Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you jam every single recreation you can into every waking second. 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 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 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 right or wrong way to vacation. Whichever method you choose, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
There are some unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, especially if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no idea they have it. The volume on all their devices just keeps going higher and higher.
The good news is that there are some proven ways to reduce the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. Scheduling a hearing exam is obviously the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly diminished the more ready you are in advance.
How can hearing loss impact your vacation
So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to add up it can become a real issue. Here are some common instances:
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted also. After all, you could fail to hear the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
- You miss crucial notices: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing out of whack.
- Getting past language barriers can be frustrating: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But neglected hearing loss can make it even more difficult to decipher voices (especially in a noisy setting).
- You can miss significant moments with friends and family: Everybody loved the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
Some of these negative situations can be avoided by simply wearing your hearing aids. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and free of stress is to take care of 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 vacation if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But with a little additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively stress-free. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice regardless of how good your hearing is.
You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are a number of things you can do:
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good plan to make certain your hearing aids are clean and working correctly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have troubles on vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your suggested maintenance is up to date!
- Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries died. Always make sure you bring spares! So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? Well, maybe, consult your airline. You may need to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
- Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some 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 present more challenges).
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 possibly it’s the airways. Before you go out to the airport, there are a number of things about flying with hearing aids you should certainly be aware of.
- If I use my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or swimming (or in a really noisy setting), you should be wearing your devices.
- Do I have to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You won’t be required to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. That being said, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. 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 very useful! Once you land, you can utilize this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right kind of hearing aid), get 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 be aware of my rights? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with your rights before you travel. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it boils down to this: information must 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 will most likely offer a solution.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on which 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.
- Can I use my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good plan to activate flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a good attitude.
That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable obstacle happens.
But you will be surprised less if you make good preparations. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a disaster.
For individuals with hearing loss, this preparation often starts by having 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 advice will still hold.
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