Vacationing 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 a couple of kinds of vacations, right? One kind is full of activities the whole time. This type will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the fun will be remembered for years to come.

The other kind is all about relaxing. You may not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Maybe you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you’re getting pampered at some resort for your entire vacation. These types of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.

Everybody has their own idea of the perfect vacation. Whichever method you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Hearing loss can ruin a vacation

There are a few distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. They just keep turning the volume on their television louder and louder.

The good news is that there are a few tried and tested ways to minimize the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. Scheduling a hearing test is obviously the first step. The more ready you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to diminish any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? Well, there are a couple of ways. And while some of them may seem a little trivial at first, they tend to add up! Here are some common examples:

  • You can miss important moments with friends and family: Everyone loved 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 untreated hearing loss.
  • You miss significant notices: Maybe you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. This can throw your entire vacation timing out of whack.
  • The radiant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is muted. After all, you could fail to hear the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
  • Language barriers are even more difficult: It’s hard enough to overcome a language barrier. But understanding voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s really loud, makes it much harder.

Some of these negative situations can be prevented by simply wearing your hearing aids. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and free of stress is to manage your hearing needs before you start.

If you have hearing loss, how can you prepare for your vacation?

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on vacation if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But with a little additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively hassle-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is obviously good travel advice.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:

  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning correctly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have troubles on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good plan.
  • Pre-planning is a good idea: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can present some challenges, so don’t be overly spontaneous and prepare as much as you can.
  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries died. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. Now, you may be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, consult your airline. You may need to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

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 number of things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.

  • Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is extremely useful, not surprisingly. You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right kind of hearing aid, you can use 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.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? 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 fitted throughout many areas. This device is specially made to help people who have hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • If I use my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or swimming (or in an extremely noisy setting), you should be using your devices.
  • Can I wear my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. Having said that, you might want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements could 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 know about? It’s a good idea! In general, it’s good to become familiar with your rights before you go. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have lots of special rights. Basically, you have to have access to information. So if you think you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? 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. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can create a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

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 positive mindset.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the unavoidable obstacle happens.

But you will be caught off guard less if you put together good preparations. When something goes awry, with the right preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.

Getting a hearing exam and making sure you have the correct equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for people who have hearing loss. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.

Still have some questions or concerns? Schedule 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.

Questions? Talk To Us.