The holiday season is upon us! December is one of the busiest travel months of the year. How can you assure that you have a successful, low-stress vacation with your Cochlear Implant (CI) or Hearing Aid (HA) kid? Plan, plan, plan, and then prepare!
As a parent of a bilateral CI kid, I find it can be stressful making sure that we have thought through all of his hearing needs before we lock the door and embark on the holiday family vacation. I created a checklist for myself to limit the pre-trip stress I feel, and it has been a lifesaver! Now that my son is old enough, I encourage him to participate in the packing process so he can someday travel on his own like a champion!
Below are some easy tips and a suggested checklist to make sure that your trip is low stress. Many of the items on the list also apply to HAs. Feel free to adjust the list as you’d like for your own family’s needs!
- Equipment and Supply Check: Do a quality check of all equipment and supplies 2 weeks before your trip to make sure that everything is in good working order and that you have enough supplies. It never hurts to leave enough time for new supplies to reach you if you have to order more for the trip.
- Research: Search online or through your manufacturer to locate the closest audiology clinic to your vacation spot so you know where to go in case of an emergency.
- Contact and ID Information: Bring along the contact numbers for your manufacturer. Most of this information can be found on your child’s personal ID card which should be carried with you in your wallet or in your child’s bag if your child is old enough.
- Carry-On Bag: We recommend packing the following in your carry-on bag rather than in your checked luggage.
- Disposable batteries
- Extra rechargeable batteries and battery charger (Note: lithium batteries are not allowed in checked luggage anyway, but it is okay to put them in carry-on bags.)
- Daily storage case
- Travel-sized drying case
- Any waterproof accessories and parts
- International plug adaptors, if needed, for your child’s equipment
- Any back-up sound processors and/or hearing aids
- Extra parts for sound processors and/or hearing aids
- Any accessories such as the Roger Pen, FM System, Pilot, etc
- Checked Luggage: Below are suggestions for items that can go in your checked luggage.
- Dry & Store machine
- Decorative accessories for sound processors and/or hearing aids (bows, stickers, etc)
Have a wonderful trip, and enjoy knowing you are prepared to meet all the needs of your CI/HA kiddo!