If you have special eye care needs, plan ahead before embarking on a big trip. Pack all of your eye care essentials, including eye drops, spare glasses and contact lenses, and your prescription information. (Learn More)

To ensure your eye health while traveling, take some extra precautions. Avoid wearing contacts on long flights, manage eye strain, and provide relief to your eyes via eye drops and warm compresses if they become irritated. (Learn More)

It can sometimes be confusing to find eye care while abroad. Be prepared with your prescription, and have a basic understanding of the health care system of the country where you are traveling. (Learn More)

Take some extra steps to anticipate eye needs you may encounter while traveling, and be prepared to address them. This will ensure your eyes stay healthy and you can focus on enjoying your travels. The last thing you want is for eye problems to get in the way of exploring new places.  (Learn More)

What to Bring

If you have specific eye care needs, you are well aware of what you need to keep your eyes healthy. Bring all of those items with you whenever you travel. Make sure to pack any additional items to address potential eye problems.

Typical items to bring to keep your eyes healthy while traveling include:

  • Eye drops.
    Whether you have prescription eye drops or just want to bring standard eye drops, having eye drops on hand is a great way to eliminate simple irritation that can be caused by swimming, the sun, or any irritants that get into the eyes while on your trip.
  • Extra glasses.
    If you have them, pack an extra pair of prescription glasses. Should anything happen to your glasses while traveling, you will be grateful to have an extra pair on hand.
  • Contact lens supplies.
    If you wear contacts, bring extra new pairs of lenses as well as a sufficient amount of lens solution to last you through your whole trip. You may also consider using disposable lenses while traveling so you don’t have to deal with cleaning and storage.
  • Lens prescription.
    Should anything happen to your glasses or contact lenses while traveling, you will be grateful to have your lens prescription on hand. Bring your lens prescription so you can quickly get your lenses replaced and be back to your adventure.

Tips for Keeping Your Eyes Healthy While Traveling

In order to protect your eyes while traveling, you must do more than just pack the right stuff. There are a few simple acts you can do to keep your eyes healthy while traveling. In addition to bringing your eye care supplies, try the following:

  • Don’t wear contacts for extended flights or car drives. Avoid irritating your eyes with cold, dry airplane or car air by wearing glasses from the beginning. Wearing contacts for extended periods of time increases the likelihood of your eyes becoming irritated.
  • Provide eye relief by applying a warm compress to your eyes after each long leg of your trip. Use water or an eye wash solution to flush out your eyes if they become irritated.
  • Manage eye strain while traveling by limiting screen time, adjusting lighting as best you can, and taking frequent breaks from reading or watching movies to allow your eyes time to rest.

Prior to traveling, do some research on your destination. If you are traveling somewhere that might expose you to allergies, bring allergy medication with you. Likewise, wearing sunglasses and a hat in sunny locations goes a long way to keeping your eyes happy and healthy.

Getting Eye Care While Abroad

If you find yourself in need of eye care while traveling abroad, you should be able to get the help you need. While it could take some effort to find the right office to visit in a country where you don’t speak the language, care should be available.

For people with a lens prescription, you don’t have to worry about not being able to get prescription lenses replaced abroad. While prescriptions may vary somewhat in format from country to country, the information on them is more or less universal. That is why you always want to travel with your prescription on hand.

For non-prescription-related eye care needs, hospitals and clinics around the world are prepared to help foreigners. Health care systems and coverage vary tremendously around the globe, however, so it’s smart to gain a basic understanding of the health care system of the country you are traveling to before you go there.

It is also a good idea to know how your own health and vision coverage works abroad. Some plans offer coverage for emergency health services needed abroad, while others don’t. You may also need to pay expenses upfront and then submit a claim for reimbursement. Supplemental travel health insurance is an option that can help ensure coverage of any health services you receive abroad.

Ensuring Your Eye Health

Before a big trip, make sure your routine eye care and exams have been taken care of. Next, take the time to plan ahead for any potential eye care needs you are likely to have while traveling. Pack eye care supplies, extra lenses, and prescription information.


Travel Tips for Your Eyes Online. (December 2019). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

How to Take Care of Your Eyes When You Travel. Growing Up Bilingual.

Understand Your Prescription. Extra Optical.

How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy When Traveling. TRIP.

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