It’s the holiday season, and you know what that means: we are going to be bombarded with “Little Drummer Boy” on the radio three or four times a day for the next month. It’s enough to bring out the Grinch in even those people whose hearts are already pretty big. Thankfully, it’s not all pa-rum-pum-pum-pum; many in Tucson will be traveling for the holidays, visiting distant relatives in exotic locales. Or Phoenix. Regardless of the miles you’re traveling, if you wear hearing aids a few extra precautions before loading up the family truckster or flying the friendly skies will ensure a smooth traveling experience.
Hearing Aid Travel Do’s
When traveling with hearing aids, DO follow these tips.
- Bring plenty of batteries. The holidays are filled with lively conversation. You won’t want to miss out, so be sure to pack plenty of extra batteries. Make sure to store them in a waterproof container and avoid exposing them to temperature extremes to ensure they will perform optimally.
- Buy a dehumidifier. Humidity isn’t much of a problem in Tucson, but if you’re traveling someplace with a wetter climate – Florida and Seattle are two places that come to mind – you’ll need to protect your hearing aids from moisture. A dehumidifier is a low-cost investment that will remove moisture and wax from your hearing aids overnight, keeping them in good working condition.
- Pack a waterproof case. The dehumidifier keeps your hearing aids dry while you sleep, but if you’re going to be out in the rain or snow or lounging poolside or on a beach, a waterproof case will prevent moisture from damaging your hearing aids during the daytime.
- Use every tool available for successful communication. Communication with strangers in airports, hotels, and restaurants can be tough when they are not used to dealing with people who are hearing-impaired. This is doubly true when traveling to a foreign country, where language difficulties can further compound the problem. Printing up documents in advance and utilizing your smartphone for texting and apps will go a long way toward making your trip more pleasurable.
Hearing Aid Travel Don’ts
When traveling with hearing aids, DON’T do any of the following.
- Leave your hearing aids out at night. At home, it’s doubtful you leave your hearing aids lying on a nightstand – you probably keep them in a protective case to prevent exposing them to dust, dirt, and moisture. Follow the same procedure when traveling by keeping them in their protective case. Avoid storing them near a heater, which could cause them to melt or damage the internal circuitry.
- Remove your hearing aids in the airport. TSA recommends wearing your hearing aids while traveling through security. X-ray equipment is unlikely to harm your aids and taking them out could lead to loss or damage. Make sure to let the security agent know you are wearing hearing aids just in case.
- Pack your hearing aids in checked baggage. Let’s face it, the airlines don’t have a great track record when it comes to checked baggage. To prevent the possibility of loss or damage, be sure to pack your hearing aids and accessories in your carry-on luggage instead. Consider packing extra batteries in a different carry-on bag, such as a purse or backpack, just in case.
- Ease up on your cleaning routine. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you should be any less diligent in your daily cleaning regimen. It’s the best way to ensure your hearing aids operate efficiently during your trip, ensuring many lasting memories.
Your Tucson audiologist can provide you with additional tips for traveling safely with your hearing aids over the holidays.