There are a couple of kinds of vacations, right? One kind is Packed with activities the whole time. These are the trips 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 kinds of vacations. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you spend the entire time on the beach with some cocktails. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some sort of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These types of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.
There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whatever 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, particularly if you’re not aware of it. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no clue they have it. The volume on all their devices just keeps going higher and higher.
The nice thing is that there are some proven ways to lessen the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing test is definitely the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are in advance.
How can hearing loss impact your vacation
So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. Individually, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to add up it can become a real problem. Here are some common instances:
- Language barriers become even more challenging: It’s difficult enough to overcome a language barrier. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s very noisy, makes it much more difficult.
- 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.
- You can miss important moments with family and friends: Perhaps your friend just told a hilarious joke that everybody loved, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
- You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and decreased. So, managing your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
How to get ready for your vacation when you have hearing loss
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s nowhere near the case! But with a little additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and relatively hassle-free. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is obviously practical travel advice.
Here are some things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:
- Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more challenges).
- Pack 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 have spare batteries in my luggage? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. You might need to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
- 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 less likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good plan to make certain your recommended maintenance is current!
Hearing aid travel tips
Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Before you go out to the airport, there are a few things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely know about.
- Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? When they tell you it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. That said, you might want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You may also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may 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. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have many special rights. Basically, you must have access to information. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you suspect you’re missing some info and they will most likely be able to help.
- If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you’re not in an extremely noisy place, swimming, or showering.
- 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 a telecoil device will normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specifically made to help individuals who have hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
- How helpful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is extremely useful, not shockingly. You can use your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can use 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 could take some stress off your ears.
- Do I have to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. That being said, letting the TSA agents know 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.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are unpredictable. 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 occurs (and it will), it’ll seem 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 getting out of control.
For individuals with hearing loss, this preparation often starts by having your hearing tested and making sure you have the hardware and care you need. And that’s the case 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? Give us a call today!