the hotel next door.
  • Use lavender oil on your pillow to help you to relax

Tips for the plane

  • Leave hearing aids on whilst flying. Tell security you have hearing aids – they may ask you to remove them when going through security checks.
  • If possible, sit near the front – it’s quieter.
  • Those with tinnitus can use entertainment on offer as a distraction.
  • Do mindfulness exercises to help to stay calm and relaxed.
  • Noise reduction headphones make it easier to hear without needing to turn the volume up.
  • If you suffer from blocked ears, take a decongestant before you fly, and acquire EARPLANES – pressure reducing earplugs that regulate pressure changes (available at the airport).

Tips for trains and busses

  • Trains and busses may have an audio loop system installed that connects directly to your telecoil in your hearing aid – make sure that your telecoil is activated in your hearing aid (if it has one)
  • Choose a train compartment with fewer people

Going on an organised tour?

  • Tell the tour guide and if you have a mic linked to hearing aids; give it to the guide to use so their commentary isn’t missed.


  • Accessibility rooms are in some hotels – they include special options for people with disabilities, including hearing loss. Enquire if your hotel has these on offer.
  • Ask hotel staff to turn on captions on the TV

Tips for carers

  • Turn off aids at night to preserve battery life
  • Check for signs of wax blockage and clean if necessary
  • Keep half the spare batteries in your hand luggage
  • Use drying kit each night if in a humid climate

Author competing interests: No relevant disclosures.

Questions? Contact the editor.

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