Americans love to travel. Older Americans are especially feeling the globetrotting urge. In fact, Baby Boomers are expected to take four or five leisure trips this year, according to a national AARP survey. Maybe you’re one of the 49% of Boomers that travel to relax and rejuvenate, booking an escape to a tropical beach or peaceful resort. Or maybe you’re one of the 57% that travel to spend time with family and friends, planning a long overdue road trip or reunion. About half (49%) of respondents only expect to travel domestically, but that leaves the other half planning to travel domestically and internationally. Top choices for those going abroad? That would be the Caribbean/Latin America and Europe.
Yet for too many Baby Boomers, traveling gets more complicated when you’re dealing with hearing loss. Traveling with hearing aids can be intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your trip.
Preparing for Traveling with Hearing Aids
Nothing ruins a trip more than losing a necessity — your passport, your wallet, your ability to hear. It’s even worse if you can’t do anything about it until you get home, meaning you can’t fully enjoy the vacation you’ve been looking forward to. That’s why preparing for your travels is so important. Not only can your preparation help keep your hearing aids in working order, but it puts you at ease for the entirety of your travels.
When packing for your trip, make sure you bring:
- A spare set of hearing aids if possible. You don’t want to travel in silence if you happen to misplace your main set. Pack them in a special spot that you won’t lose track of.
- Extra batteries, tubing, and tips. It’s better to have too many than not enough!
- A dehumidifier jar, especially if you’re going somewhere humid or near water. These climates can increase the risk of moisture and damage to your hearing aids through swimming, humidity, and sweat.
- A protective case to safely store your hearing aids at night, while you shower, when you go swimming, or any other time you take them off and risk misplacing them.
- A cleaning tool. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you can take a break from cleaning your hearing aids. It’s important to clean them regularly so you keep getting clear sound from your aids.
Flying with Hearing Aids
A major concern people have about traveling is whether they’re able to fly on an airplane with their hearing aids. Does the TSA allow hearing aids? Don’t worry, flying with hearing aids is allowed and encouraged.
Here are some tips for traveling via airplane:
- Wear your hearing aids to the airport. Gate changes and delays happen all the time, and it’s important to hear all airport announcements. TSA procedures do not require you to remove any hearing aids or cochlear implant. Additional screening (a pat-down or inspection of the device) may be required if it alarms the walk-through metal detector or advanced imaging technology.
- Bring your hearing aid accessories in your carry-on. Not only will this prevent losing items because of misplaced luggage or unexpected delays, but you’ll have everything you need at your disposal should you have any problems with your hearing aids.
- Wear your hearing aids during your flight. Unlike other electronic devices such as phones and laptops, you are allowed to use your hearing aids during the entire flight, and you should! It’s important that you’re able to hear the safety instructions and announcements from the airline staff.
- Don’t turn the volume down, even though it can be tempting to “turn off” the airplane engine noise and whining children. Instead, use the noise reduction features on your device to reduce background noise.
Traveling shouldn’t be stressful. To make the most of your trip, just plan ahead and make sure you’ll have everything you need while you’re away from home.
Are you planning on taking a trip? Stock up on all of your hearing aid parts and accessories before you start packing!