The holidays are approaching! Grab some travel stocking stuffers from this list >>

11+ Tips for Packing Eyewear When You Travel

Travel Packing Tips for Glasses and Sunglasses

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using them, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps to keep this site running – thank you!

Both eyeglasses and sunglasses are essential to keep your eyes protected when you travel, and it always pays to know how to pack such essentials on the go. 

Eyewear is a very breakable addition to your packing list; let’s discuss all the ways to ensure you keep these items safe while exploring the world.

Top tips when packing eyewear for travel

MoKo Sunglasses Organizer

If you want a hassle-free experience when traveling with your eyewear, here are some helpful tips for you.

  1. Always keep your primary eyewear close. Whether it’s your prescription eyeglasses or your sunglasses, it’s best to keep the eyewear you wear the most when you travel close to you. Keep it in a dedicated and accessible section of your bag, the pocket of your shirt, or on a strap around your neck to be able to get it quickly when you need it. 
  1. Bring an extra pair – if you need it. Just in case you’re wearing prescription eyeglasses and you need something darker for your eyes, you can always bring another pair of sunglasses for your travels. However, if you have transition lenses then there’s no need for you to bring another pair. 
  1. Choose the right case. There are plenty of packable, lightweight, and minimalist glasses cases that you can bring when you travel. With the right case, you won’t have to worry about your glasses getting bent, scratched – or even worse! – broken. 
  1. Cleaning items are also important. A microfiber cloth or lint-free towel is the best cleaning item to make sure your eyeglasses and sunglasses stay clean and clear for your vision. You may also use cleaning solutions if available. 
  1. Bring a repair kit. It’s a common thing for nose pads to move a little out of place when you use your eyeglasses regularly. Don’t worry, it’s nothing that a quick push or a little tinkering with a screw can’t fix. Better yet, you can always bring your eyewear to your optometrist or optician and have it checked and tune it up – at no extra charge. 
  1. Keep them in a less crushable place. Consider the placement inside your bags as anywhere that gets extra pressure when packed and moved around from place to place can lead to breakage.

Tips when packing your prescription eyeglasses

There are different ways to pack your eyewear properly.

7. Bring your eyeglasses prescription in case something happens. A broken lens or totally damaged eyeglasses would need a replacement and it’s easier to get one when you have your prescription with you.

8. Invest in a good glasses case. We covered some of the best slimline glasses cases for travel that are super lightweight and packable, even for eyeglasses. 

Tips when packing your sunglasses

9. Make sure you bring a glasses case like these ones to keep your sunglasses protected. 

Tips when packing your contact lenses

10. Keep the liquid solution to 3.4 oz or 100ml for carry-on luggage to follow TSA standards for liquids. While medically necessary liquids can be allowed in larger quantities (if you are declaring them to TSA), it is not recommended to rely on this as something that will be allowed by your TSA agent.

11. Remember to bring your eye drops since your eyes do get more dry when you wear your contact lenses. 

How to pack and protect your sunglasses for travel without a case

There are two practical ways to pack your sunglasses or eyeglasses even without a case. Here they are: 

Wear them

Of course, the easiest way to carry your eyewear is to wear them. If you need a break from wearing your eyeglasses, you can always use a holder strap. For sunglasses, you can tuck them in front of your shirt or wear them like a headband. 

Use any of the following

Socks, stiff shoes, gloves or mittens, and even food containers can be used as a temporary storage place when you don't have a proper glasses case.

Another way is to use other items that you already have in your luggage to pad your glasses like the following: 

Clean socks – just make sure that the socks you choose are non-abrasive to keep your eyeglasses or sunglasses from getting scratched.

Gloves or mittens – similar to socks, gloves and mittens can also provide protection for your eyeglasses. Similarly, make sure you choose a glove or mitten with a soft, non-abrasive material. It might be another thing to consider when packing for cold weather travel!

Stiff shoes – if you’re keeping any stiff shoes (like boots or ski boots perhaps) inside your luggage, you can use the empty space to store your eyeglasses or sunglasses instead. 

Food container – another good place to stash your eyeglasses or sunglasses is food containers. Just make sure to choose a food container that will keep your eyewear safe and snug to avoid it being broken or scratched. 

