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

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

There are two kinds of vacations, right? There’s the kind where you jam every single activity you can into every single second. This kind will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the adventures will be recalled for many years to come.

The other kind is all about unwinding. You may not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Maybe you spend the entire time on the beach with some cocktails. Or maybe you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These types of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.

There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whichever way you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, especially if you don’t know you have it. Many individuals 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 keeps going up and up.

But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be lessened with some proven strategies, and that’s the good news. The first move, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more ready you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to reduce 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 effected by hearing loss? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. And while some of them might seem a little insignificant at first, they tend to add up! Here are a few common instances:

  • You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted also. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • You miss crucial notices: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. And as a consequence, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute chaos.
  • Meaningful moments with friends and family can be missed: Perhaps your friend just told a great joke that everyone enjoyed, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Getting past language barriers can be overwhelming: Dealing with a language barrier is already hard enough. But understanding voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s really noisy, makes it much harder.

A number of these negative situations can be avoided by simply using your hearing aids. Which means the best way to keep your vacation on track and stress free is to manage your hearing needs before you start.

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

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But with a little extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly hassle-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is obviously practical travel advice.

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:

  • Keep your hearing aids clean: It’s a smart plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and working properly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have troubles on vacation. It’s also a good plan to make certain your recommended maintenance is current!
  • Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to some 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 obstacles).
  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries died. Always make sure you bring spares! So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some kinds of batteries need to be stored in your carry-on.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Once all the preparation and planning 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 flying with hearing aids you should certainly be aware of.

  • Do I have some rights I should know about? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s good to familiarize yourself with your rights before you go. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have lots of special rights. But basically, it amounts to this: information has to be available to you. So if you think you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
  • If I use my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day, all day. So you should be using your hearing aids whenever you’re not in an extremely noisy place, swimming, or showering.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to remove my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s generally a good idea to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. Never allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can create a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
  • 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 which airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specially made to help individuals who have hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
  • Will my smartphone be helpful? This will not be shocking, 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 kind of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some strain off your ears.
  • Can I use my hearing aids on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You may also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. That’s why it’s essential to have a good mindset and treat your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.

That way, when something unexpected occurs (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. When something goes awry, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from going out of control.

Getting a hearing examination and making sure you have the right equipment is usually the start of that preparation for people with hearing loss. And that’s accurate whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or taking it easy on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have 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.

Stop struggling to hear conversations. Come see us today. Call or Text