Eye health should obviously be a priority year-round, but sometimes the circumstances of holiday trips can call for some extra precautions. We all know to pack sunscreen and hats to protect our skin during those beach vacations, but what extra supplies should we toss in the suitcase to ensure our eyes stay healthy? Here are some helpful tips for keeping your eyes safe on vacation.


A trendy pair of sunglasses is good for more than just that ideal beach look. Sunglasses are actually a vital part of protecting your eyes from the sun during the summer, and throughout the rest of the year, as well.

It’s a misconception that sunglasses are only helpful during those scorchingly bright days. In fact, you should be striving to wear sunglasses as frequently as possible while outdoors. UV rays from the sun can hit you even on overcast days. The more often you pop on those shades, the more protected you’ll be. And you don’t have to break the bank to do this. Even cheap sunglasses will do the trick so long as they are completely UV resistant.

Over time, consistent exposure to UV rays from the sun may lead to macular degeneration, some kinds of cataracts, and other vision problems. The effects of UV exposure compound as the years go by. Every time you wear protective sunglasses, you’re lowering your risk for diminished eye health. Sunglasses will also protect the thin, vulnerable skin of your eyelids from sun damage, as well.

Prescription sunglasses from 39DollarGlasses.com are 100 percent UV-resistant and can be ordered to match your current lenses. Traditional prescription eyeglasses can also be ordered with UV protective lenses.


Exposing your eyes to water while you swim is a recipe for disaster. Even chlorinated swimming pools aren’t completely safe. Chemicals in the pool can react with other water contaminants and damage your eyes. Bacteria from lakes and oceans can easily cause eye irritation or dangerous infections. If your vacation entails a significant amount of water time, don’t forget to pack a good pair of swimming goggles.

Extra lenses

Whether you wear contacts or prescription glasses, you’ll want to bring an extra pair or two. Nothing puts a damper on your vacation like having to put up with substandard vision. Bring a spare pair of lenses and maybe an eyeglass repair kit. If you wear contacts, always pack more pairs than you think you will need and never reuse your contacts without properly cleaning them.

If you have an updated prescription, you can order your backup glasses online and save some time and money. Even a pair of cheap eyeglasses can salvage your vacation.

Stock up on eyedrops

Dry eye is a common and uncomfortable problem. When your eyes are dry, they’re likely to be irritated as well. You won’t be seeing at your best, and wearing contact lenses can be a nightmare. Dry eye can also lead to itching which makes you more likely to rub or touch your eyes, increasing your risk of infections or eye scratches. So be sure you’ve got a few bottles of artificial tears in your suitcase and travel bag.

Allergies can be murder on your eyes, so be sure to bring any antihistamines you might need, as well.

Here are a few extra tips for combating dry eye while traveling:

  • Portable humidifier

In dry, arid climates, your eyes are likely to dry out, especially if you’re not used to such weather. You’re most vulnerable while you sleep, since this is the time when your eyes will get even drier. A small, portable humidifier can make any hotel room seem more like home, and you won’t have to wake up to painfully dry eyes.

  • Glasses

If it’s windy outside, throw on a pair of shades. This will block wind and debris from getting to your eyes. If you plan to hike, tour, or do other lengthy outdoor activities, always pack a pair of glasses to wear, whether they are prescription eyeglasses or not.

  • Stay hydrated

The most important step to keeping your eyes hydrated is to keep your body hydrated in general. Drink plenty of water while traveling. When your body feels it needs to conserve water, your eyes are one of the first places to suffer while vital water reserves are relegated to other areas.

Switch to single use contacts

Travelling can really throw a wrench into your hygiene routine, and while it may be okay to skimp on conditioning your hair, you really can’t afford to throw off a contact lens cleaning regimen. Single-use contacts make everything easier, especially for travel, and they decrease your risk of eye infection.

Single-use contact lenses can also be purchased online, saving you that extra hassle of contacting your optician while you’re trying to plan for a fun holiday.