Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? One type is full of activities at all times. This kind will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the adventures will be recalled for years to come.
The other kind is all about unwinding. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting pampered at some resort for your entire vacation. These are the peaceful and relaxing kinds of vacations.
Everyone has their own idea of the perfect vacation. Whatever way you choose, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.
Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss
There are some unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially 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 continues going up and up.
But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. Scheduling a hearing test is definitely the first step. The more prepared you are before you go, the easier it will be to minimize any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss
So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. And while some of them may seem a little trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Here are some common examples:
- Getting beyond language barriers can be frustrating: Dealing with a language barrier is already hard enough. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to decipher voices (especially in a noisy situation).
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is muted. After all, you could miss out on the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
- You can miss important moments with friends and family: Maybe your friend just told a hilarious joke that everybody loved, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
- You miss crucial notices: Maybe you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be lessened and minimized. So, managing your hearing requirements is the ideal way to keep your vacation on track.
How to get ready for your vacation when you have hearing loss
All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. Not by any Means! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and relatively stress-free. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is definitely practical travel advice.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:
- Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you head out on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good plan.
- Pre-planning is a good idea: When you have to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can present some difficulties, so don’t be overly spontaneous and prepare as much as you can.
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries went dead. Always make sure you bring spares! So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? Well, possibly, consult your airline. You might need to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
Hearing aid travel tips
Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or maybe it’s the airways. Before you go out to the airport, there are a few things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should certainly know about.
- Do I need to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. That being said, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices create.
- Should I know my rights? Before you leave it’s not a bad idea to become familiar with your rights. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it amounts to this: information has to be available to you. 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 a solution.
- If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids anytime you aren’t in a really loud setting, swimming, or showering.
- Will my smartphone be helpful? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is really helpful! Once you land, you can use 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 can utilize your phone in this way.
- Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you hear that “all electronics must be off” spiel. But it’s a good plan to enable flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements could be difficult to hear so be certain that you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? 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 set up in many areas of most modern airports. This is a simple 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.
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 right all the time. So be prepared for the unforeseen 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!
However, the flip side to that is that preparation can make a difference. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.
For individuals with hearing loss, this preparation often begins by getting your hearing tested and making sure you have the equipment and care you need. And that’s true whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Still have some questions or concerns? Call us today!