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

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

There are two types of vacations, right? There’s the type where you cram every single recreation you can into every waking minute. This type will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the fun will be remembered for many years to come.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you spend the entire time on the beach with some drinks. Or maybe you’re getting pampered 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. Whichever way you choose, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, especially if you’re not aware of it. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even realize they have it and it eventually creeps 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 reduced with some proven strategies, and that’s the good news. Scheduling a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly diminished the more ready you are before you go.

How can hearing loss impact your vacation

So how can your next vacation be negatively effected by hearing loss? 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 tend to add up! Here are some common instances:

  • You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is dull. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • Important notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. And as a result, your whole vacation schedule is cast into total chaos.
  • Getting beyond language barriers can be frustrating: It’s difficult enough to overcome a language barrier. But understanding voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s really noisy, makes it much more difficult.
  • You can miss significant moments with friends and family: Maybe your friend just told a hilarious joke that everyone loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.

Some of these negative outcomes can be averted by simply using your hearing aids. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and stress free is to manage your hearing needs before you start.

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 with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly stress-free. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how strong your hearing is.

Here are some things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:

  • Pack extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is the worst! Always make sure you bring spares! So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some types of batteries need to be kept in your carry-on.
  • Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more obstacles).
  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart idea to make certain your hearing aids are clean and working correctly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help prevent issues from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a good idea.

Hearing aid travel tips

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

  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need 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. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can produce a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
  • 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 whenever you aren’t in an extremely loud setting, swimming, or showering.
  • How useful is my smartphone? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is really helpful! You can use your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. 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.
  • Do I have some rights I should know about? It’s a good idea! In general, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with your rights before you go. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you have to have access to information. So if you think you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer help.
  • Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. Having said that, you may want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements may be difficult to hear so make sure you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? How well you can hear in the airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will usually be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specially made to help individuals with hearing aids hear their surroundings better.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s essential that you have a positive attitude and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.

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

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

For those with hearing loss, this preparation frequently begins by getting your hearing evaluated and making sure you have the hardware and care you require. And that’s true whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or taking it easy on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Still have some questions or concerns? 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.

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