There are a couple of types of vacations, right? There’s the kind where you cram every single activity you can into every single moment. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more worn out than you left.
Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe 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 whole vacation. These are the restful and relaxing kinds of vacations.
Everyone has their own idea of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can put a damper on whichever kind 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 people have no idea they have it. They just keep turning the volume on their television up and up and up.
The nice thing is that there are some proven ways to reduce the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. The first move, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more prepared you are before you go, the easier it will be to minimize any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss
So how can your next vacation be negatively impacted by hearing loss? Well, there are a couple of ways. And while some of them may seem a bit trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Some common illustrations include the following:
- You miss crucial notices: Maybe you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. And as a consequence, your whole vacation schedule is cast into absolute disarray.
- 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, you could miss out on the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- Language barriers are even more challenging: It’s difficult enough to contend with a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (particularly in a noisy situation).
- You can miss significant moments with friends and family: Everybody loved the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be mitigated and decreased. So, taking care of your hearing needs is the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
If you have hearing loss, how can you prepare for your vacation?
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. Not by any Means! But with a little additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly stress-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is definitely good travel advice.
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:
- Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do beforehand, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more difficulties).
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries quit. Remember to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. You might need to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good plan to make certain your hearing aids are clean and working correctly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good plan.
Hearing aid travel tips
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the planning and preparation have been done! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Many individuals have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to recognize before you head to the airport.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? How well you can hear in the airport will depend on which airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will usually be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specifically made to help individuals with hearing aids hear their environment better.
- Should I know my rights? Before you travel 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. Basically, you must have access to information. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you suspect you’re missing some info and they should be able to help.
- If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be using your hearing aids anytime you aren’t in a really loud setting, swimming, or showering.
- Will my smartphone be helpful? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely helpful! You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you’re able to use your phone like this.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to take out my hearing aids? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. It’s usually a good plan to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. Don’t ever allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can generate a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
- Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? When they announce that it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. That said, you may want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements could be difficult to hear so be certain that you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. At times, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s essential that you have a positive mindset and manage your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.
That way, when something unexpected takes place (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
But you will be surprised less if you make good preparations. With the correct preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a catastrophe.
For those who have hearing loss, this preparation often starts by getting your hearing tested and making certain you have the hardware and care you need. And that’s true whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test!