Vacations should be fun, and business travel as painless as possible. The last thing anyone needs to haunt them during their travels is eye trauma. Even if you don’t wear prescription glasses, you need to be aware of the risks traveling can pose to your eye health. Keep your eyes healthy and protected during your trips by following these easy preventative measures.

Pack some eye drops

Even if you don’t have dry eyes normally, you should still pack some artificial tears with you while you travel. Travelling will often mess with your diet and sleep schedule, putting you at a greater risk of dry eyes. You may also be entering a different climate that your eyes aren’t used to. For example, leaving your humid home state of Florida and vacationing in the arid deserts of Arizona is going to take your eyes by surprise.

Depending on where you are staying, you may also be able to ask for a humidifier from hotel room staff. Keeping the air from getting too arid during the night will help combat dry eye while you sleep.

Don’t forget the sunglasses

Packing sunglasses for your tropical beach vacation is a no-brainer, but you should actually bring your shades no matter where you’re going, even if it’s just visiting the in-laws in the middle of fall.

Damage to your eyes from the sun is cumulative, so the more frequently you protect yourself, the lower your chances of your eyes being permanently damaged from UV rays. Be sure you use 100 percent UV-resistant sunglasses because shaded lenses that don’t filter UV light can actually do more harm than good. Sunglasses from can be easily fitted to your prescription, as well, so you can protect your eyes and have clear vision. 

Get a comprehensive eye exam

If you’re planning on traveling for an extended period of time, make sure you are all caught up on your eye exams before you leave. A clean bill of health before you travel will put your mind at ease, and if there are any concerns, you’ll be able to address them before you leave town.

Consider allergies

When you travel, you are entering a different climate. You may be exposed to allergens or debris that you are not used to. If you have allergies, they may flare up while you travel. If you don’t think you have allergies, a trip may actually be the time you learn that you do. So bring some over-the-counter antihistamines or other allergy medication and remember not to rub your eyes if they begin to itch. Applying a cool compress to your closed eye can relieve redness, itching, and irritation without damaging your eye.

Expect to lose your lenses

Always prepare for the worst. Nothing can ruin your vacation like having to put up with blurry vision, so be sure to pack an extra pair of prescription eyeglasses and several extra pairs of contact lenses, if you use them. Backup lenses are important in general, but during travel, they become even more crucial.

Running out of contact lenses on a vacation can be especially risky because people are likely to keep using their old contacts, raising their risk of eye infections.

Stay hydrated

In the hustle and bustle of travel, it can be easy to forget to drink a proper amount of water. Take a full bottle of water with you in the car or on the plane, because you need to stay hydrated even if you’re not moving around a lot. And be sure to keep yourself hydrated during all your trip activities.

When your body runs low on water, your eyes are one of the first places to feel it. When your eyes become dehydrated, they’ll feel irritated or itchy, and they may even become painful. In severe cases, your vision might suffer.

Protect your eyes from water

If your travels include a swimming pool or beach, then you’ll want to protect your eyes. The best course of action is to wear goggles whenever you go underwater. Goggles will keep harmful bacteria and debris from getting into your eyes. If you don’t want to wear goggles, then at least make sure not to wear your contact lenses underwater. Doing so puts you at an increased risk of eye infections as contact lenses will trap microorganisms against the surface of your eye.

Consider disposable lenses

If you wear contact lenses, traveling can be stressful. Properly cleaning and caring for your lenses while you’re on the go can be difficult. Rather than risk it, consider switching to daily disposables, at least for your trip. If you have your current prescription, then you don’t even have to return to the eye doctor to get these travel lenses. You can order them directly from and save both time and money.