Preparing for vacation has its ups and downs. There’s the wonderful, fantasy-fueled experience of choosing a destination. Browsing accommodations and activities can be endlessly exciting. But the week before you leave town can be an anxiety-filled mess. Where did you store your refillable toiletries containers? How many ounces is considered travel-sized by the TSA? Who is going to feed the cat while you’re gone?
Every task eventually gets completed and hey, if you forget a toothbrush you can always pick one up wherever you’re going, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case with your hearing aid accessories. Especially if you are new to wearing hearing aids, you’ll have to take extra care to ensure that you’ve got everything you need and then some, all in the right place.
Not hearing aids necessarily, but extras of the things you might need to replace. As invaluable as your hearing aids have probably become to you, you don’t want to spend a day without them working perfectly.
Stock up on extra batteries, because those are not something you can find around every corner. This is particularly important if you’re heading somewhere more remote or traveling internationally where the batteries you need might be even more difficult to find.
While you’re at it, invest in extra cleaning pads or clothes to have on hand. Consider investing in an extra charger and investigate whether you’ll need an international adapter to access power.
Get a designated bag
And where exactly are you packing them? We recommend obtaining a bag just for your hearing aid accouterments. Clearly label the bag with your name and contact info, like a phone number and email address. If the bag gets lost or left behind, you’ll make it easier for it to find its way back to you.
Keep your hearing aid bag close at hand
If you are flying, keep your hearing aid bag in your carry-on just in case there’s a problem receiving your checked luggage. Plus, it’s good to have it near you if you choose to remove your hearing aids for the duration of the flight (in which case, notify at least one of the flight attendants that you might need special notification in case of an emergency). Keep this bag close to you even if you are traveling via another method, like a train or car. Whenever you do remove your hearing aids, place them safely back within the bag. Seat pockets on planes and trains are the worst places to put anything you don’t want to leave behind.
Download travel info
Many airlines or other transportation companies and hotels have apps you can download onto your smartphone. Do this in advance of your trip, as the apps will have all of your important reservation documentation, plus airlines often post updates on flight status, delays or cancellations right to the app so that you don’t have to be able to understand the fuzzy and often indistinguishable overhead announcements at the airport.
Check on accommodations with your accommodations
Your hotel may have special accommodations for people with hearing loss. This can include hearing loops and other assistive technologies. Your hotel concierge will be able to suggest quieter restaurants to visit so that dining in a new town isn’t overwhelming.
Museums and performance centers often have hearing loops or other assistive devices available to make your visit more enriching and hearing experience easier. Let any tour guides know that you have hearing loss so that they can better personalize your experience within their group.
If all else fails
Even the best-laid plans can go awry. We’ve all been on the receiving end of this adage. But, in a pinch, you find ways to enhance your listening experience even if your hearing aids lose function or become misplaced. A pocket talker could be an adequate solution, or pick up a pair of headphones and connect to a smartphone app, like EarMachine.
You might be fortunate enough to have a spare set of old hearing aids. If that’s a possibility, bring them along, stored in a pocket deep within your suitcase that you only break open in case of emergencies. You might also leave them in a mailer with your travel destination marked clearly on the outside and task a friend back home with overnighting them to you if disaster strikes. Which it (probably) won’t. But do remember, every twist and turn is part of the adventure of a good trip!
If you need adjustments or professional cleaning and maintenance for your hearing aids prior to traveling, we’re here to help! Contact us today to make an appointment.