Vacationing With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Enjoyable Trip!

Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

There are two kinds of vacations, right? There’s the type where you cram every single activity you can into every single second. 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 unwinding. You might not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Maybe you spend a lot of time on the beach with some drinks. Or possibly you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect vacation. Whichever way you choose, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, particularly if you don’t know you have it. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even realize they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. On all their devices, the volume just keeps going up and up.

But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some tried and tested methods, and that’s the good news. The first step, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more ready you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to minimize any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. And while some of them might seem a bit insignificant at first, they have a tendency to add up! Here are some common examples:

  • Language barriers are even more difficult: It’s hard enough to contend with a language barrier. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very noisy, makes it much harder.
  • Meaningful experiences with friends and family can be missed: Everybody loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
  • You miss significant notices: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.

Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be lessened and minimized. Which means the best way to keep your vacation on track and free of stress is to take care of your hearing needs before you start.

How to prepare 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 true! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of added planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice regardless of how good your hearing is.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are a few things you can do:

  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries died. Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, consult your airline. You may need to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you leave on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a smart plan.
  • Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to some 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).

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many people have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to know before you head to the airport.

  • If I wear my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, taking a shower, or going for a swim (or in an extremely loud setting), you should be using your devices.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That depends, some airports are very noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specifically made to help individuals with hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • How helpful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is really helpful! After you land, you can use this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right kind of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. 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.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to take out my hearing aids? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. Having said that, telling the TSA agents 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 don’t go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can produce a static charge that can damage your hearing aids.
  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you get that “all electronics must be off” spiel. That said, 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 tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
  • Do I have some rights I need to know about? It’s a good idea! In general, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with your rights before you travel. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have many special rights. Basically, you must have access to information. So if you think you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer help.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a good mindset.

That way, when something unforeseen happens (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!

However, the other side to that is that preparation can go a long way. With the correct preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a disaster.

For those with hearing loss, this preparation frequently starts by getting your hearing assessed and making sure you have the hardware and care you need. And that’s true whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Still have some questions or concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test!

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.


    Enhanced Hearing Center

    Springfield, MO

    3829 South Campbell AvenueSpringfield, MO 65807

    Call or Text: 417-323-6180

    Monday through Friday
    9am – 4pm

    Springfield, MO Google Business Profile

    Find out how we can help!

    Call or Text Us