There are two kinds of vacations, right? One kind is full of activities at all times. These are the trips that are remembered for years later and are full of adventure, and you go back to work more tired than you left.
The other kind is all about relaxing. You might not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or possibly you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting pampered the entire time. These are the restful and relaxing kinds of vacations.
Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. Whichever method you choose, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
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 know they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. The volume on all their devices just keeps going up and up.
But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some proven methods, and that’s the good news. Making an appointment for a hearing test is obviously the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are before you go.
How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss
So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. And while some of them may seem a bit trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Some common examples include the following:
- Language barriers are even more difficult: It’s hard enough to deal with a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to decipher voices (especially in a noisy setting).
- The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is dull. After all, you could fail to hear the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
- 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 result, your entire vacation schedule is cast into total disarray.
- Meaningful experiences with friends and family can be missed: Maybe your friend just told a great joke that everybody loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
Some of these negative outcomes can be avoided by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, taking care of your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
How to prepare for your vacation when you have hearing loss
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. That’s nowhere near true! 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 smoothly as possible. 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 effect your next vacation:
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have troubles on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a good idea.
- Pre-planning is a smart idea: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a 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 the first day because your batteries went dead. Always make sure you bring spares! So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You might be required to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
Hearing aid travel tips
Once all the planning and preparation 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 number of things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.
- Do I have to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You won’t need 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 idea. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor style X-ray devices generate.
- 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 a really loud place, swimming, or showering.
- Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t need to turn off your hearing aids when you get that “all electronics must be off” spiel. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You may also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements during the flight that are difficult to hear.
- Do I have some rights I should know about? It’s not a bad idea! In general, it’s good to become familiar with your rights before you go. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have lots of special rights. But essentially, it amounts to this: information must be accessible to you. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you feel like you’re missing some information and they should be able to help.
- Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is really useful, not shockingly. After you land, you can utilize this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct type of hearing aid), get directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you can use your phone like this.
- 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 most modern airports will have a telecoil device installed throughout many areas. This is a basic wire device (though 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.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are hard to predict. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s important to have a positive mindset and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unexpected.
That way you’ll still feel as if your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable challenge happens.
But you will be surprised less if you make good preparations. When something goes awry, with the right preparations, you can keep it from getting out of control.
Getting a hearing test and making certain you have the correct equipment is usually the beginning of that preparation for individuals who have hearing loss. And that’s true whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or hanging out on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Still have some questions or concerns? Call us today!