There are two kinds of vacations, right? One type is full of activities at all times. This kind will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the adventures will be recalled for 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 drink a bit of wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you spend your whole vacation at some sort of resort, getting spoiled the whole time. These are the restful and relaxing types of vacations.
Everyone has their own idea of the perfect vacation. Whichever way you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.
Hearing loss can spoil a vacation
Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, especially if you don’t know you have it. Look, hearing loss can creep 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.
But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. Scheduling a hearing exam is obviously the first step. The more prepared you are before you go, the easier it will be to reduce 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 effected by hearing loss? Well, there are a couple of ways. Individually, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to add up it can become a real issue. Here are some common instances:
- You miss crucial notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute disarray.
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted also. After all, you could fail to hear the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- Language barriers become even more challenging: Coping with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (particularly in a noisy setting).
- Meaningful experiences with friends and family can be missed: Maybe your friend just told a great joke that everybody loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
A number of these negative outcomes can be avoided by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, taking care of your hearing requirements is the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready for your vacation?
All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you’re dealing with hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is obviously practical travel advice.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:
- Keep your hearing aids clean: It’s a good plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning 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 plan to make certain your recommended maintenance is current!
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries went dead. Always make certain you bring spares! So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? Well, possibly, consult your airline. Some types of batteries need to be kept in your carry-on.
- Do a little pre-planning: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some challenges, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as you can.
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the planning and preparation have been done! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Many people have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to know before you go to the airport.
- If I use my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, taking a shower, or swimming (or in a really noisy environment), you should be wearing your devices.
- When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That will depend, some airports are very noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will usually be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specifically made to help individuals who have hearing aids hear their environment better.
- Can I use my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you hear that “all electronics must be off” spiel. Having said that, you may want to activate flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements may be hard to hear so make sure you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
- Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? It’s not a bad idea! In general, it’s smart to become familiar with your rights before you go. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have many special rights. Basically, you have to have access to information. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you feel like you’re missing some information and they will most likely be able to help.
- Do I have to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s usually a good idea to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. 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 type X-ray devices produce.
- Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is really helpful, not surprisingly. You can utilize your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right kind of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some strain off your ears.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. At times, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a positive mindset.
That way, when something unexpected takes place (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
But you will be surprised less if you put together good preparations. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.
For people with hearing loss, this preparation frequently begins by getting your hearing tested and making sure you have the hardware and care you need. And that’s accurate whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test!