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 types of vacations, right? One kind is Packed with activities at all times. These are the vacations that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you head back to work more exhausted than you left.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your whole vacation. These are the restful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. Whichever method you choose, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss

There are some distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no idea they have it. The volume on all their devices just continues going higher and higher.

The good news is that there are a few proven ways to lessen the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. The first step, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more ready you are before you go, 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 hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to compound it can become a real problem. Some common examples include the following:

  • Language barriers are even more tricky: It’s hard enough to deal with a language barrier. But neglected hearing loss can make it even harder to decipher voices (especially in a noisy situation).
  • The radiant 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.
  • Meaningful experiences with friends and relatives can be missed: Everybody enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you never hear the announcement. And as a consequence, your whole vacation schedule is thrown into total disarray.

A number of these negative situations can be averted by simply wearing your hearing aids. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation on track 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. Not by any Means! But with a little extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and relatively hassle-free. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how strong 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 quit. Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you may be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, check with your airline. Some kinds of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.
  • Pre-planning is a smart plan: It’s okay to be 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 challenges).
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you head out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good idea.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Many individuals have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to recognize before you head to the airport.

  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That will depend, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed 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 loud and chaotic.
  • If I use my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids anytime you aren’t in a really loud setting, swimming, or showering.
  • How useful is my smartphone? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is extremely useful! 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 use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you can utilize your phone like this.
  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? When they tell you it’s time to 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 might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are difficult to hear.
  • Should I know my rights? Before you leave it’s not a bad idea to become familiar with your rights. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you have to have access to information. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
  • Do I need to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You won’t be required to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. It’s usually a good plan to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. 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 style X-ray devices produce.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are unpredictable. At times, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a positive attitude.

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

However, the other side to that is that preparation can make a difference. 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 those with hearing loss, this preparation often starts by having your hearing tested and making sure you have the equipment and care you require. And that’s the case 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).

Still have some questions or concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test!

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.