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5 Tips for Travel with Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses

Car travel (photo: Sam Manns)
Car travel (photo: Sam Manns)

Traveling with glasses can be a hassle. Eyeglasses are fragile, and you have the task of cleaning them every time you wear them.

Losing or damaging glasses can be another stressful experience. If you're on a short trip, you can likely get by without them, but if you're traveling long term, you may need a replacement pair. 

Thankfully, it's now easier than ever to buy glasses online regardless of where you are when the need arises. Here are some tips to consider when traveling with eyeglasses.

1. Know Your Prescription Before You Leave Home

Always carry a copy of your glasses and contacts prescription along with your other essential travel documents.

You can also snap a photo of the prescription and store it in an email to yourself. That way, you can print it wherever you are in the world when you need to replace them.

Saving it to your phone also makes it easily accessible if you don't have an internet connection. If your glasses get damaged and you have the prescription, replacing them can be easy. 

All you need to do is find a reputable optician and shop that can make a new pair for you. And, you can always buy glasses online at any point since you've got your prescription.

2. Carry a Spare Pair of Eyeglasses and Extra Contacts

Backpackers typically engage in physical activities where they're at risk of quickly breaking or losing eyeglasses.

For example, you could be zip-lining through Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica when they slip off. Or maybe you accidentally sit on them while getting into a rickshaw.

When such things happen, you'll need a quick solution. Consequently, the same applies to contact lenses.

When a contact gets contaminated or slips off and gets lost, you'll want an immediate backup to continue enjoying your trip.

If all else fails, then you can opt to buy glasses online instead of facing the struggle of locating an optician in a new country. 

3. Keep Your Glasses Clean 

As all eyeglass wearers know, keeping them clean and smudge-free ensures the best quality sight.

You can do this by carrying a microfiber cloth, and cleaning solution specifically made for eyeglasses. Doing so allows you to get the whole experience of the sites you traveled all that way to see.

On the road, you'll encounter different environments, some of which may not be ideal for wearing eyeglasses. Ensuring you are fully prepared in such instances can help you to relax. 

The way one cleans their eyeglasses can make a big difference in how long they'll last. 

4. Use a Neck Strap

You may think this looks goofy, but a neck strap can save your eyeglasses. 

For example, you may go whitewater rafting in Nepal and hit some Class IV or V rapids, throwing you into the water.  Or maybe you go horseback riding in Colombia, and your glasses bounce off your head.

Protecting your eyeglasses with a neck strap can provide some reassurance that you won't lose them unexpectedly. I would therefore advise you not to leave them out while packing for your trip.

5. Prescription Sunglasses

A significant drawback to wearing eyeglasses is that you can't just buy a pair of sunglasses from a roadside shop.

Before my last trip, I bought a cheap pair of prescription sunglasses from an online shop, and they have served me well.

If you decide to purchase prescription sunglasses, ensure they offer UV protection. While traveling, you tend to spend more time outside in the sun than usual.

Sunglasses sound fancy and give you a good look at all times, but the safety of your eyes is always a priority. I would therefore advise that you buy glasses online that suit your prescription well.

Final Thought

Unless you have perfect vision, traveling with glasses or contact lenses is a hassle we all need to live with.

While traveling, cleaning, and caring for eyeglasses can be annoying, it's necessary to ensure you see the world clearly.

Always be ready with everything needed to buy glasses online since you might not have access to the services you need everywhere.


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