Laurie Osterman has more than 19 years’ of being a pilot’s wife. She shares tips and tricks about traveling the globe on her popular YouTube channel.
We know that many of you are busy planning summer trips, so we invited Laurie to share her advice and tips for traveling with a hearing impairment and while wearing hearing aids.
In her latest video (link below), she shares tips to help you feel more confident when flying. She will teach you packing and travel tips, as well as hints for airport security, using hearing aids on the airplane and for when you are on vacation.
Laurie has worn ReSound hearing aids for almost 6 years. She has worn the battery charged ones, but now she has rechargeable ReSound ONE hearing aids. Enjoy the video… we’ve captured some of her tips below so you can print them out.
Don’t forget that your audiologist or hearing care professional is always here to help. Please feel free to reach out to them with any questions you may have.
Tip #1 – Check hearing impaired section when you purchase airline tickets
- Even if it is not something you are really worried about, it will help them know that you need to choose an aisle seat or sit near the front if those seats are still available. Laurie thinks that most will charge you more to sit up there, but if you do need to read lips that travel tip will help.
Tip #2 – Pack your hearing aid supplies in your personal item bag
- Pack your hearing aid batteries and supplies in a case in your personal item bag, such as a backpack, tote, crossbody bag, or briefcase that can fit underneath the seat in front of you on the airplane. This is so your supplies do not get lost if they are in your checked luggage or if your carry-on suitcase does not fit in the overhead bins.
- The transportation security administration (TSA) does not allow the rechargeable battery case to be packed in your checked luggage. It has to be checked in your personal item or carry-on suitcase as it has a lithium battery in it. Laurie recommends getting a tech organizer to place your rechargeable case and cords in to make it easily accessible while traveling.
Tip #3 – You do not have to take your hearing aids out during the airport screening
- You do not have to take your hearing aids out or put them in the gray bin to go through airport screening or security at the airport.
- Your hearing aids stay on your ears throughout the whole process of traveling, no matter where you may be.
Tip #4 – Do not wear earrings while traveling, especially if you are wearing a mask
- Laurie does not recommend wearing earrings while you are traveling throughout the airport or on the airplanes, especially while wearing a mask. This is because they can get tangled and eventually lost while taking off your mask. Sometimes the same thing can happen if you wear hearing aids while wearing a mask.
Tip #5 – Use your hearing aids’ phone app
- If your hearing aids can be controlled on your phone via an app like Laurie’s ReSound hearing aids can, you should be able to enjoy going to shows or being in crowded areas while you are on vacation. This is because the apps can help you control the noise, filter out the noise, filter background noise, and use speech focus at a restaurant.
- You will be able to sit around a large table on a cruise ship at a show and hear everyone because you have the access and capability to control your hearing aids via the app to help you hear better.
Tip #6 – Download entertainment 24 to 36 hours before your flight
- Some of the airplanes still use the back of the seat in front of you and actual headphones to allow you to watch entertainment on the flight. Some airlines will pass out Bluetooth ear buds for seat back entertainment, but that is newer technology.
- If you cannot listen to a show through actual headphones, you can download Netflix videos, other shows or YouTube videos on your phones ahead of the flight. Laurie provides steps of how to do so in the video.
- She recommends downloading the entertainment you want to watch on the airplane about 24 to 36 hours before your flight. When you are up in the airplane, your phone will be able to watch those shows you have downloaded onto your phone, even if it is in airplane mode.
Tip #7 – Get to know your airline’s app
- Your airline’s app has all of your flight information. It will alert you to any gate changes (especially helpful if you cannot hear the gate airline agents in the concourse). It will also show you which carousel your bags will be unloaded.
- The airline’s app will also be where you can watch their entertainment system.
Tip #8 – Protect your hearing aids while at the pool or the beach
- When you are going swimming at the pool or the beach, you can pack your hearing aids in a plastic bag to protect them near a large body of water.
- It is also recommended to place the hearing aids in the plastic bag in another bag that is splash proof. She recommends getting a larger bag to fit other items to take so you do not lose anything you brought with.
- Laurie recently got new rechargeable hearing aids from ReSound and her biggest fear is that she will lose the charger while on vacation. She asked her audiologist what she should do if that happens. She said to immediately email your audiologist so they can get you a replacement one for when you get back.
Laurie also provided three additional bonus tips to help protect your hearing aids, especially while traveling.
Bonus Tip #1 – Pack a valet tray that’s open while sleeping at night
- When you are sleeping at night, you can pack a valet tray that is open. One reason Laurie likes these valet trays is that it packs flat, so it is not taking up space in your carry-on and they come in all different colors. It also protects your hearing aids and supplies if you like having water by your bed and your arm accidently knocks your glass over.
Bonus Tip #2 – Use a peanut butter lid for protection of hearing aids and supplies while sleeping
- The great thing about the peanut butter lid is that it does not blend in with the granite countertop of the bedside table at the hotel so you will not forget what is in the peanut butter lid and that would protect it more from water on the surface of the bedside table.
Bonus Tip #3 – Use a thin scrap piece of fabric
- If you cannot find a valet tray or peanut butter lid, you can pack a thin scrap piece of fabric for the same purpose of protection. Make sure it is a bright color, so it does not blend into the countertop.
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