The days are getting longer, and the weather is getting warmer. Spring is here and with it, the first hint of travel season. If you’re itching to get out of town and see somewhere new, you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Travel Association, in 2017 U.S. residents logged 1.8 billion person‑trips (at least 50 miles from home) for leisure purposes in 2017. That’s a lot of sites to see!
If travel is on your horizon, you may be purchasing tickets, making reservations and preparing your packing list. With hearing loss, it’s also important to know the do’s and don’ts of traveling with hearing aids before you go.
One of the most important things you can do is prepare before you go. Schedule an appointment with your hearing health care provider to have your hearing aids cleaned and checked. Ensuring your batteries are charged and your hearing aids are working well can save headaches while you’re away. Your provider may even be able to give you more tips for traveling with hearing aids while you’re there.
If you’re traveling with hearing aids for the first time, or it’s been a while since you traveled, these do’s and don’t can help you enjoy your trip without the worry.
- Do pack smart – Packing these essentials can help you maintain your hearing aids and avoid last minute scrambling to find a store or even hearing health care provider in an unfamiliar city:
- Portable dry-aid to remove moisture build up
- Hearing aid cleaning tools such as a brush and wax pick plus repair tools
- Extra batteries
- Accessories such as headphones
- Do wear your hearing aids – it may be tempting to leave them behind or tuck them away to avoid extra work, but wear them as you would usually to get the most out of your vacation. Also remember that when flying, they can be worn through TSA but do put other assistive devices through the x-ray.
- Do carry your hearing aid essentials with you in carry-ons – should your hearing aids need care during your travels or your luggage go missing, you’ll have the tools you need with you and at the ready.
- Don’t turn off your hearing aids when flying – hearing aids (and similar medical devices) have been exempted by the FAA and can remain on throughout the flight without risk of affecting the flight controls. This includes the wireless capabilities you may have in your hearing aids.
- Don’t go it alone – Letting others know that you have hearing loss can help to improve communication, avoid misunderstandings and help you get any assistance you may need quickly. This includes those you’re traveling with and employees who can give you even better service when they’re aware of your hearing loss.
- Don’t leave it to chance – a little research can go a long way in making your travels more enjoyable. Whether it’s calling ahead about hearing impaired options in your hotel or at the sites you plan to see or looking up hearing health care providers near where you will be staying should you have a hearing aid emergency, this research can help you skip some anxiety once you arrive.
So, book a plane, train or boat or gas up the car. Reserve a hotel or call ahead to make sure the guest room is made up for you. Whatever your plans, follow these tips to travel confidently with your hearing aids.