There are two kinds of vacations, right? One type is full of activities the whole time. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more tired than you left.
The other kind is all about unwinding. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or possibly you spend your whole vacation at some kind of resort, getting pampered the entire time. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.
There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whatever way you choose, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.
Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss
There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even realize they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. They just keep cranking the volume on their television up and up and up.
But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. The first step, 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 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. By themselves, 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 a few common examples:
- Getting past language barriers can be frustrating: Coping with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But understanding voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really noisy, makes it much more difficult.
- You can miss important moments with family and friends: Everyone enjoyed the great 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.
- You miss significant notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. And as a consequence, your entire vacation schedule is cast into total disarray.
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
A number of these negative outcomes can be avoided by simply using your hearing aids. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and stress free is to manage your hearing needs before you start.
If you have hearing loss, how can you prepare for your vacation?
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s not at all true! 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 easily as possible. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how good your hearing is.
Here are some things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:
- Pre-planning is a good plan: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can present some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as possible.
- 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 much less likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart idea.
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is no fun! Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, consult your airline. Some kinds of batteries need to be kept in your carry-on.
Hearing aid travel tips
Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many individuals have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to know before you go to the airport.
- Will my smartphone be useful? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely helpful! You can use your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You may be able to take some stress off your ears if you can use your phone in this way.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to take out my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. That being said, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. Never allow your hearing aids to 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 generate.
- Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than usual? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you wear your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, showering, or going for a swim (or in a really noisy environment), you should be wearing your devices.
- Should I know my rights? Before you travel it’s not a bad idea to become familiar with your rights. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it comes down to this: information has to be accessible to you. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you think you’re missing some info and they should be able to help.
- Will I be able to hear well in the airport? How well you can hear in the airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device installed throughout many areas. This device is specially made to help people with hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
- Can I wear 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 enable 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 could be announcements throughout the flight that are hard to hear.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a positive mindset.
That way, when something unforeseen happens (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
Of course, the other side to that is that preparation can make a difference. With the correct preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a disaster.
Having a hearing examination and making sure you have the right equipment is usually the start of that preparation for people who have hearing loss. And that’s true 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).
Still have some questions or concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test!