There are a couple of kinds of vacations, right? One type is full of activities the whole time. These are the trips that are remembered for years later and are full of adventure, and you head back to work more worn out than you left.
Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Maybe you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or maybe you’re getting pampered at some resort for your whole vacation. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.
There’s no best to vacation. Whichever method you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.
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 people who have hearing loss don’t even recognize they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. On all their devices, the volume just keeps going higher and higher.
But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some tried and tested methods, and that’s the good news. Making an appointment for a hearing exam is obviously the first step. The effect that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are ahead of time.
How can hearing loss impact your vacation
So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. And while some of them may seem a little insignificant at first, they tend to add up! Here are a few common examples:
- Special moments with friends and relatives can be missed: Everyone enjoyed the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
- The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted as well. After all, you could fail to hear the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- Important notices come in but you often miss them: Maybe you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.
- Language barriers are even more challenging: It’s difficult enough to overcome a language barrier. But understanding voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very loud, makes it much more difficult.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be lessened and decreased. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and free of stress is to manage your hearing needs before you start.
How to prepare for your vacation when you have hearing loss
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of added 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.
You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are a number of things you can do:
- Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more obstacles).
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries went dead. Always make certain you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, consult your airline. Some kinds of batteries need to be kept in your carry-on.
- Clean your hearing aids: Before you head out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. This can help prevent problems from happening while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good plan.
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 head out to the airport, there are some things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.
- Can I use 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. 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 tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
- Will my smartphone be helpful? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is really useful! Once you land, you can utilize this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct 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 go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to take out my hearing aids? You won’t be required to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. Don’t ever 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 style X-ray devices produce.
- If I wear my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Hearing aids are meant to be used every day, all day. So you should be using your hearing aids anytime you aren’t in a really loud place, swimming, or showering.
- Do I have some rights I need to know about? It’s a good idea! Generally, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with your rights before you go. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But essentially, it comes down to this: information must be accessible to you. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
- 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 setup throughout many areas. This is a simple 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 loud and chaotic.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a good mindset.
That way, when something unexpected 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 awry, with the right preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.
Having a hearing examination and making sure you have the right equipment is commonly the start of that preparation for individuals with hearing loss. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.
Still have some questions or concerns? Give us a call today!