Ask the Audiologist

Travel Tips

If you wear hearing aids:

Get your hearing aid checked, and repaired if necessary, before you leave town. Don't put up with a problem while your are traveling. Repairs sometimes can take up to two weeks, so don't wait until the last minute to do this.

Buy extra batteries to take with you. You can't always depend on finding your size battery when you are in a foreign country.

Check your hearing aid warranties, especially the loss/damage part. Most new custom hearing aids are warranted against everything including "mysterious disappearance" for the first year, but after that you must keep the warranty up to date yourself.

Consider getting a "dry aid kit" if you are going to a warm climate or anywhere there will be lots of humidity.

Ask if your tour bus (train, ship, etc.) has assistive listening devices. If they don't, maybe a different tour would be better for you. If they do, consider getting your own assistive listening device receiver to make sure you always have one.

If you don't have hearing aids:

Are you sure your hearing is ok? If you're not sure, you should get a hearing test long before you plan to leave, so you have time to do something about it. You may have wax in your ears, or a treatable medical condition. Or you may need hearing aids.

Don't spend a fortune on a vacation and miss the sounds. Waterfalls, nights on the beach, and wildlife sounds are all part of what you are traveling to see (and hear). Tour guides, dinner conversations, the theater: why pay for them if you aren't going to hear them?

However, don't buy a new hearing aid just before you leave on your trip. Your audiologist will need several weeks to be sure your new hearing aid is properly adjusted after you buy it. Hearing aids must be custom fit to your ears, both electronically and mechanically. Some of this fitting takes place after the hearing aid is delivered from the manufacturer.

Several manufacturers have "open fit" hearing aids which can be worn immediately with no custom fitting. They only properly address certain types of hearing losses, so they may not be right for you. They are sophisticated digital signal processing hearing aids and are not cheap, but they might solve your last minute desperation over traveling without your hearing aids.