The holiday season can mean travelling to visit loved ones near and far. This may mean taking a long drive to a family dinner, or getting on a train or plane for some time away to relax and reconnect with loved ones. Whatever your plans this holiday season, travelling with your hearing aids takes some extra time and thought, so we hope this blog post will help ease any stress during an already busy time of year! A question we often hear from our patients is , “Should I even bother bringing my hearing aids?”
Our answer is: “Of Course!”
As audiologists, we want our patients to get the most out of their hearing aids, which means wearing them all waking hours, especially when they are visiting family and friends!
Here are some helpful hints for travelling with your hearing aids. Whether you use zinc-air batteries or have a rechargeable system, scroll down to the appropriate section after reading through the general tips.
General Tips for all hearing aids
Pick a safe spot to keep your hearing aids!
Suitcases and carry on baggage often have several handy compartments, sometimes too many to remember what went where! Be sure to pick one dry compartment for your hearing aid case and supplies and use that the whole trip. Pro tip: tell someone you are travelling with where you packed your hearing aid supplies.
Bring cleaning supplies with you!
Even if you don’t normally need to change your wax guard once per week, you don’t want wax to be the reason you can’t hear well on vacation. Be sure to stop by the clinic if you need an extra pack of wax guards or a new cleaning cloth before you go.
Going through airport security in Canada? Leave your hearing aids in!
Hearing aids are medical devices, therefore the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) does not require individuals to remove hearing aids or other hearing devices while going through security at the airport. They ask that you let the agent on duty know you are wearing hearing aids and they can be visually inspected. Of course if you wish to take them out and place them in the bins with your other belongings, be sure to place them in your protective case.
Consider bringing a spare case, maybe even make it waterproof!
Since vacation can often mean time on a beach, we really want to keep hearing aids dry and sand free. Make sure your hearing aid case closes properly and perhaps is in another bag to keep it off the ground. People often find a waterproof utility case helpful for things like keys, wallet, or phone – make some room for your hearing aids in there as well!
Make time to put in your hearing aids each morning!
Routines are often different when travelling, be sure to allow yourself time to put in your hearing aids before heading out for your day of adventures!
Rechargeable Hearing Aids:
Bring your charger!
You want to be sure to power up overnight, just like when you are at home – Pro tip: your charger will work in any country with the appropriate international power adapter, similar to what you would use to charge a cell phone.
Charge on the go!
Taking a road trip with your hearing aids or want some extra battery life before your reach your evening destination? Most chargers have a USB end that you can plug into your car by simply removing the wall plug section from the end of the cord.
Bring your hearing aid protective case – just in case!
There may be a time while you’re away when you need to take out your hearing aids in the middle of the day but you aren’t putting them into the charger. For example, when going for a swim. Should this happen, be sure to place your hearing aids safely in the case. Pro tip: ask your audiologist about how to power off the hearing aids, so you aren’t using up the charge while the hearing aids are out!
Bring back-up batteries!
Do you use rechargeable hearing aid batteries? Some people with this style of rechargeable hearing aid prefer using disposable batteries on vacation. This can be a handy and helpful suggestion if you are travelling to many different places on your vacation or if you forget your charger!
Non-rechargeable Hearing Aids:
Bring back up batteries…more than you think!
You never know if a bag will be misplaced while travelling, or a local shop that sold batteries has moved, or perhaps you get delayed coming home. To avoid stress, always bring enough batteries for your trip, plus some spares.
Travelling light? No problem!
Save some space by cutting off the cardboard top of your hearing aid battery card. Keeping batteries in the wheel ensures the stickers stay on (keeping the batteries new) until you need the batteries.