Newsletter - March 2013
Vol. 2, Issue #3
Travel & Cruise News and Items of interest
A Newsletter from Rosswin Travel, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, BC
Business Opportunity: http://rosswintravelthecomoxvalley.blogspot.ca
A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley Blog: http://bit.ly/XPqzmz
Travel Tips, traveling by Car, Bus or Train
13 Essential Travel Apps
Artist of the month, Sonia Hauser
This month we will continue our blog about
Travel and the Hard of Hearing
Tips for Traveling by Car
- If you’re the driver and you lip-read or sign/cue, teach your passengers to insert pauses in their conversation when your eyes are on the road.
- Extra-wide rear-view mirrors can be installed in cars, making it easier to communicate with back seat passengers.
- Ask passengers to use an FM system in order to deliver the conversation right to your ears. This allows you to keep your eyes on the road at all times.
- Use a Bluetooth phone system to provide hands-free access to calls.
- An interesting article and what to do if you are stopped by the Police
Bridging the Communications Gap When Stopped by the Police
The following two are downloads
Visor Cards for the Deaf
Visor Cards for the HOH
Tips for Traveling by Bus or Train
- If there are no visible names for each stop, enlist the help of a nearby seat mate to let you know when a certain stop comes up. When the writer of this article traveled by train for their job, they would count the number of stops until theirs. They are grateful for buses and trains that have visual displays of stops and information.
Tell a fellow traveler or an attendant that you have hearing loss so that you don’t miss any safety announcements.
General Travel Tips
- Travel can be fun but a little time spent preparing and researching your trip will make it more enjoyable. Travel does not have to be avoided because of a hearing loss. So plan ahead, inform your fellow travelers, transportation hosts and hotel clerks that you have a hearing problem and enjoy yourself.
- Try to make all travel arrangements in advance. Once transportation arrangements have been made, request written confirmation to ensure that information is correct. Always inform the ticket representative that you are hearing- impaired.
- Remember to take your passport, Visa, money and tickets
- Make sure you get comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you go.
- Obtain local knowledge, carry out a bit of research into your destination including its laws, customs and language. Read a good guidebook and familiarize yourself with your destination(s).
- Visit you doctor at least 6 weeks before you depart and find out what needles you may need.
- Take photocopies of all your documents, passports, visa cards etc, keep one copy with you and have it in a safe place and leave one copy with a family member. -
- Set up an e-mail account: e-mail yourself and trusted friend or relative details of your insurance policy, passport, itinerary and emergency contact numbers (insurance company, credit card company) just in case.
- (Note- I am not sure I agree with this above statement, but I will leave that up to you if you trust the e-mail service)
- Carry printed copies of lodging reservations, dates and prices
- Take enough money, take a mixture of cash, travelers’ cheques and credit cards
and do not keep them all in one place. Tell your bank if you are going to be away and where you plan to go, otherwise you might not be able to use your cards. Ask what banks they are affiliated with in the county you are visiting. These banks should accept your cards where others might not.
I had trouble using my one client card and had a second one that did work.
- Keep in touch with friends and family
- Arrive early at the airport, bus terminal, or train station. Tell the agent at the boarding gate that you are hearing-impaired and need to be notified in person when it’s time to board.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help from fellow travelers—most are more than willing to offer assistance.
- Keep an eye on your belonging’s at all times while in an airport, bus or train station.
- Be aware of drug and alcohol laws.
- Pack for the climate, but do not overpack.
( I usually pack and then I take out half of what I had packed and then if I am having trouble closing my bag I repeat the procedure. We have got it down to one knapsack each, but that means giving up our formal wear when cruising, if dressing up appeals to you then yes, pack a bit more and enjoy your cruise or resort.)
- Depending where you are going, a small first aid kit might be handy, band aids, antiseptic cream, scissors etc. Taylor it to fit your holiday (if you cannot pack your scissors into a checked bag then leave them at home as they will be taken away while going through security at the airport.)
- Take some insect repellent, suncream, treatment for diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
( yes, you can probably buy these items when you get to your destination but you might be paying twice the price and then maybe not but why not have it on hand in case you need it.)
