How to travel with contact lenses
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Travelling is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Whether you’re longing for a relaxing beach holiday or planning a city break, exploring new countries is an inspiring experience. But if you’re a contact lens wearer, planning is essential.
Remember that taking care of your eyes is just as vital to the success of your trip as packing your passport. As well as preparing for flights and other long-haul journeys, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared for any eye-related situation you may encounter while you’re far from home.
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Our top travel tips for contact lens wearers will help you enjoy a stress-free journey, whether you’re planning to hit the road or travel across blue skies.
Packing your eye care essentials
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Wherever you’re going, and however you’re travelling, remember to make space for these eye care essentials in your suitcase:
- A supply of contact lenses that covers your whole trip, and a few extras, so you don’t run out.
- A supply of your prescribed solution (travel-sized contact lens solutions are available).
- Your lens case, if you’re wearing two-weekly or monthly disposable lenses.
- Your glasses, in case you need to remove your lenses for any reason.
- Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection
- A reminder of your contact lens prescription details, in case you need to buy replacements while you’re away.
Wearing daily disposable contact lenses while travelling is convenient, as there’s no need to pack any cleaning products. Daily disposable lenses may also come in handy if you’ll have limited access to hygienic spaces during your trip.
Travelling by car
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Long-haul drives can be exhausting. As the miles stack up and the sun goes down, your eyes can become tired. To give yourself and your eyes a chance to rest, make sure you take regular breaks and swap drivers if possible.
Wearing sunglasses when you’re out and about on bright sunny days is important, as they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, and help slow down any future development of cataracts and macular degeneration. Be sure to keep them handy while you’re driving to shield your eyes from the glare of the sun on your windscreen. If you hit the road on a hot summer’s day, you’re likely to turn on the air-conditioner for some cool air. But be careful, as this can dry out your eyes! Sunglasses can help to prevent this.
Travelling by plane
We all love the perks offered on planes nowadays, from watching films, being treated to complimentary snacks and drinks, and lounging on reclining seats (just be sure to check with the person behind you).
If you’re partial to the pleasure of taking a transcontinental nap, don’t forget to remove your contact lenses before boarding your flight, and wear your glasses instead. Falling asleep with your lenses in puts you at risk of infections, unless you’ve been prescribed with lenses that you can wear overnight or for prolonged periods of time.
Glasses also protect your eyes from in-flight air conditioning, which can dry them out. For relief from dry eyes, you can also carry a travel-sized bottle of eye drops with you on board. Airline security regulations allow you to take contact lens solution and eye drops on board if they don’t exceed 100ml. To avoid any leakage, pop the bottles in a zip-lock container.
Swimming with contact lenses
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In short – don’t do it! If you are planning on swimming on your holiday, wearing prescription goggles is highly recommended. Water-borne bacteria from the sea or swimming pools can wreak havoc with your contacts, so don’t risk it.
These simple tips are worth remembering to keep your eyes healthy while you’re travelling. Plan in advance and enjoy the trip of a lifetime!