If you’re going sightseeing, the most important items to pack are those that let you see the sights clearly—your contacts and eyeglasses. Whether you primarily wear contacts or glasses, it’s a good idea to have both, especially when you’re traveling. Prescription safety glasses can double as sunglasses, too, so you don’t have to juggle between essential eyewear when you’re living out of a suitcase. Whether you’re headed across the country or around the world, taking the time to plan for your eyesight needs away from home can help ensure you have a memorable trip. Here are some additional tips for traveling with glasses and contacts.
Get an Up-to-Date Prescription
It’s always a good idea to be up-to-date on your prescriptions for both eyeglasses and contact lenses. If it’s been a while since you’ve had an exam, plan to get one before your trip so you don’t miss a thing. It’s also smart to carry a copy of your prescription in your wallet for easy access in case you need to buy replacements while away from home. Vision prescriptions are the same the world over, so if you break or lose your prescription safety glasses, you can get a replacement pair wherever you happen to be.
What to Pack
Thankfully, eyewear is compact and lightweight, making it perfect for travel. Make a list of essential eyewear and related materials such as these to include on your packing list:
- Extra lens wipes or microfiber cleaning cloths
- Eyeglass repair kit with tiny screws and screwdriver
- Backup pair of prescription safety glasses, reading glasses, etc.
- Hard, crush-proof eyeglass cases for your suitcase and storage whenever you’re not wearing them
If you wear contacts, bring extra pairs, along with some leakproof lens cases. If you’re traveling internationally, don’t rely on foreign stores to have the supplies, or even the name brands, that you use for lens solutions and more.
Luggage and Airports
If you wear glasses, pack a pair in your luggage and take another pair on the plane; if your luggage is lost or delayed, you’ll still have the pair you take on board to see you through. You can do the same with contact lenses, keeping in mind Transportation Security Administration guidelines for lens solution and other liquids. Put larger bottles of lens solution and cleaner in your luggage and small containers in your carry-on. Make sure your carry-on solutions are no greater than 3.4 ounces and packed in a see-through bag for an easier time clearing the pre-flight security checkpoints.
Use Sun Protection in All Conditions
The sun doesn’t take a vacation, and you need protection from it even when you do. Prescription sunglasses and even some contacts safeguard your eyes from harmful UV rays. Consider polarized lenses if you’re going to be on the water, in the snow or in bright sun; there are several types of additional tints to choose from as well. Considering what your itinerary holds in store can help you choose the right pair of shades to shield your eyes.
Don’t Swim With Contacts
If your itinerary includes some pool time at the hotel or saltwater at the beach, be careful not to wear contacts while swimming. Bacteria, viruses, and a variety of microbes may be in the water, which can attach to the contact lens and cause irritation, infection, inflammation, and worse. Because they are permeable, soft contact lenses can absorb chemicals in swimming pools and bacteria. If you forget to remove them before swimming, throw them out afterward and replace them with a fresh pair. Another alternative is to wear swim goggles.
Maintain Good Daily Cleaning Habits
Just as you would do at home, give your hands a thorough cleaning with soap and water before using them to handle contacts or touch your eyes. Practice your daily cleaning routine while traveling, too, and be sure to clean your lens case regularly with storage solution. Be aware when you’re running low on solution so you have time to get more; never store contacts in water as a substitute, for the same reasons that you shouldn’t wear contacts while swimming.
When to See a Doctor
If your eyes become irritated, blurry or light-sensitive, discontinue wearing contacts immediately and switch to your backup eyeglasses until you can see a doctor. Bring the contacts with you instead of discarding them; your doctor may decide to take cultures from the lenses or case to help determine the cause of irritation. Follow the doctor’s suggestions to let your eyes heal, even if that means wearing eyeglasses in all of your selfies.
Consider Buying Disposable Contacts
One sure way to avoid hassling with contact lenses while you’re on supposed to be relaxing is to use disposable lenses. You should replace disposables every day, starting out with a fresh pair each morning. Using disposable lenses also means you don’t have to mess with daily cleaning and storage. A final word of caution for travelers; don’t be tempted by easy-access contacts sold on the shelves of some stores. Wear only those that are prescribed for your vision.
Don’t Take Shortcuts With Eye Care
It’s easy to get out of a normal routine while traveling, especially when travel itself is not routine. While giving into temptation on vacation may mean you gain a pound or two, taking shortcuts with your eyewear and eye care carries the risk of impacting your vision long after you’re safely back home. If you need prescription safety glasses, prescription sunglasses or another type of eyewear, Safety Gear Pro has a great selection of stylish frames and lenses with the features you need to make your trip successful.