Taking a Vacation with Your Hearing Aids
It may come as a surprise, but wearing hearing aids can actually make travel less difficult, not more so. Instead of struggling to hear announcements in public transportation terminals or when listening to guides while on a tour, you can use their advanced technology to help you hear even better than normal-hearing tourists in similar situations. However, you do need to protect and maintain your hearing aids while traveling, so that they can continue to perform well throughout your vacation.
Before you leave town…
Bring whatever you might need to keep your hearing aids in good repair and that includes batteries. It is a good idea to bring more than you think you’ll need for the trip, just in case you experience unexpected delays or a change in plans.
Here are some suggestions to pack in your hearing aid travel kit. Note: your specific needs might vary depending on the style of hearing aids you wear, so ask your hearing care professional for personalized suggestions:
- Replacement batteries, or charger if your hearing aids use rechargeable batteries
- Spare receivers, wax filters, and domes or tips
- Protective accessories, like a securing clip, headband, or waterproof covering
- Hearing aid dryer (box style or electronic)
- Cleaning equipment, such as a brush or cloth
- Name/number of your hearing care professional, in case of emergency
- Storage case
The following additional take-along suggestions are unrelated to hearing aid maintenance, but still useful to have:
- A cell phone you know is compatible with your hearing aids
- Hearing aid remote control accessory (or app, if available)
- Wireless Bluetooth®-compatible accessories for connecting your hearing aids to other high-tech devices, FM and/or loop systems
- Portable alarm that uses vibration or light so you don’t miss any departures or reservation deadlines
If you’re traveling by airplane, we suggest you pack all of the above in a case approved for carryon, if only to avoid the headache of an airline losing this important baggage.
Speaking of air travel…
It’s possible in some airports that your hearing aids may set off the metal detectors. Don’t panic, though — you can let the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent know in advance that you’re wearing hearing aids either verbally or by using a downloadable TSA Notification Card. It’s also a good idea to let the TSA agent know how best to communicate with you as you go through the security process. Whether you choose to remove your hearing aids and send them through the luggage screener or wear them through the full-body scanner, they will not be damaged. However, if they set off an alarm, you should expect to undergo an additional pat-down, “wanding”, or manual inspection of your hearing aids. It’s a good idea to assume this security delay might happen, and add plenty of time between when you arrive at the airport and when your flight is scheduled to depart.