Travelling with contact lenses is challenging enough as it is, but travelling with contact lenses while doing your best to follow sustainable tourism practices? For many people, that seems almost impossible.
The good news is that it isn’t impossible—it just takes a little bit of research, planning, and effort. If you want to travel with contact lenses while being a responsible traveller, here are five things you can do.
Wear bi-weekly or monthly contact lenses
When travelling, it’s common for contact lens wearers to bring and wear daily disposable (dailies) contact lenses. Wearing dailies is easy and convenient because you remove them at night and start with a fresh pair the next morning. With dailies, there’s no cleaning and storage to worry about.
However, dailies are the least sustainable type of contact lenses. Contact lenses are made of non-biodegradable plastic materials, which means they make a significant contribution to the world’s already huge plastic pollution problem. Wearing dailies adds to plastic pollution because you have to replace and dispose of your contact lenses every day.
The more responsible way to travel with contact lenses is to wear bi-weekly or monthly lenses on your trip. You’ll have to follow a strict cleaning and storage regimen, but you won’t have to replace your contact lenses every day. The less plastic you have to throw away during your trip, the better it will be for the environment.
If you currently wear dailies, consult with your eye care professional about switching over to bi-weekly or monthly contact lenses before going on your trip. You can also choose to continue wearing bi-weekly or monthly contact lenses permanently and be a much more responsible consumer.
Pack a screw-on contact lens case
A screw-on contact lens case is the ideal container for bi-weekly or monthly contact lenses. We recommend packing two for your trip. It’s always a good idea to have a spare contact lens case available just in case something happens to the one you’re using.
High-quality screw-on contact lenses are made using durable materials, which means they’re able to withstand the rigours of travel and being inside your bag or backpack for hours on end. Another benefit of screw-on contact lenses is that they’re watertight. As long as you properly close the lid, the disinfecting solution won’t leak out.
Bring travel-sized bottles of contact lens solution
International travel restrictions make it all but impossible to bring large bottles of contact lens solution. Transferring the solution from large bottles to smaller bottles isn’t the answer either because you risk contaminating the solution.
When it comes to bringing contact lens solution for a trip, the best thing you can do is buy travel-sized bottles of contact lens solution that come in 2-ounce or 4-ounce variants. A 2-ounce bottle of contact lens solution lasts one to two weeks. If you’re planning a two-week trip, then it’s safe to buy a 4-ounce.
While buying travel-sized bottles of contact lens solution may not seem economical, it’s the only option you have considering that there’s virtually no way for you to bring your large bottles of contact lens solution with you.
You can recycle your bottles of contact lens solution once you’ve emptied them. That way, you minimize the impact of plastic pollution on the environment.
Always travel with up-to-date prescription eyeglasses
Avoid the temptation of leaving your eyeglasses at home, even if you don’t think you’ll be wearing them on your trip. It’s always good to have a contingency when you’re travelling because you can never be sure of what might happen. You might suffer an eye allergy or infection during your trip that makes wearing contact lenses difficult.
Travelling with your prescription eyeglasses means that your vision stays sharp and clear even without contact lenses.
In case you don’t have up-to-date prescription eyeglasses, visit your eye care professional before your trip. That way, you’ll be able to bring these eyeglasses with you on your trip. Just make sure that you protect your eyeglasses by storing them in a hard and sturdy case. You don’t want your eyeglasses breaking during a trip.
Bring a copy of your updated prescription
Always have a copy of your updated eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions handy when taking trips. This way, you can easily purchase eyeglasses or contact lenses in cases of emergency where you need to replace lost, damaged, or defective eyeglasses or contact lenses.
The values listed on your prescription are universal, meaning they will be understood by any eye care professional, pharmacy, or eyewear retailer anywhere in the world.
Ensure that your prescription is up-to-date by getting an eye exam one or two weeks before you leave for your trip. In light of the pandemic, the most convenient way to get an eye exam right now is to take them online.
Online vision tests are accurate and simple. They’re also 100% safe and convenient since you take them from the comfort of your home. Online vision tests function just like the tests that eye care professionals perform in their offices. When you’re done with your online vision test, a licensed eye care professional will review your results and provide you with an updated copy of your prescription.
Travelling with contact lenses while being a responsible traveller and following sustainable tourism practices may require some effort, but all that effort is worth it. By taking a little time and effort, you help protect your destination’s environment and minimise the waste that naturally comes with travelling and tourism.
This post was contributed by Jericho Gonzales, a Content Marketing Specialist at Lens.com. Writing is his passion, and he specialises in tech-based and consumer product-based writing. His other passions lie in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction. When he isn’t busy with wordcraft, he loves to immerse himself in those worlds through novels, video games, TV shows, or movies.