If you are getting ready for a big trip, you are well aware there are many things you need to prepare before heading out. Even little things like chapstick and an extra pair of underwear can easily slip your mind. So with something super important, like your child’s eyesight, you should take some time to really think about everything you need to bring. When our Master J first started wearing glasses, we quickly learnt some valuable lessons!
Whether you need to buy your contacts from your optometrist or order new prescription glasses online, you should make sure to consider these steps in advance so you are not rushing at the last minute. Some of these items you can quickly pick up, others will require some planning in advance.
This post is part of our Travel Advice series for family travellers
Keep Glasses in a Case
This one may seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning because it is so important! Keep your glasses in a case, no matter which bag you are packing them in. Between shoving things in the overhead bins or under seats in the car, items in your bag can easily get smashed and bent. A good case will protect your glasses no matter the pressure they are under.
Bring A Backup Pair
Even though we use our glasses on a daily basis, it is important to remember, glasses are fragile. They can easily get bent, broken, or even stolen. Having a backup pair of glasses can help make sure you can see when your primary pair can no longer be used. Maybe it is a temporary solution until you can get a new pair of glasses, maybe you will be wearing them for the rest of your trip. Either way, you need to be able to see, and bringing an extra pair ensures just that!
And of course, pack them in a case!
Store Glasses In Your Carry On
We all know the exhaustion you feel when your plane just landed and you are heading over to the baggage carousel. You are patiently waiting for your bag, but it is taking a bit long. One bag after another is picked up and you start getting more and more anxious. You quickly realize, all you have with you at your new location is whatever is in your carry on.
Always store your glasses or contact lenses in your carry on luggage. It will be significantly more stressful if you rely on the airlines to get you your bag quickly. Instead, bring a pair of glasses or extra contacts so you can be able to see no matter what gets lost. The good part? They are small and can easily be slipped into your bag.
Bring Current Prescription
If you are unfortunate enough to lose your glasses, break them, or run out of contacts, you may need to find another solution at your new location. Even if you do find a great pair of glasses or store willing to sell you lenses, you now have the issue of your prescription. You may have it memorized, but most places will not let you walk out with any old prescription.
For this reason, have your current prescription on hand. Confirm when it expires and that it is up to date. It could be a good idea to have this in a printout, but storing it on your phone or somewhere you can print it out is also a good choice. The main thing is making sure you do not need to visit with an eye doctor in order to have your sight restored.
Repair Kit & Lens Cloth
This is going to be important no matter the quality of your glasses or where you are going. A small repair kit and lens cloth will be important if your glasses get a minor bend or smudge on the lens. Using these proper tools are you travel throughout your new location is the best way to make sure you will have a good pair the next day!
While a repair kit & lens cloth is important, cleaning wipes specifically meant for glasses is important to not just your eyesight but your skincare! If you are travelling somewhere it is hot (or for ladies who love their foundation!), you will likely need to give your glasses a good clean every now and again.
Cleaning wipes meant for glasses will not only remove bacteria, but it will ensure there are no smudges on the lenses when you put your glasses back on. This differs from a lens cloth, which is really just meant to remove dust and a smudge or two. It is not designed to remove sweat, makeup, or oil, whereas glasses cleaning wipes can (bonus points – you can also use these for cleaning your kids sticky iPad screens!)
If you are going somewhere especially sunny, it is good to bring a billed cap. This way you can easily still see with your prescription glasses but you will be protecting your eyes, and face, from the harmful UV sun rays. This was one of the biggest lessons we learnt with Master J who really struggled with his glasses once we were out in the sun.
If budget will permit an extra pair of glasses, another great option is to look into some prescription sunglasses or transition lenses. They can provide the same level of sight as your regular prescription glasses, just with the shades that will protect your eyes from the sun. These can be especially useful if you are on a road trip or out on the water where the sun is expected to be pretty bright.
If you would like to take this a step even further, consider polarized lenses. They can help prevent glare when looking at reflected surfaces like a car or the ocean, two things essential for any fabulous road trip!
Those of us with prescription glasses know how frustrating it can be at times to deal with those little lenses. But being prepared can make it significantly easier to tackle the issues you may face on a trip. Whether it is a short weekend getaway or a long haul trip, you will want to make sure you always have what you need to see!