Contact Lenses Holiday and Travel Checklist

During the summer months, we often see people returning from their holidays with avoidable eye problems. These most commonly arise because of a change in routine such as wearing different contact lenses for an extended period, using different solutions or poor hygiene.

It also important to protect your eyes from the sun as over exposure can cause sunburn to the front of the eye (photo-keratitis) as well as longer term damage.

Before travelling use the following checklist to make sure you have everything you need:

  • Solutions
  • Spare Lenses
  • Lens Case
  • Spectacles
  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles For Skiing or Swimming
  • Eyedrops

General care & advice:
Protect your eyes from the sun with a wide brimmed hat and good quality sunglasses that block 100 per cent of UV rays and carry the CE mark.

If you are prone to dry eyes ensure you have a plentiful supply of preservative free lubricants.

If you require medication for any known eye conditions ensure you have a plentiful supply.

If you have had a recent eye operation it is important to consult your ophthalmologist as to whether it is safe to travel.

If you suffer from severe pain, visual loss, or a sudden onset of new floaters you must seek urgent ophthalmological attention wherever you are.

Additional advice for contact lens wearers:

With modern airport restrictions, we can provide you with a letter confirming that you are a contact lens wearer and need to carry lenses and solutions in your hand luggage.

Make sure you pack your spectacles as well as an adequate supply of contact lenses and cleansing solution so you don’t run out and don’t change your hygiene regime.

Don’t over-wear your contact lenses. Stick to the usual recommended wearing time and cease wear if you have any redness, discomfort or blurring. IF IN DOUBT TAKE THEM OUT.

Ensure that any solutions purchased abroad are correct for your type of lens. Soft lenses, especially, must never be used with hard lens solutions.

Avoid wearing lenses for flights because of the dry atmosphere on the plane. If you are unable to remove them and your contact lenses do become dry and sticky then instil a few drops of preservative free lubricants and WAIT for them to mobilise so that they can be removed safely. This can take several minutes and may require several drops.

When travelling or sunbathing, be careful not to fall asleep with your lenses in.

We advise against swimming, showering or going in hot tubs wearing contact lenses as contact with water can greatly increase the risk of corneal infection. Prescription goggles are available (from £55.00).

If you must wear contact lenses for water sports, then tight fitting goggles should be worn over the top and the contact lenses should be removed afterwards when they are moving freely. The lenses should then be discarded if they are disposable or thoroughly cleaned and disinfected if they are not.

Follow the links here for further details on contact lens handling and maintenance, and for Do’s and Dont’s.

If you need to contact us for advice, please email: or phone 020 7224 5959