Vacationing With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Fun Trip!

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

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you cram every single activity you can into every waking second. This kind will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the adventures will be recalled for years to come.

The other kind is all about unwinding. 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’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These types of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.

There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. But untreated hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you choose.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, particularly if you’re not aware of it. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even recognize they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. They just keep cranking the volume on their tv louder and louder.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. Making an appointment for a hearing test is obviously the first step. The more ready you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to diminish any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. And while some of them might seem a bit trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Some common examples include the following:

  • Meaningful experiences with friends and family can be missed: Maybe your friend just told a great joke that everyone loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
  • Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: 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.
  • Language barriers are even more tricky: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very noisy, makes it much more difficult.
  • You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted also. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.

Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be mitigated and minimized. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and stress free is to take care of your hearing needs before you start.

How to get ready for your vacation when you have hearing loss

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. Not by any Means! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and fairly hassle-free. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how good your hearing is.

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

  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries died. Always make certain you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You may be required to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
  • Clean your hearing aids: Before you leave on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have troubles on vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your recommended maintenance is up to date!
  • Pre-planning is a smart plan: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a 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 introduce more difficulties).

Hearing aid travel tips

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or possibly it’s the airways. Before you head out to the airport, there are a number of things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely know about.

  • How helpful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is really useful! Once you land, you can use this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right kind of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it could take some stress off your ears.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That depends, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will usually be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This is a simple wire device (although 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.
  • If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, taking a shower, or swimming (or in a super noisy setting), you should be wearing your devices.
  • Do I have some rights I need to know about? Before you travel it’s never a bad plan 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. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you think you’re missing some info and they will most likely be able to help.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to take out my hearing aids? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. That being said, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. Never let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices create.
  • Can I wear my hearing aids on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good plan to enable flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements could be hard to hear so be certain that you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a positive mindset.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are on track even when the unavoidable obstacle occurs.

But you will be caught off guard less if you put together good preparations. When something goes awry, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.

For individuals who have hearing loss, this preparation frequently starts by having your hearing assessed and making certain you have the hardware and care you need. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.

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.