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.
Whether you are new to traveling or a seasoned pro, check out Laurie’s YouTube page for more tips and tricks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZKpVw6ldXNVU4Ua6IFwTw.
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5 thoughts on “Hearing aid travel tips – Expert advice from Laurie Osterman”
Thanks Laurie for the great tips! As a hearing aid user for 45 years one thing I always do when using hearing aids with batteries is after going through security stash packs in all the bags you use so you are never without. Also if your aids get condensation bring a silicone pack from shoes or other products to use in the hotel to dry out the ear molds. Plut in a coffee cup with silicone pack and place the ‘paper cover’ on top to act like a dry aid container.
There is nothing on this site about using hearing aids in Europe. Do I need a power converter to charge?
Hi Frederick. Thank you for reaching out to us. The wall plug that comes with the chargers for the hearing aids is rated to handle incoming currents of 100 – 240 V. You may need an adapter to adapt the plug type in the country you are in to the A/B plug type used in the US. However, you will not need a converter unless the country’s voltage does not fall within the 100 – 240 V range. Here is a link to a list of the countries and their standard voltage, as well as the type of plug used: https://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plug-voltage-by-country/. Please reach out to our Customer Technical Support Team at 888-735-4327 and choose option #1 with any additional questions you may have. Thank you so much!
I’m trying to find out info about Bluetooth connectivity with airplane IFE through my Resound One HA’s. There are devices that stream from the plane, but some note they don’t work with HA’s that need an app, ie, my Resound.
The Reaound website is pretty obtuse so I’m hoping this is a forum where I can get answers?
Hi Treadwell. Thank you so much for reaching out to us. Our hearing aids use a specific type of Bluetooth Low Energy. At this point, there have not been adaptations outside of mobile phone operating systems (Apple’s iOS or Android OS) that allow for direct audio streaming. There are, however, a couple of accessories that may allow you to connect your hearing aids to an inflight entertainment system:
• One is the Phone Clip+. The Phone Clip+ connects wirelessly via standard Bluetooth. It then wirelessly connects to the hearing aids as well.
• The other is called the Multi Mic. The Multi Mic could connect with a wired connection if the system has a headphone jack. It then also connects wirelessly to the hearing aids.
If you are interested in learning more, we encourage you to discuss these accessories with your hearing care professional, as they be best able to assist you, provide you with one, and share the next steps. To learn more about the Phone Clip+, please visit here: https://www.resound.com/en-us/hearing-aids/accessories/phone-hearing-aid. Please also visit: https://www.resound.com/en-us/hearing-aids/accessories/multi-mic to learn more about the Multi Mic. Thank you so much!