Vacationing With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Enjoyable Trip!

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

Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? There’s the kind where you cram every single recreation you can into every waking moment. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you go back to work more exhausted than you left.

The other kind is all about relaxing. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.

There’s no best to vacation. But neglected hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you take.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even realize they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. They just keep turning the volume on their television louder and louder.

But the impact 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 make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The effect that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are in advance.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. Individually, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to add up it can become a real problem. Here are a few common examples:

  • Meaningful experiences with friends and relatives can be missed: Everyone enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted as well. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • Getting past language barriers can be overwhelming: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really noisy, makes it much harder.
  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Maybe you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.

Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be lessened and decreased. So, managing your hearing requirements is the best way to keep your vacation on track.

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

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you’re dealing with 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 obviously good travel advice.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:

  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries quit. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? Well, possibly, check with your airline. You may be required to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
  • Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more obstacles).
  • Clean your hearing aids: Before you head out on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. This can help avoid issues from happening while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your suggested maintenance is current!

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many individuals have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to understand before you head to the airport.

  • Do I need to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You won’t be required to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. It’s generally a good idea to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices create.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That will depend, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device installed throughout many areas. This is a basic wire device (although 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.
  • Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? 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. Basically, you have to have access to information. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer help.
  • How useful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is very helpful, not surprisingly. After you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct kind of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone in this way.
  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? 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 idea to enable flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements may be hard to hear so be certain that you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
  • Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be used every day, all day. So you should be using your hearing aids anytime you aren’t in an extremely loud setting, swimming, or showering.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a good mindset.

That way, when something unexpected takes place (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!

Of course, the flip side to that is that preparation can make a difference. When something goes awry, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.

For individuals with hearing loss, this preparation often starts by getting your hearing evaluated and making certain you have the hardware and care you require. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.

Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Call us today!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.