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

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

Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? One kind is full of activities the whole time. This type will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the fun will be recalled for many years to come.

The other kind is all about unwinding. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you spend a lot of time on the beach with some drinks. Or possibly you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting pampered the whole time. These types of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.

There’s no best to vacation. But neglected hearing loss can jeopardize whichever type of vacation you choose.

Hearing loss can ruin a vacation

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 lessened with some tried and tested strategies, 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 more prepared you are before you go, the easier it will be to reduce any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be negatively impacted by hearing loss? Well, there are a number of ways. By themselves, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to add up it can become a real problem. Some common examples include the following:

  • The radiant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted also. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
  • Language barriers become even more tricky: It’s difficult enough to deal with a language barrier. But neglected hearing loss can make it even harder to decipher voices (especially in a noisy setting).
  • You can miss significant moments with family and friends: Maybe your friend just told a hilarious joke that everybody loved, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. And as a consequence, your entire vacation schedule is cast into absolute chaos.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and minimized. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and free of stress is to manage your hearing needs before you go.

If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready for your vacation?

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is obviously good travel advice.

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

  • Pre-planning is a smart idea: When you have to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can present some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and prepare as much as you can.
  • Clean your hearing aids: Before you leave on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. This can help avoid problems from developing while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your suggested maintenance is up to date!
  • Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is the worst! 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. Some kinds of batteries need to be kept in your carry-on.

Hearing aid travel tips

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or possibly it’s the airways. Before you head out to the airport, there are a number of things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should certainly be aware of.

  • 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. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. Never 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 type X-ray devices produce.
  • Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than usual? Hearing aids are designed to be used every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, taking a shower, or swimming (or in a really noisy environment), you should be wearing your devices.
  • How useful is my smartphone? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is very helpful! Once 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. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some stress off your ears.
  • Should I know my rights? Before you leave it’s not a bad idea to get familiar with your rights. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But essentially, it amounts to this: information must be available 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.
  • Can I wear my hearing aids on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to turn 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 relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You may also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are hard to hear.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That depends, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device fitted throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help people who have hearing aids hear their environment better.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go right all the time. That’s why it’s important that you have a good mindset and treat your vacation like you’re taking on the unexpected.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are on track even when the inevitable challenge happens.

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

Getting a hearing test and making certain you have the correct equipment is commonly the start 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 (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.

Still have some questions or concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test!

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.