Having to think about eyeglasses, contacts, and saline solution when all you really want to think about is your upcoming trip is certainly no fun – but for many travelers, taking your eye health into account before you leave home is a matter of being able to see or being blind as a bat. You don’t want to be crawling on the floor of your hostel bathroom frantically searching for your lost contact lens, especially considering you don’t know what else has been on that floor. And you don’t want to end up breaking your only pair of glasses and stumbling through the rest of your trip.
Here are some things to think about to make sure your eyes remain in as good condition as possible throughout your trip.
Visit an eye doctor.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve read an eye chart, make sure to schedule an appointment with the eye doctor when you plan for your shots and physical. It should be at least a month before you depart so if there are any changes with your prescription/brand you have the time to adjust and make corrections. This is especially important if you’re going to be traveling for a long time, as the longer you go without getting your eyes checked the more prone you could be to headaches and other preventable ailments.
Pass on the trial size of solution.
If you’re a contact lens wearer, skip the mini bottles and grab the big one. You might not be able to find your brand on the road, so cover yourself for at least a month or two with a full bottle. For ease of use, you can always have a smaller travel size bottle in your daypack and keep refilling it from the bigger bottle in your bag. And if you’ve got extra solution leftover at the end of your trip, you can ditch it to make room for one more souvenir or donate it to a fellow contact-wearing traveler at your hostel before you fly home.
Grab the extra glasses.
Even if you only have one pair of glasses that you really love, or that’s in your most current prescription, it’s a really good idea to bring along a spare pair just in case your primary pair breaks. Yes, even if they’re the super-ugly ones you got because they were trendy five years ago but are completely out of style now. Even those are better than nothing if your regular glasses break or you can’t wear your contacts for some reason.
Bring your prescription.
Just as you should bring along the prescriptions for any medications you’re taking, you should also bring your eyeglass/contact lens prescription with you as well. It may not help you much, depending on where you’re traveling, but it also may save you some hassle. Having the prescription with you should help smooth the process should you need to get a new or extra pair of glasses or set of contacts in a hurry, and it doesn’t take up any space to carry it with all your other important documents.
Switch to disposable contacts, or a few extras.
Even when you’re at home and taking good care of your contacts, they can get kind of grimy after awhile. Imagine how grimy they’ll be getting when you’re traveling, wearing them for even longer hours, potentially staying in less-than-sanitary conditions, and unable to clean them properly. Disposable contacts can be replaced easily when they start feeling icky, or when you accidentally drop a contact on that dirty hotel floor.