Tips for Traveling with Glasses and Contact Lenses

Embarking on a trip requires thoughtful preparation, especially when it involves carrying eyewear. Whether you rely on glasses, contact lenses, or a combination of both, taking steps to protect your vision while away from home can make your travels smoother and more enjoyable. By following some simple but effective advice, you can ensure that your eyewear stays in top condition, allowing you to focus on the adventures ahead.

Packing Smart for Eyewear

When it comes to traveling with glasses or contact lenses, the key is to pack intelligently. Here are some tips to keep your eyewear safe and accessible:

  • Use sturdy cases: Always store your glasses and contact lenses in hard, protective cases. This will prevent them from getting crushed or scratched in your luggage.
  • Bring a backup pair: It’s a good idea to carry an additional pair of glasses or contacts. If you lose or damage your primary pair, you won’t be left stranded without clear vision.
  • Keep essentials on hand: Pack a small kit with all your eyewear essentials, such as cleaning solution, a microfiber cloth, and a repair kit for your glasses. For contact lens wearers, include extra lens solution, a lens case, and hydrating eye drops.

Handling Contact Lenses On-the-Go

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich

Traveling with contact lenses requires extra precautions to maintain eye health and lens integrity:

  • Hand hygiene is critical: Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contact lenses to prevent infections.
  • Stay hydrated: Air travel can dry out your eyes, making contact lens wear uncomfortable. Keep your eyes lubricated with eye drops, and make sure to drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid water exposure: Swimming while wearing contacts can increase the risk of eye infections. Use swim goggles, or remove your lenses before taking a dip.
  • Follow your lens routine: Stick to your regular contact lens care routine, even when on the road. If you’re crossing time zones, set reminders so you don’t forget to change or clean your lenses.

Considering Daily Disposables

If you’re looking for the ultimate convenience while traveling, consider using daily disposable contact lenses. They eliminate the need for carrying cleaning solutions and cases, and you can simply discard them at the end of each day. This option can be particularly useful for travelers with active itineraries or limited packing space.

Keeping Your Glasses in Top Shape

Glasses require their own set of travel considerations to keep them functioning properly:

  • Prevent scratches: Use a microfiber cloth for cleaning your lenses. Avoid using paper towels, shirttails, or other materials that might scratch the surface.
  • Proper alignment: Keep your glasses in their case when not in use to protect them from getting bent out of shape.
  • Be sun smart: If you spend time outdoors, consider purchasing prescription sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Alternatively, photochromic lenses that darken in sunlight can be a versatile option.

Traveling with Accessories

Accessories can make managing your glasses on your trip much easier. Retainers or straps will secure your glasses during activities, and anti-fog spray can be a lifesaver in humid environments or when transitioning between different temperatures.

Ultimately, your eyewear should enhance your travel experience, not complicate it. With the right preparations, you can ensure that your vision needs are met no matter where your journeys take you. Safe travels and clear sights!

About the Author: Dr. Steven Liem, OD, FAAO

Dr. Steven Liem, O.D., F.A.A.O. is an optometrist based in Pasadena, California. After obtaining his doctorate from UC Berkeley’s School of Optometry, he completed his residency in Pediatrics, Vision Therapy & Rehabilitation and became a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. When he isn’t busy streaming or making Youtube videos about video games, Dr. Liem aims to broaden accessibility to vision health through his involvement in optometric industry and tech.