Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

There are two kinds of vacations, right? There’s the kind where you cram every single activity you can into every waking moment. These are the vacations that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you go back to work more worn out than you left.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Perhaps you spend a lot of time on the beach with some cocktails. Or maybe you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.

Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can jeopardize whichever type of vacation you take.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

There are some unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even realize they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. The volume on all their devices just keeps going higher and higher.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some tried and tested methods, and that’s the good news. The first step, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to diminish any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can hearing loss impact your vacation

So how can your next vacation be adversely effected by hearing loss? Well, there are a couple of ways. And while some of them might seem a little insignificant at first, they have a tendency to add up! Some common illustrations include the following:

  • You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
  • Language barriers are even more challenging: It’s hard enough to contend with a language barrier. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s very loud, makes it much more difficult.
  • Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. And as a result, your whole vacation schedule is thrown into total chaos.
  • Special experiences 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.

Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be lessened and minimized. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and stress free is to take care of your hearing needs before you start.

How to get ready for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on vacation if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of added planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how strong your hearing is.

You can be sure that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:

  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries went dead. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. You might be required to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
  • Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll need 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 certain your hearing aids are clean and working correctly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help prevent problems from happening while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good plan.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many people have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to know before you head to the airport.

  • If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you aren’t in an extremely noisy setting, swimming, or showering.
  • Will my smartphone be useful? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely useful! After you land, you can use this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right type of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it could take some stress off your ears.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This is a simple 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 loud and chaotic.
  • Can I use my hearing aids on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good plan to enable flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
  • Do I have some rights I should know about? It’s a good idea! Generally, it’s good to become familiar with your rights before you go. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have many special rights. But basically, it comes down to this: information has to be available to you. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you suspect you’re missing some info and they should be able to help.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to take out my hearing aids? You won’t need to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. It’s generally a good idea to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. Don’t ever allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor style X-ray devices produce.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are hard to predict. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. That’s why it’s essential that you have a good attitude and treat your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.

That way you’ll still feel as if your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable obstacle happens.

Of course, the flip side to that is that preparation can go a long way. When something goes amiss, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.

Having a hearing exam and making sure you have the right equipment is usually the beginning of that preparation for individuals who have hearing loss. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.

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