Vacationing 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? One kind is full of activities at all times. These are the trips that are remembered 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 might not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink a bit of wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting pampered the whole time. These are the restful and relaxing types of vacations.

There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. But untreated hearing loss can jeopardize whichever kind of vacation you take.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, particularly if you don’t know you have it. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no clue they have it. On all their devices, the volume just continues going up and up.

The nice thing is that there are some proven ways to lessen the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. Scheduling a hearing exam is obviously the first step. The more ready you are before you go, the easier it will be to minimize any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can your next vacation be negatively impacted by hearing loss? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to compound it can become a real problem. Here are some common examples:

  • Getting beyond language barriers can be frustrating: It’s hard enough to deal with a language barrier. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s really noisy, makes it much more difficult.
  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. And as a result, your whole vacation schedule is cast into total disarray.
  • You can miss important moments with family and friends: Perhaps your friend just told a hilarious joke that everyone loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted as well. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.

Some of these negative outcomes can be avoided by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, managing your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation on track.

How to prepare for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on vacation if you have hearing loss. That’s not at all true! But with a little additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively stress-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is definitely practical travel advice.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:

  • Do a little pre-planning: When you have to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as you can.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you head out on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. 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 idea.
  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries quit. Remember to bring some spare batteries. 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.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or possibly it’s the airways. Many individuals have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to recognize before you go to the airport.

  • Will my smartphone be useful? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is really helpful! Once you land, you can use this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right 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? That will depend, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device installed throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help people with hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn your hearing aids off when you hear that “all electronics must be off” spiel. But it’s a good plan to enable 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 during the flight that are hard to hear.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to take out my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. 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, make sure your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor style X-ray devices produce.
  • 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, any time you aren’t sleeping, showering, or swimming (or in an extremely noisy environment), you should be wearing your devices.
  • Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s good to familiarize yourself with your rights before you travel. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have lots of special rights. But basically, it boils down to this: information must be available to you. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you suspect you are missing some info and they should be able to help.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are unpredictable. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s essential that you have a good mindset and treat your vacation like you’re taking on the unexpected.

That way, when something unforeseen takes place (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 getting out of control.

For people with hearing loss, this preparation frequently begins by getting your hearing assessed and making certain you have the equipment and care you require. And that’s the case 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).

Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test!

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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