Top five vacation spots for couples with hearing loss
So you took your audiologist’s advice, purchased hearing aids and guess what? The relationship between you and your spouse has already improved! Now that you’re communicating better, why not plan a second honeymoon and really celebrate? Here are a few vacation suggestions to keep hearing loss from getting in the way of romance!
Face it, you’ve wanted to vacation on a tropical island ever since you saw South Pacific as a kid. Why not explore the United States’ own tropical paradise? While you’re there, rent a car and drive the road to Hana to experience one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. It might take you all day if you stop at several of the scenic lookouts, but it’s worth the leisurely pace. Stick your toes in the sand on Kaanapali Beach on the island’s northwest coast, where you just might see cliff divers at Puu Kekaa (Black Rock). Or, visit Haleakala National Park, home to the world’s largest volcano. When you’ve exhausted yourselves exploring the island, treat yourself to a stay at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, where TDD is available upon request.
Hearing aid tip: If you’re vacationing in the sand and surf, be sure to protect your hearing aids from the elements. You’ll want to wear your hearing aids as much as possible to take in all the island sounds, of course, just be sure to take along your Dri-aid kit so you can wipe them off before you put them away for the night. A waterproof hat is a good investment, too. Designate a “safe spot” to store them so that the housekeeping staff doesn’t accidentally throw them away when making up your room.
San Francisco, California
If sun and surf isn’t your idea of a romantic getaway, consider San Francisco. Where else can you see the Golden Gate Bridge, ride on a cable car and be a tourist on Fisherman’s Wharf? When you tire of civilization, walk amongst 380-foot-tall Redwood Trees in the Muir Woods National Monument or wander the path along the pond at the Palace of Fine Arts. Take a sightseeing tour to Alcatraz, the former penitentiary now a museum, where assistive listening devices are available and videos are open captioned. ASL interpreters are also available upon request as are transcripts of the Cellhouse Audio Tour. Stay at the Fairmount Heritage Place in Ghirardelli Square, ranked #2 of the city’s 404 hotels, where they have hearing impaired services and you’re only steps away from all things chocolate.
Hearing aid tip: Before traveling, let your audiologist know where you’re going. Urban places like San Francisco can be full of new sounds and your audiologist can help you find the right hearing aid settings.
Are you a history buff? Enjoy sipping on sweet tea and rocking on the porch a bit? Then you may want to explore Savannah. Southern hospitality is at its best here, where you can explore the south’s history by day and quirky, spooky graveyards by night. Be prepared to relax – the city’s nickname is Slow-vannah for its laid back pace. Stroll along the Savannah River on River Street during the afternoon and sample the local seafood or shop for souvenirs. History buffs will want to tour Fort Pulaski National Monument where General Robert E. Lee was assigned after graduating from West Point. If you’ve read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, you might want to walk the grounds of Bonaventure Cemetery and visit the Mercer Williams House where former resident Jim Williams allegedly murdered Danny Hansford.
Hearing aid tip: When the ghosts start whispering, the last thing you need is for your hearing aid batteries to stop working. Make sure to pack a fresh set of batteries so you don’t miss a single ghastly scream. While you're at it, throw in an extra set of tubes, too.
If you love to ski, you’ll want to visit Aspen in the wintertime when you can take full advantage of its famous ski slopes: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass Ski Resort -- but Aspen is beautiful in the summertime, too. Hike or watch wildlife in Maroon Bells. Rent a car and take the 20-mile drive through Independence Pass which winds along cliffs and through forests at 12,095 feet above sea level or head 40 miles down the road to Glenwood Springs where you can swim in the Hot Springs Pool just like President Theodore Roosevelt, Al Capone and the unsinkable Molly Brown. Stay at the St. Regis Aspen Hotel where accessible guest rooms have visual fire alarms, telephone notification device, TTY, and televisions with closed captioning.
Hearing aid tip: No worries if you enjoy outdoor activities, just make sure your hearing aids are secured before you engage. There are many hearing device accessories available to help you keep them anchored where they belong. Check with your audiologist or hearing aid manufacturer to see which options are best for you.
If you believe nothing complements good food like a great bottle of wine, consider spending a few days at the Bardessono in Napa Valley. The resort has ADA guest rooms with portable hearing assistance devices and is within walking distance of half a dozen vineyards and wineries. The eco-friendly resort is completely smoke free (even electric cigarettes are prohibited) and offers two charging stations for electric vehicles. When you tire of tasting the Valley’s wine (is that possible?) relax with a service from the Bardessono spa and savor the organic flavors of the field-to-fork dishes at Lucy Restaurant & Bar. Or, rent a bike from Napa Valley Bike Tours and explore the beautiful countryside.
Hearing aid tip: Accidents happen and hearing aids can get lost or stolen. Talk to your audiologist about purchasing hearing aid insurance before you travel. Think of it as trip insurance for your hearing aids – and peace of mind for you.