Tips for Traveling with Contact Lenses & Glasses

I know this is a random topic, but I hope it’s helpful! If you haven’t seen me with glasses on in my IG Stories, then this might be news. I don’t have perfect vision, I actually wear a -6.0 and can’t see much without my lenses on! I’m always traveling with contact lenses, solution, glasses, and all you need to be able to see. By now, it’s second nature, but here are some of my best tips for traveling with contact lenses.


Tips for Traveling with Contact Lenses

  1. Write down your prescription in case you need to buy more
  2. Never forget your glasses as a back-up
  3. Bring an extra 2 sets than what you think you’ll need just in case
  4. Keep a set in your luggage and a set in your carry-on
  5. Consider daily lenses – they don’t take up that much space, feel fresher when traveling, although they usually cost more
  6. Buy extra moist contacts to combat drier climates and the dry air in planes
  7. If you’re picky about lens solution for your whole trip, make sure you have enough as you won’t find anything but the basic solution (ie: ReNu) in many countries

Bonus: check how easy it is to buy contacts in a foreign country! It might be way cheaper and easier than your home country. I actually stocked up in India on my Acuvue Oasis Hydraclear for about a 1/4 of the price of what they cost in the USA. I brought a year’s worth of them to Mexico.

What to Buy

A nice, durable contacts case

I actually travel with a spare in my carry-on!

Both large and small bottles of solution

Keep one in your carry-on and one in your luggage in case your luggage gets lost.

Blink drops

This is my favorite brand after trying many kinds.

Another note on drops: there are some I love called Lumify. They take away ALL redness in the most insane way and are only recently approved (they were glaucoma medicine before). You cannot use them with your contacts in; you have to use them then wait 10 minutes to put your lenses in.

Hand Sanitizer

While traveling in India, sometimes I’ll end up on a long car journey and want to nap. It’s always key to use sanitizer before taking your lenses in and out.

Where I Buy My Glasses

I’ve always bought my glasses at Warby Parker. I have a high prescription so the lenses can sometimes be thick – or they can be thinned, but you have to pay extra. With WP, they offer the highest level of lense that is thinner for just $20 bucks more. It’s usually around $120 for the glasses with the lens. Pretty much cannot beat that. Plus, I can get my prescription anywhere and just scan it and send it to them. I’ve sent them mine from India without issue. You just need your pupillary distance as well. I’m due for a new pair this summer and cannot wait to shop! The ones I had on in the photo above are 6 years old, haha! I have other ones that are newer but I wear those the most. They haven’t scratched at all and have been through a lot so the quality is great.

When you order from Warby Parker, you don’t pay upfront. You order 5 pairs for “home try on” and you can choose the one you want, then buy it OR you can say nevermind, I didn’t like any – and send them back with their pre-paid box. You won’t be charged at all. It’s awesome.

I currently have the “Sullivan” glasses which is pretty ironic – that’s going to be my last name in six months!

For more packing tips:

Pin tips for traveling with contact lenses for later!


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Nathan January 14, 2019 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Being someone who is basically blind -5. I highly recommend daily lenses when travelling as well. I almost lost my glasses at the beach the other day, I’m so grateful that I didn’t. I just don’t like to be blind all the time and swimming in the ocean with contacts for me is just awful.

  2. nikolimarjan1 January 15, 2019 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Lenses are really great when you travel. I usually wear glasses, but for sports and traveling, I wear lenses, and I love them. Usuall yyou will do sports an dswim on the trips this is why I kno wI need them with me. And sleeping in different positions on planes and busses is much easier if you have lenses than if you have glasses. All the equipment that you are mentioning is not really avaialble in my country, I need to make a trip to amazon :D

  3. I follow many of these myself! I also have learned to bring two pairs of sunglasses. As a contact lens wearer my eyes are super sensitive to sunlight, and I’ve broken a pair while boating in Mexico. Terrible timing and of course I couldn’t find sunglasses anywhere! Go figure.

    • Rachel Jones January 16, 2019 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Always good to have a backup pair! Weirdly, I used to never wear sunglasses until I was like 22. I thought they were too “extra” lol and like I was playing dress-up… but now looking back, I really had such sensitive eyes and didn’t even realize it back then!

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