Eyewear is a travel essential. People who need prescription glasses need a pair to see comfortably, and packing them well ensures they’re safe and secure. Even if you don’t need glasses, bringing a pair of sunglasses is crucial for sun protection no matter where you go, as ultraviolet (UV) exposure is much higher; long-term UV exposure is linked to cataract formation and age-related macular degeneration. However, traveling isn’t always smooth, and something could happen to your eyewear that can affect how you use them. Taking extra precautions when bringing your eyewear is essential to prevent hassle and stress on your trip.
Why are sunglasses essential
Sunglasses are essential for a variety of reasons, spanning from health benefits to practical conveniences and even fashion. Here are some ways in which sunglasses are essential:
- Protection from UV Rays: Sunglasses are crucial in protecting your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Overexposure to UV rays can lead to serious eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Reduces Glare: Polarized sunglasses in particular reduce glare from reflective surfaces, making it much easier and safer to drive, cycle, ski, or participate in other activities where glare can be an issue.
- Protects from Elements: Sunglasses can help protect your eyes from wind, dust, sand, and other elements. This is particularly beneficial in harsh environments or during outdoor activities.
- Eye Comfort: Bright sunlight can be discomforting and cause you to squint, which may lead to headaches. Sunglasses help to reduce this discomfort and allow you to move around more comfortably in bright conditions.
- Preserving Vision: Constant exposure to bright light can strain your eyes and lead to deteriorating vision over time. By dimming the world a bit, sunglasses can help preserve your long-term vision.
- Prevents Sun-Related Health Problems: Prolonged sun exposure doesn’t just increase your risk for eye health issues, it can also contribute to skin cancer. Sunglasses with a wrap-around frame can protect your eyelids and the skin around your eyes, which are common sites for skin cancers and sunburn.
- Fashion and Style: Beyond the practical and health-related aspects, sunglasses are an important fashion accessory. They come in numerous shapes, sizes, and styles that can be used to express personal style.
- Enhances Vision: Certain tints of sunglasses can enhance contrast and color perception, improving the visual clarity and performance in certain sports and activities.
- Post-Operative Protection: For those who have had eye surgeries such as LASIK or cataract removal, sunglasses can help protect the eyes during the recovery phase.
- Reduced Dry-Eye Problems: For people prone to dry-eye syndrome, wearing sunglasses can reduce the evaporation of tears and help maintain eye moisture.
Bring a spare pair
Having damaged or broken eyewear or losing it while traveling is never fun. Bringing along a spare pair can save you a lot of trouble during unfortunate events or mishaps, allowing you to enjoy your trip. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to get glasses online nowadays. Retailers like Glasses.com even makes this process easier on your budget by allowing you to convert purchases into smaller payments, interest-free.
You can also use a virtual mirror via your device’s camera, allowing you to see how different eyewear styles will look on your face without trying them on physically. With free standard shipping, you can expect your pair to arrive within 5 to 7 business days or have them rush shipped to receive them in 1 to 2 business days. You can quickly get a spare pair of high-quality glasses, so you won’t have to worry about being unable to see during your trip.
Pack eyewear in your carry-on
If you’re taking a flight, it’s always best to keep your eyewear close to you by packing it in your carry-on luggage. There’s always a chance that airlines can delay or lose your checked baggage, and you might not be able to use your glasses or sunglasses until you retrieve it. Save yourself a headache by bringing your eyewear with you. You can pack your main pair in your carry-on and keep a spare pair in your checked-in bags just in case something happens to your carry-on items. Your safest bet, of course, is to keep it on your person in case something happens to both your bags.
Use a hard case
Your glasses or sunglasses will usually come with a case upon purchase, but if it’s a soft or cloth-like case, it won’t be able to protect your eyewear effectively. If you’re packing them in a bag, putting them in a hard case can ensure they won’t get damaged or break if you need to move around. When visiting some locations during your travels, these places’ bag policies may require you to leave your bag at a specific location.
A hard case can ensure your glasses or sunglasses are safe when handled by someone else or kept in another area. For extra protection, you can put your eyewear into a cloth case, then the hard one if it fits to avoid scratches and scuffs. Placing your lens cleaning cloth inside the case should also suffice, and it doubles as extra padding for your eyewear.
Bring an updated prescription with you
Having a copy of your glasses prescription while you travel may seem over-the-top, but it can significantly help you in an emergency. Maybe your primary and spare glasses somehow got damaged or lost, and you need a new pair immediately. You can stop by a local optical store and get a new pair faster if you have your prescription. As much as possible, make sure it’s been recently updated so you can get the correct lenses. Print out a hard copy or save a picture of it on your phone; you can also do both for good measure.