Traveling with contacts: a small but complete guide to keeping your eyes healthy on the road

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 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 sets 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.

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.

Bring rewetting drops

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 it 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.

Tips for your contact lenses during the flight

Always bring a small bottle of contact fluid in your carry-on

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.

Keep a set 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 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.

Don’t sleep with your contacts 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.

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.

Disclaimer: In this article are some affiliate links. This means that, if you buy or book something, I get a small percentage of the fee. This comes with no extra cost to you, but helps me run this website.

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