Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? One kind is Packed with activities at all times. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more exhausted than you left.
The other kind is all about unwinding. You might not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you’re getting pampered 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 way you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, particularly 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. The volume on all their devices just continues going up and up.
The nice thing is that there are some proven ways to reduce the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The effect that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly diminished the more ready you are in advance.
How can hearing loss impact your vacation
So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? Well, there are a number of ways. By themselves, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to compound it can become a real problem. Some common illustrations include the following:
- You miss important notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
- Getting past language barriers can be frustrating: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But neglected hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (especially in a noisy situation).
- Special experiences with friends and relatives can be missed: Everyone loved the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is dull. 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.
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 impossible. Not by any Means! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly hassle-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is definitely practical travel advice.
You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:
- Pre-planning is a smart plan: When you have to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can present some challenges, so don’t be too spontaneous and prepare as much as you can.
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries died. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. Now, you may be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, check with your airline. Some types of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.
- Clean your hearing aids: Before you head out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. This can help prevent problems from developing while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make sure your recommended maintenance is current!
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or possibly it’s the airways. Before you head out to the airport, there are a few things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely know about.
- If I use my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you wear your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you aren’t in a really noisy setting, swimming, or showering.
- Should I be aware of my rights? Before you leave it’s not a bad plan to get familiar with your rights. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you must have access to information. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you think you’re missing some info and they will most likely be able to help.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to take out my hearing aids? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. 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 create.
- How helpful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is extremely helpful, not shockingly. You can use your smartphone to find 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 prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it could take some strain off your ears.
- Can I use 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” spiel. But it’s a good idea to enable flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements may be difficult to hear so make sure you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That will depend, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This device is specially made to help people who have hearing aids hear their environment better.
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 unexpected and try to have a good mindset.
That way, when something unexpected occurs (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!
But you will be caught off guard less if you make good preparations. When something goes amiss, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from going out of control.
For people with hearing loss, this preparation often starts by getting your hearing tested and making sure you have the hardware and care you need. And that’s accurate whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or hanging out on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam!