Traveling with hearing aids

How to travel with a hearing aid

Traveling disabled becomes able traveling

Instead reading this blog you can also check my video.

On my channel you see a a lot of travel vlogs made by me The Creative Globetrotter. Some people notice on my website as well on my channel I’m hearing impaired. I’m hard of hearing since my birth with a 65 dB hearing loss on my left ear and deaf on my right ear.

I received a lot of questions by many of my viewers how to manage it as a hearing impaired person travel for years by himself to the far corners in the world. First of all to be clear. The way I travel is different what a lot of other people do like travel with you friends or in a group and organized travel. Stay in fancy hotels 3, 4 and maybe 5 star. You’ve been picked up by a guide and he take you to the next destination. Very safe and sound. So you are taking minimum risk and it is very safe. And if something happened people are around you to help you out.

That is not what I do. It is not regular traveling what I do. Travel years by myself. Go off the beaten track, arrange everything by msyelf, backpacking, homestays, work abroad, go to most isolated destinations and poorest countries in the world. Because traveling is exploring everything by yourself. So this requires a different mindset.

So here are my tips


#1 take your reserve / back up hearing aid with you.

Well this is very obvious of course. I take always my old hearing aids with me. Before you travel make sure of it they are working. Not during your travels itself you find out it is not working at all.

If you don’t have a back up hearing aid ask one of your friends if they can borrow it to you or the hearing aid stores if they can borrow an old device.

Of course take some extra tubes, plugs everything with you 🙂

Keep this hearing aid in the smaller backpack. The bag or backpack you use as cabin bag.


Hearing aid


#2 Take your batteries

No shocker as well… take your as much as batteries with you as you can. What I do take some batteries as long you need those for the time you spend on you trip plus some extra batteries.

A second tip is I always split my batteries. Some in my big backpack, smaller bag and even in my wallet. If some of your luggage is missing you still have some left.

If you travel for years around the world check where to find hearing care shops to buy some batteries there. In bigger cities and in the capitals you have hearing aid stores. ask the people or check the internet where to get it.


batteries hard of hearing


#3 Silicon Bags / Silicon gel

Backpacking means travel light. So take the minimum gear with you. This also means special dry boxes for hearing aids. This extra weight I rather don’t use it. But what to do if your hearing aid get wet by sweat or rain for example. How to keep it dry? I use Silicon bags. You find those bags when you buy new clothing or shoes in the package. Don’t throw them away those are very handy.

I use one box for my hearing stuff (including by back up hearing aid). And use this box to dry my wet hearing aid.


Silicon bags, hard of hearing


#4 Cheap smart watch as a timer

At home I’ve a special timer that doesn’t make  sound but vibrates or that give light. During you travels I don’t have such a times. You have special travel timers but I prefer travel light. So you can use your phone. However it not vibrate that well if your phone move in your pillow. And in my first year of my round the world trip I was checking my phone all the time especially if I don’t want miss a flight or catch a bus.

One of the best options I figured is buy a cheap smart watch that vibrates when the timer is set. One of the cheapest I have is from the brand Xiaomi from China. The cheapest is around 30 euros. You got smart watches in between 30 – 60 euros that is more than enough. You have wear the watch during your sleep. So better don’t use your expensive apple watch of 400 euros because you have scratches quick. You set your timer with your mobile phone.

Ah yes one tip save the batteries from your phone and watch. Only use your bluetooth if you want set your watch before sleep.

Xiaomi band 2 smart watch hard of hearing


#5 where to keep your hearing aid?

Treat you Hearing Aid just like your passport and creditcard. It is one of you the most valuable items you have. So keep your aids in your small backpack along with your passport and camera.

During the night in hostels I keep it in my hearing aid box and put it in pillow… the same what I do with my passport by the way.


#6 what to do when you both hearings aid don’t work

First of all. DON’T panic. For us hearing impaired people hearing aids is a part of our body. It is our first need. However it happens when your primairy need as well your back up hearing aid does not work. In the worst case scenario if boths aids don’t work. Explain to your travel compagnons like other backpackers in the hostel, or the hostess in a homestay to help you.

Use your phone or write something down. To make something clear. And travel as soon as possible to one of the major cities in the country. Normally in the bigger cities they have hearing aid stores. Even in the poor countries. Only you have the look for it.


#7 Sleeping mask & ear plugs

That is one of my advantages that I can’t hear that much when I take off my hearing aids. Some people do so it is always practical have some ear plugs with you. However most hearing impaired people are sensitive for light. Lights from the hallway from travelers enter your dorm. As well the first sunlight early in the morning. I can imagine this is very annoying when you want to sleep a few hours extra. So take your sleeping mask with you.


#8 apps

Well this is not only for Hard of hearing people also for people in general. But it helps using your apps on your phone to help and overcome the problems in an other language oral and visual.

Ava, SpeakSee, Google transcribe: are good apps to have close captions during your conversations. Have speech to text apps with you to understand the conversation.

Google translate. Got good options in a lot of languages. It has a photo option with OCR so you can read the signs and you

Yandex translate. Even a better alternative than Google translate personally. Somehow this works quicker

Google maps, Apple maps and don’t know where your hostel is and it is hard to ask. Check those map apps. Google maps use online and offline (don’t forget download your maps).

– Taxi app. Grab, Uber, Bolt … there are a lot of taxi apps I can’t mention them all. First of all you don’t get ripped off. But It helps when you are insecure bargain in a foreign language.

#9 Learn some words

Ok, you probably not familiar with languages. Well I don’t, but just try learn some words. It helps when uncomfortable in communicating. Of course hand and feet work but if you know some foreign words in a country nobody speaks English it is nice to have an icebreaker. People are more open if you speak some words in their own language.


#10 Observe! That is your power.

If you are insecure by communicating in a foreign language like English. Keep in mind all the other normal hearing backpackers got the same problem. The Linguistic barrier and communicating.. Actually you have several advantages compared with hose backpackers… you are used to it and if I am not mistaken you use your eyes a lot (such as lipreading) to observe. Hearing people don’t use their eyes a lot we do. So pay attention when you talk to somebody in a foreign language. The small nodding, the hands and body language. We hard of hearing are masters in Observation and see what people mean.


#11 Earhooks

On my long travels or spending your night by yourself with some music or a movie or just calling home. You don’t want to disturb your other travel compagnons by turn up the volume openly. So you have to use some headphones. Depending on your hearing loss some people use normal headphones or some hearing aids has the special option such as the Mfi option or other wireless connection.

I use earhooks. Is the cheapest option you only need the T-loop option, most hearing aids have that options.

Check online on or or check your local hearing aid store.

earhooks earplugs for hard of hearing people


#12 leave your expensive and heavy stuff home

Table mic, Roger pen (including charger), travel times, extra equipment, dry box at home. I prefer travel light. And those extra things are just extra luggage and from my experience you don’t use it that often. Besides when you loose it some of those stuff is not insured.


You don’t want to read? Check my video


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