Sadly I am one of those people that has terrible eyesight! Sometimes this is quite hard as my eyes are always first priority for me, especially when travelling. I have worn monthly contacts for nearly 10 years but recently I have decided to make the switch to other options. Although I was very good at changing over my contacts every month and keeping them clean, I constantly found myself itching my dry eyes! I’ve now invested in a good pair of glasses that I actually love to wear. My make up also finally stays in place because I’m not itching all the time.
On some days I don’t want to wear glasses, such as when I’ve got an event and my glasses don’t suit my outfit. In these cases I have swapped to daily contacts. The contacts from Waldo are my personal favourite. The quality is (for me, and it should be for you!) most important with contacts and these are great. I will talk about why a bit more later on but first I want to explain a bit about why it is such a great idea to wear dailies when travelling.
Why daily lenses are important on your travels
It’s pretty easy to see why dailies are far easier when you’re on the move: you don’t have to worry about cleaning and storing them. Sure, you need to carry a batch of contacts around in your bag or suitcase but they only take up a tiny amount of space and it is so worth it. To be honest, for years I didn’t know that you shouldn’t store or clean your contacts with water. There have been multiple cases of eye infections and much worse as a result of this so please don’t do this!
A struggled I had when wearing monthly contacts; sometimes I didn’t have any solution or simply felt my contacts weren’t properly cleaned in their case when travelling. Having daily contacts that you can take out of their packaging fresh every day is an ideal way to get around this. Another way to look after your eyes is to find a gentle way of removing your make up. I have recently started to do this with a FaceHalo and wow, this is the way to do it. This round pad is made of micro-fibres, you can simply use it with warm water so don’t need any soap that can be harmful for your eyes. It is small and compact (ideal for limited luggage space!) and replaces up to 500 face wipes, which is a great added bonus.
I mentioned earlier I love the contacts from Waldo. They have one range in particular that is great for travelling: Vitamin contacts. These lenses are kept in a vitamin enriched saline solution. They also have a 25 DK/t (don’t worry, I didn’t know what this meant either) which turns out is something really important! It means the contacts have a breathability to the eye at a level recommended by optometrists. If, like me, you struggle with itchy and dry eyes this is ideal.
Breathability is essential if you are travelling as it is likely that you will be on a plane at some point! If you’re reading this as a fellow travel-fan who wears contacts you will know that flying dries out your eyes quite badly. On short flights you shouldn’t have any trouble but on longer flights I would recommend swapping your contacts for a pair of glasses. This is also easier if you fall asleep on the plane. Flying out to a sunny destination? Lucky you! But please keep reading…
Why proper sunglasses are essential
True story: my boyfriend always laughs at me because I wear my sunglasses everywhere. Although part of this is vanity as I don’t want to squint and get wrinkles and it is also important for your eye health. I’m sure you’ve heard that you need to wear a cream with SPF on your face even when it’s cloudy; this is because there are still UV rays in the air. It is basically the same with glasses. Again, I never knew how important it was to invest in sunglasses with a good level of UV protection! Now that I am more aware of the importance of good eye health I always look for sunglasses with a minimum protection of UV400. Don’t let yourself get told that darker lenses protect better, because they simply just don’t.
If you’re not the kind of person who wears sunglasses a lot, you can still look after your eyes by wearing contacts. When researching which contacts you want to go for you wouldn’t usually think of checking the UV rating on them. But you should! For example, the Waldo contacts block 70% UVA and 95% UVB rays. This is a great way to protect your eyes on a daily basis from any UV rays, even on the cloudy days.
Just to let you know, polarised lenses also don’t help with UV protection; these only prevent glare. So although not needed for UV protection, polarised glasses are very helpful when driving or doing other activities. So this is worth investing in! I went to Greece a short while ago and purchased a pair of prescription sunglasses – these changed my holiday experience! It was so nice to not worry about contacts, as these definitely aren’t a good mix with sand, swimming pool and hotels. In a sunny place like that you wear sunglasses most of the time anyway and I just carried my normal ones around in case I wanted to swap.
Why taking extra’s in your luggage will be useful
It has happened to me more than once on holiday where I have lost a contact and have not had any spares. Sometimes you lose one when you’re on the go and I’ve even had a couple break! I have also lost contacts in the pool or shower. This is when I learnt you really shouldn’t swim or shower with contacts in. Again, you open up opportunities for eye-infections with all the water, chlorine, soap and general bacteria. If your eyes are uncomfortable and something doesn’t feel right, it is always worth checking with a local doctor. See our deals on travel insurance in case you don’t have this sorted yet.
If you take a couple of spare contacts with you, you don’t have to worry when you do have an accident and lose one. On a 7-day holiday you should take 8 or 9 pairs so you’re confident you won’t have to see most of the local sights with blurred vision!
On a longer trip, like when you are living abroad for a while or spending a couple weeks somewhere, I would also suggest taking your prescription details with you. In case you unfortunately lose your contacts or glasses you can go to a local store and order an emergency pair. Depending on where you are this might take a couple days or even a week or two, so this is something to be mindful of.
Hopefully you are now a bit more aware of why it is important to look after your eye health when travelling and how to do so. For those of us with bad eyesight it might seem like a chore, but it is actually an opportunity to look after yourself! Eyes are not only the window to the soul (cheesy, I couldn’t resist) but can also detect early signs of illnesses! So please look after them well and get your eyes checked regularly.