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

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? One kind is full of activities at all times. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you head back to work more worn out than you left.

The other kind is all about relaxing. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some sort of resort, getting pampered the entire time. These kinds of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.

Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can jeopardize whichever type of vacation you take.

Hearing loss can ruin a vacation

There are a few distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. The volume on all their devices just continues going higher and higher.

But the effect 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 definitely the first step. The more prepared you are before you go, the easier it will be to lessen any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. And while some of them may seem a little insignificant at first, they have a tendency to add up! Here are a few common examples:

  • You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is dull. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
  • You can miss important moments with family and friends: Perhaps your friend just told a hilarious joke that everybody loved, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
  • Getting beyond language barriers can be frustrating: Coping with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (especially in a noisy situation).
  • You miss crucial notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. And as a consequence, your whole vacation schedule is cast into absolute disarray.

A number of these negative situations can be prevented by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, taking care of your hearing requirements is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.

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 it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of extra planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how strong your hearing is.

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

  • Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is the worst! Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You may be required to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good idea to make sure your hearing aids are clean and working properly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help avoid issues from developing while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make sure your suggested maintenance is up to date!
  • Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more challenges).

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 going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to know before you head to the airport.

  • Can I wear my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? When they tell you it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. Having said that, you might want to activate flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You might 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.
  • If I use my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids anytime you aren’t in a really loud place, swimming, or showering.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That depends, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help people who have hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • Should I know my rights? Before you leave it’s not a bad idea to become familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have lots of special rights. Basically, you must have access to information. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you suspect you are missing some info and they should be able to help.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? You won’t need to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. That being said, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. 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.
  • How useful is my smartphone? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is extremely useful! After you land, you can use this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct type of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You may be able to take some strain off your ears if you can use your phone like this.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a positive mindset.

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

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

For people with hearing loss, this preparation often starts by having your hearing tested and making certain you have the equipment and care you require. And that’s accurate 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? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam!

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.