With a -5,75 on both eyes, it’s safe to say I can’t see a lot without my contact lenses. As a photographer, it is easier for me to wear those instead of glasses. But what to do when you need to travel with contact lenses?
Tips for your contact lenses when packing
Let’s begin at the start of your trip. You are still packing and organizing yourself before actually leaving the house.
Take small bottles with you
Use small bottles. Especially if you are traveling with carry-on only. Most opticians will be able to provide you with a travel contact lens solution bottle. It’s one of those smaller bottles you can comfortably chug into your carry-on without TSA complaining.
Put some in your other pieces of luggage too. Just to be sure you have one on the destination.
Just a reminder: Keep your bottles at a maximum of 100 milliliters (or 3.4 ounces for Americans). Pack them in a transparent plastic bag.
Take your glasses with you in case of emergency
Accidents can happen. You might lose your lenses or have no chance to put them in in a hygienic way. Since we are talking about your eyes, it’s best to not take any risks. Bring your glasses with you, even if you only wear them from the bathroom to the bed at night.
Bring more contact lenses than are actually needed
No matter if you are bringing monthlies or dailies, bring some extra. I usually wear monthly contact lenses. Whenever I am traveling I am sure to bring an extra couple, just in case I lose one or I somehow damage it beyond repair.
Bring sunglasses too
When you are wearing your contact lenses during your travels you can easily wear sunglasses over them. I also urge you to bring some for safety reasons. While on the beach, even if it’s not sunny, they will protect your lenses against the wind blowing sand into your eyes.
Bring rewetting drops for your eyes
These are not the same as the normal contact lens solution. These will rehydrate your contact lenses a bit while you are still wearing them. A great idea to bring with you, especially on those trips to warmer places.
Put everything in a separate bag to avoid leaking
I usually pack my items in separate bags. While soaring through the sky, the air in your bottles can expand a bit. Causing leakages. It’s no fun at all to find your soap all over your toothbrush and contact-cases. Make sure to pack those things all separately according to the use.
Flying with contact lenses
Flying with lenses is not really recommended, but who am I to tell you what to do?
I am doing it each and every time. Which brings me to tell you, don’t do it.
The reason your eyes dry out when traveling by airplane is fairly simple. While being high in the sky the atmospheric pressure, oxygen, and humidity are reduced. All those factor make the air more dry, causing your eyes to get more dry too.
Keep a contact lenses in your carry-on
If you are flying with extra luggage, make sure to remind yourself to put some of the stuff for your contact lenses in your carry-on as well. I’m talking solution, cases, and glasses. Traveling with contact lens solution should always be a priority.
Watch out for dry air
Airplanes don’t have the best air you can find in the world. It’s constantly reusing the air in the cabin. To do this they filter it of course, which causes the air to become drier. This does not help your eyes and contact lenses. A bottle of rewetting drops can help you. Or you can just wear your glasses for the length of the flight.
Consider taking off your contact lenses during flight
I don’t like to do this either, I am used to the feeling of my contacts. Anyway, for longer flights, I do recommend to leave your contact lenses in the cases for a bit and fly with your pretty glasses on your nose.
You can always put your contact lenses back in upon arrival at the airport or at the hotel. Give your eyes a rest.
Don’t sleep with your contact lenses in
Whatever you decide to do during the flight. DO NOT SLEEP WITH YOUR CONTACTS IN. I’ve done this once too many, it’s painful! Don’t do it. If it’s a short flight help yourself to a good book or play games on your phone. If it’s a longer flight, maybe think about removing your contacts.
Sleeping with your contact lenses in can cause tears in your eyes. Microscopic ones, but it’s still damaging you should prevent!
Keep your eyes hydrated also means the rest of your body needs to get sufficient fluids. Buy a bottle at the airport at drink plenty throughout the flight. Yes, even if it means to use the airplane toilet.
Tips for your contact lenses at the destination
Upon arrival, there are still a couple of things to keep in mind if you are a wearer of contact lenses as myself.
Keep your prescription at hand
All countries have people that wear contact lenses, so there are also shops. Bring your prescription with you in any way or form. A picture of it on your phone, notes in a booklet, whatever works best for you.
With these, you can easily go to a local optician and tell them you are traveling and forgot contact lenses at home. They can then order new ones for you, so you can at least see what you are doing during your travels.
Bring enough lens solution
Lens solution isn’t so expensive, so bring plenty of it. A small bottle in your carry-on and a big enough bottle in your luggage. Maybe slip a bottle into the suitcase of your traveling partner too. Just in case one of the bags doesn’t end up at the destination.
Let your eyes rest
If you are planning on sunbathing on the beach, maybe it’s not necessary to put those contact lenses in. While traveling, leave your contact lenses in their cases. It helps your eyes to rest too. Which also helps to make you feel better rested.
The advantages of traveling with daily contact lenses
In some cases of traveling, I recommend using daily contact lenses over monthlies or hard contact lenses.
No need to carry solution
Yes, you will have to bring more lenses than when you bring monthlies with you. To compensate you won’t need any solution though. The dailies are properly packed in enough contact solution. At the end of the day, you don’t need to put them back in their cases but just throw them out. A good way to save some space in your luggage.
Daily lenses for extra hygiene
When traveling to places where I expect less hygienic circumstances, I make sure to bring daily contact lenses with me. For example when doing a safari in Africa or camping in the woods of Sweden.
Your case and lenses are okay for flight, make sure to bring a smaller bottle with solution though. Pack it all inside a clear transparant bag. This because TSA want’s to easily see the contents and because you want it in a watertight bag in case something spills.
Yes, it is okay to bring daily contact lenses on a plane.
Yes, no problem at all!
If you feel the need to rearrange them, this is okay. However, don’t put them in a again the next day.
A lot can happen. A day longer might not be too bad, but don’t stretch it too much!
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