One of the best parts about being retired is having the time and freedom to travel. If you have a hearing implant, there are some simple things that you can do before and during your vacation to enjoy all the sounds that you’ll encounter. So, we’ve put together a few simple tips that can help you to have the best time.
(If you’re not retired, you can keep reading too! Many of these tips are applicable to individuals of all ages.)
Before You Leave
Just as you would make a list of any medications you are taking, don’t forget to do the same for your hearing implant kit. And make sure to take this list with you on your trip: use it when packing at the end of the vacation to make sure that you bring everything back.
What should be on this list? Here are some suggestions:
- Your audio processor(s)
- Lots of extra batteries, and the charger if you have rechargeable batteries (and don’t forget to bring a power adapter if you’re travelling somewhere that uses a different power plug)
- A drying kit like the Dry & Store Zephyr
- Cleaning supplies like a small towel for wiping down the processor, and brush for the microphone
- Spare parts like extra cables, battery pack covers, and coils.
Also, take a look at the initial kit you got from MED-EL after first receiving your hearing implant. Sometimes there are things in there that you haven’t used yet but would be a good idea to take with you on holiday, like a Patient ID card. If you have any questions about your patient kit make sure to ask your local MED-EL representative.
To be extra-prepared, search for MED-EL clinics or representatives near to where you will be vacationing. By writing down their phone number, address, or email, you can make sure that you know exactly who to contact if you have any questions about your audio processor.
When packing, make sure to keep all of your essentials (like the audio processor, a few batteries, and your Patient ID card) in a small bag that you can keep close to you at all times.
If you have to go through a security check, for example a metal detector, there’s no reason to worry. Metal detectors do not interfere with audio processors in most cases so you can keep using your audio processor while going through security. Just make sure to have your Patient ID card handy to show anyone who might ask about the audio processor.
And, remember that because your audio processor is an electronic device it should be switched off during takeoff and landing.
When On Vacation
Once you’ve reached your destination, congratulations! Now’s the time to relax, and if you’ve prepared well you’ll be able to do so without worrying.
You might be introduced to a whole new range of listening situations during your holiday. If these ever feel tiring, just sit down and take a break. Remember, travelling can make anybody tired regardless of their age.
If you’re travelling with your grandchildren, this can be a great time to explore sounds together. There are lots of different ways to do this, and one highlight could be going to the zoo. Zoos can be a perfect opportunity to engage with new and unfamiliar sounds in a fun environment, and what kid doesn’t love animals big and small?
To make sure that you can hear best along your trip, ask about Assistive Listening Devices (ALD) everywhere you visit. Taking a tour, going to a museum, and attending a concert are all listening situations where using an ALD can help you get closer and more connected with the sounds by connecting directly with the sound source. You can read more about ALDs in our blog post here.
It’s your vacation: enjoy it!