- If you wear a hearing aid be sure to pack extra batteries and tubing. These can be difficult to obtain in some travel spots
Strongly consider taking a dehumidifier for drying your hearing aids each night to prevent moisture problems, especially if your destination has a warm, humid climate.
- To prevent loss, avoid storing your hearing aid equipment in checked luggage. Keep an extra set of batteries in a separate piece of luggage to prevent total loss of hearing aid use.
- It might be wise to purchase your own vibrating alarm clock and portable visual alert system in case you are in a group and the hotel or cruise line does not have enough to go around or in case you book a hotel that does not have any kits. .
- As hearing loss is an invisible condition it is essential you inform flight attendants, train conductors, bus drivers and agents that you have a hearing loss. Often times they are equipped with a hearing assistance system or loop technology. At the very least, they will speak more clearly, lip-reading will be possible or you will be notified in person when it it time to board or exit. I would suggest you ask the person sitting near you that is going the distance you are to let you know when you stop is approaching. Most people can be very helpful.
- Many major airlines and transportation companies have Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) services to assist passengers.
- Contact your local organization for the hearing impaired for the address of a possible counterpart agency at your destination. The latter will likely have a TTY and interpretation service, if needed.
- Put identification tags or labels on both the outside and inside of your luggage, with your contact information, the dates where you will be or instructions on where to send your bag. If your outside ID tag is pulled off and/or your bag is lost then the staff will open your bag and your contact information is on the inside.
Keep all travel documents, medications, batteries, hearing aids, glasses, and items of a
personal nature with you while traveling.
Below is a picture of locks that have been pulled off luggage going through the baggage conveyor.
Picture of locks that have been pulled off luggage
going through the baggage conveyor.
Look for the international Symbol of Hearing Access
- When in a “looped” facility, you can hear significantly clearer and over 70% of hearing aids are equipped with tele coils which allow users to hear clearly in noisy surroundings. Hearing loops can be found in airports, train ticket booths, taxis, concert halls, museums, churches, and auditoriums among other venues.
-If you’re planning an outing that involves a guided tour, presentation, workshop, concert, etc., call ahead to arrange for real-time captioning or interpreters. Know and understand the law regarding communication access in the area you’re traveling.
Over 70% of hearing aids are equipped with tele coils which allow users to hear clearly in noisy surroundings. Looped facilities can be found in airports, train ticket booths, taxis, concert halls, museums, churches etc.
Travel Tips websites
A couple of websites I like to access when looking for travel tips is
The following are from the ReadersDigest.com web site, there are 13 in all,
check out the rest by going to
13 Essential Travel Apps
Join the ranks of savvy travellers and load up your smart phone with these must-have travel apps.By Jackie Middleton for readersdigest.ca
1. SeatGuruUnveiling over 700 seat maps from over 100 airlines, this ingenious app uncovers the inside scoop on seat legroom, width, missing windows and available power sockets. If a seat near an emergency exit gets drafty, or won’t recline, SeatGuru spills the beans. With the information this free app provides, you can book your flight’s seat assignment without fearing a nasty surprise. SeatGuru also let’s you track flights in real time, and search for airfare deals.
(Available for free for the iPhone and Android)
3. Trip Advisor
Guidebooks and industry websites only give you half the story. Thankfully, Trip Advisor came on the scene with its refreshing website overflowing with a million-plus travel reviews written by real people. Now savvy travellers can explore Trip Advisor’s wealth of invaluable information on the go with this convenient app. Check out reviews of hotels, restaurants and attractions around the world from your phone anywhere, anytime.
(Available for free for the iPhone and Android))
Artist of the Month
I teach Piano Music out of my home. In so doing, I am forever working with the concepts of colour, clean lines, texture, and movement as they pertain to music. This translates to my work at the easel. I love to teach Jazz as well as many other styles of music. Just as my taste in music is very eclectic, so is my choice of subject matter when I paint. I have painted animals, Balinese subjects, portraits, musical instruments, as well as abstracts. In short, I paint whatever catches my eye.
I derive a great deal of satisfaction and joy from painting, and look forward to devoting myself to this form of art when I retire from teaching music.
To view paintings visit my website at http://www.charsartstudio.com/soniahauser.html