Summer is just around the corner, so you may be thinking about doing some traveling. Whether you’re hopping in the car for a road trip to see family or jumping on a plane to somewhere exotic, if you have hearing aids, here are a few things to keep in mind as you travel.
Don’t Forget the Essentials
When you’re packing, make a list of the items you’ll need to bring with you to make sure your hearing aids stay in working order your whole trip. Here are a few essentials to consider:
- Extra batteries: While traveling, you may find yourself wearing your hearing aids longer than you normally would, so you may go through batteries quicker. Additionally, if you run out of batteries on vacation, you may not be able to buy new ones easily. It’s always a good idea to bring more than you think you’ll need.
- Cleaning kit: Although your normal routine will probably be thrown off while you travel, make sure to bring your cleaning kit and stick to your normal daily cleaning schedule as much as possible. This will help guard against additional wear and tear they may experience as a result of being in new and different locations.
- Dryer/dehumidifier: If you’re going somewhere humid or near water, be sure to take your dryer or dehumidifier and use it nightly to fully dry out your hearing aids.
- Charging station and charging cable: If you have rechargeable hearing aids, don’t forget your charging station! You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget something so critical to your hearing.
- Extra domes and wax guards: Be prepared with everything you need to keep your hearing aids working well. A misshapen dome or clogged wax guard could prevent you from fully enjoying your trip. Bringing extras will ensure you can fix problems as they arise.
- Bluetooth accessories: If you use Bluetooth accessories on a regular basis, don’t forget to bring them along too. Accessories like a remote mic can make it easier to talk to flight attendants, airline employees, or others in crowded and noisy environments.
Tips for Flying with Hearing Aids
Here is some important information you need to know about hearing aids and air travel.
- Wear your hearing aids when you fly. If you know you’re going to be in a challenging listening environment, like an airport and on a plane, you may be tempted to take your hearing aids out altogether. Don’t! First of all, if you wear them, you’ll be less likely to forget them. Second, although air travel may present may difficult environments, you’ll have an easier time if you can hear directions, announcements, and important information.
- Keep hearing aid supplies in your carry-on bag. Air travel is full of unexpected delays, layovers, and more. Having your batteries, cleaning kit, and accessories in your carry-on allows you to keep everything close. If problems come up, you can address them with the tools at your disposal, instead of having to wait to access your checked luggage.
- Wear your hearing aids through security. Don’t worry, your hearing aids won’t set off the metal detectors or be detected in body scanners. However, just in case, it’s a good idea to tell the security agent that you are wearing hearing aids before you go through a detector or scan. If the hearing devices are detected during security, and you are asked to put them through the x-ray scanner, the x-rays won’t harm the hearing aid components.
- Wear your hearing aids during the flight. When the flight staff asks everyone to turn off electronic devices, this mandate does not apply to hearing aids. In fact, wearing your hearing aids during the flight will make it easier to hear your travel companions as well as the flight staff and any on-board announcements.
- Use visual cues for better comprehension. Airplanes are full of background noise, and can pose a unique challenge—even with the help of hearing aids. In the airport and during your flight, pay special attention to visual cues to fill in parts of speech you may miss due to the challenging environment. And don’t be afraid to ask others to rephrase when you don’t understand or to look at you when they speak.
Tips for a Road Trip with Hearing Aids
Road trips can be a great time to talk with your travel companions or relax as the scenery goes by, but the car also poses challenges for hearing aid wearers. Here are some tips to help.
- Only drive when you feel safe doing so. If you’re spending extended periods in a car, straining to hear, you may become fatigued. If you reach a point where you are having a hard time hearing or are feeling tired from the strain, be safe and ask someone else to drive for awhile.
- Cut out distracting noise. Although it’s fun to sing along with music or listen to a book or news while you drive, noise inside the car can prevent you from hearing noise outside the car. If you feel like your hearing is impaired by the sounds coming from the car speaker, turn it off.
- Use a remote mic. One of the best parts of a road trip is talking with your travel companions—which can be hard for people who wear hearing aids. To make conversations easier, clip your remote mic to your companion’s shirt or place it in the back seat to hear everyone more clearly.
Have Fun Traveling
Travel is a great way to experience new places and cultures and to build stronger relationships with the people you love most. Make the most of your trip, by planning to care for your hearing aids while you’re away from home. Try employing the strategies above to make your travel easier and your vacation more enjoyable.