There are a couple of types of vacations, right? There’s the type where you cram every single recreation you can into every single second. These are the trips that are remembered for years later and are full of adventure, and you go back to work more exhausted than you left.
Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or possibly you spend your whole vacation at some sort of resort, getting pampered the entire time. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.
Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can jeopardize whichever kind of vacation you choose.
Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss
Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, particularly if you don’t know you have it. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no clue they have it. They just keep turning the volume on their television up and up and up.
But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. The first step, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The impact that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are in advance.
How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss
So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? Well, there are a couple of ways. And while some of them might seem a bit trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Here are some common examples:
- Language barriers become even more challenging: Managing a language barrier is already hard enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very noisy, makes it much harder.
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted too. After all, you could miss out on the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- Special moments with friends and relatives can be missed: Everybody loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
- You miss crucial notices: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into total chaos.
Some of these negative outcomes can be averted by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, managing your hearing needs is the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
If you have hearing loss, how can you prepare for your vacation?
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s nowhere near true! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of added planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is definitely practical travel advice.
Here are several things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:
- Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do beforehand, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more difficulties).
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your recommended maintenance is current!
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries died. Always make certain you bring spares! So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. Some types of batteries must be kept in your carry-on.
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the planning and preparation have been done! Or possibly it’s the airways. Many people have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to understand before you go to the airport.
- Should I know my rights? It’s a good idea! Generally, it’s smart to become familiar with your rights before you go. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have lots of special rights. But basically, it boils down to this: information has to be accessible to you. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer help.
- Do I need to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s generally a good plan to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. Never allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can produce a static charge that can damage your hearing aids.
- How useful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely helpful! After you land, you can use this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct type of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. If your phone is capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some strain off your ears.
- Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? When they tell you it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good idea to enable flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That depends, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This is a basic wire device (though you’ll never see that wire, just look for the signs) that makes it easier for you to hear with your hearing aids, even when things are noisy and chaotic.
- If I wear my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or going for a swim (or in a super noisy environment), you should be using your devices.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. At times, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a positive mindset.
That way you’ll still feel like your plans are on track even when the unavoidable obstacle occurs.
But you will be surprised less if you make good preparations. With the right preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.
Getting a hearing test and making sure you have the right equipment is usually the beginning of that preparation for people with hearing loss. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.
Still have some questions or concerns? Call us today!