Eye Health Central

Travelling with & Wearing Contact Lenses On Holiday

Travelling Safely With Contact Lenses On Holiday

When leaving for a trip, everyone has their own way of making sure they remember everything they need, whether you are a person who packs days or weeks ahead or whether you bundle everything in a suitcase at the last minute, one thing not to forget is your contact lenses.

Unfortunately, no system is perfect, and something always manages to get forgotten. If you are a contact lens wearer then you really don't want to forget your lenses, unless you are a daily lens wearer you will need to remember solutions and cases too. 

It's definitely worth spending a few minutes thinking about what your contact lens and vision needs will be whilst you are away.

Travelling Safely With Contact Lenses

Contact Lens Items To Pack When You Travel

With the excitement of holidays and with so many other things to pack it is easy to forget your contact lenses.

You would think as you wear them every day you couldn't possibly forget your contact lenses but that is exactly why they can get forgotten, we take them for granted.

You would think if you are a daily contact lens wearer all you need do is throw a few lenses in your case before you leave, this is true but make sure you have enough lenses to pack for your holiday, if you are on a replacement scheme it's easy to forget your contact lens renewal will arrive through your door, 5 days after you leave!!

At contactlenses.co.uk we know how important your contact lenses are to you, we hold thousands of lenses in stock so most lenses are sent out the same day and can be with you the next day, just in case you've left things to the last minute, we've even despatched lenses to customers hotels!

If you wear monthly contact lenses there is more to think about than just your lenses the list below will help you remember to pack everything you need for your time away.

  • Enough pairs of contact lenses or your trip plus at least 1 spare pair.
  • A storage case for when you take them out.
  • Storage and cleaning solutions.
  • A copy of your contact lens prescription, in case you need to buy more.
  • A backup set of eyeglasses.

It is a good point to check the expiry date of your contact lenses, especially if you always leave a couple of pairs in your suitcase - every blister will have an expiry date printed on it, so it doesn't matter if you have lost the original box.

Plan For All Eventualities

A common mistake that people make when packing for a trip is to think about what they use during their normal routine, and bring along all the things they need on a daily basis, the trouble with that kind of planning is that trips abroad are anything but routine. There are plenty of challenges and obstacles you're likely to face on your journey that rarely occur back home. Below are some tips on ways to prepare for your trip.

  • Don't pack all of your contact lenses in one bag. In the event that your luggage gets lost, you'll be glad that you still have some left.
  • The climate control inside an airplane can cause dry eyes, and the same goes for different climates and weather than what you're normally used to at home. Be sure to bring along wetting eye drops to keep your eyes moist and healthy.
  • Pools, hot tubs, water parks, and any other place where you might get wet can pose a serious health risk if you get water in your eyes. It's important that you take your lenses out before swimming or getting wet, and change your lenses out once you're back on dry land.
  • New places often go hand in hand with new germs. Wash your hands regularly to make sure that none of those germs end up in your eyes and cause an infection. If you can, use bottled water to do so, as tap water isn't always as clean as it is at home.
  • If you plan to enjoy any type of sport or activity while on holiday, be prepared for minor accidents that may cause you to lose a contact lens. Keeping a spare lens close by can save you a lot of trouble. You don't want to lose part of your day because you left all of your spare lenses back in the hotel room.
  • Plan ahead and look for eye care practitioners and opticians local to your destination. In the event that you need to purchase contact lenses, or have some other type of sudden emergency, you'll be glad that you've done your research ahead of time.
  • An extra set of glasses will come in handy if you experience any allergic reactions or dry eye. Different areas have different pollens and allergens in the air which can irritate your eyes.

What To Think About If You Are Flying With Contact Lenses

Flying with daily wear contact lenses shouldn't be a problem as the blisters are small they don't normally count as part of your carry-on fluid levels. Before flying its worth checking the current limits and restrictions to carry on luggage: hand luggage restrictions at UK airports. Different airports outside of the EU have different regulations, so be sure to check with their websites for your return trip.

As for contact lens liquid:

  • Containers must be 100ml or less, travel packs are ideal for this.
  • Containers must go into a resalable, transparent bag that holds no more than 1 litre.
  • You may have 1 plastic bag per person and it must be shown to security.
  • Squeeze partially used bottles before flying. Removing the excess air will decrease the chances of leakage due to cabin pressure.
  • For daily lenses, consider using a convenient daily lens storage case that can hold a few pairs in your hand luggage, in case you need to swap them out after a sleep.

Don't forget to pack your sunglasses, protecting your eyes while out in the sun is important and although most contact lenses have UVA and UVB protection they do not cover all of your eye, so a good pair of sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat should always be on your to pack list. 

Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 30 Aug 2016, Last modified: 15 Feb 2024