Pack light with sunglasses/eyeglasses that take up less space

ThinOptics and Ombraz have plenty of glasses options that take up a little space thanks to their slim and packable design.
ThinOptics and Ombraz have plenty of glasses options that take up a little space thanks to their slim and packable design.

Aside from choosing packable cases, there are also glasses options that take up a little space thanks to their slim and packable design like the following: 

Slim Glasses 

Slim glasses may look fragile because of their thin design, but they’re actually durable and look more aesthetically pleasing than regular eyewear. The only downside to this is that thin and slim glasses tend to be more expensive.

If you want some options, ThinOptics would be a good place to start. These glasses pack up incredibly flat and small!

Folding glasses

Another option to pack light with eyewear is to choose folding glasses. Most of the time, this type of eyewear is available for reading glasses. Foldable glasses are very compact and take even less space. What’s more, you can fit the whole case in your pocket!

Wearable glasses

These reading glasses are extra special because when they’re not in use, you can wear them like a bracelet! See EyeWris for all the styles.

Armless sunglasses

You probably have a knot in your forehead reading about armless sunglasses. Like how is that possible? But yes, armless sunglasses exist.

In fact, Ombraz makes these unique sunglasses that won’t break, won’t fall off, pack flat, and are very comfortable to wear. They’re perfect if you need the kind of eyewear that won’t slip even when you have to move a lot. 

Brooke wearing Ombraz armless sunglasses
The Ombraz armless sunglasses pack super flat even in Brooke’s teeny tiny Baggallini pouch.

Best Types of Sunglasses For Your Trips

Not all colored sunglasses are the same. Some are fit for wet activities, others for bright days, and ones that will help you drive safely without distorting colors from road signs and traffic lights.

While it may seem that all kinds of sunglasses are the same, there are actually a few things to consider so you have the best sunglasses for your trip. Not all trips are the same, and neither are sunglasses!

Water-based for when you are on the beach 

While colors play a big role, the best sunglasses for a beach trip or any form of water activity have to do with functionality. Features like anti-slip pads and soft grip pads are quite helpful since water and sweat can cause your eyeglasses or sunglasses to slip easily.

For colors, sunglasses with green lenses will help filter blue light and reduce glare. You can also go with regular eyeglasses if you wear a hat

Bright days like summer

For bright days, you can wear eyeglasses with transition lenses or ones with an anti-glare coating. Tinted sunglasses also work to block out the harmful UV rays of the sun.

For added protection, wide-brim hats would be a good choice to offer shade and help protect your eyes and skin.

Long drives

If you’re prepping for a road trip, sunglasses are essential on your packing list to help minimize the sun’s glare. But not all colors are the same. When driving for a long time, the best color-tinted sunglasses would be amber, gray, and copper.

Why? Because these colors do not distort the colors of traffic lights and road signs, which are essential when driving. Transition lenses are also another option since they darken when exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun. 

Accessories and Care 

Accessories are important to care for your eyewear properly when you travel.
Image features products from Philley and Chums (see this post), as well as Ftojos Premium Eyeglass Straps and Compact Eye Glasses Repair Kit Case.

Another important aspect of traveling with your eyewear is the accessories. You would need the following to make sure that your eyewear is cared for properly:

Straps, also called eyewear retainers, allow you to hang your eyewear around your neck when you want to keep them handy. It’s a hands-free way of keeping your eyewear close, especially if you’re someone who frequently takes off your glasses. This is better than just holding your glasses in hand which you can easily misplace. 

Alternatively, you can invest in the Ombraz armless sunnies, which come with their own built-in strap.

Cases protect your eyewear from getting scratched, bent, or broken. You can choose between a hard case (which is the strongest and most durable case option – but also the bulkiest) a semi-hard case or a soft case. Each type of case has their own advantages and disadvantages and it all depends on where you’re going and your preferences. 

Cleaning cloths, especially microfiber or lint-free towels, are the best types of cloth to clean your eyewear. You may have the idea of using the clothes you wear to clean your eyeglasses or sunglasses, however, they may prove to be abrasive and instead scratch the surface of your eyewear over time. 

And that’s it! I hope you’re ready now that you know everything you need about packing your glasses when you travel.

Let us know in the comments section below which of these tips you liked the most.

Add your voice & leave a comment!

Gear We Use

speakeasy hidden pocket travel scarf ad
Speakeasy Hidden Pocket Scarves


Splice Jaisalmer Reversible Tunic
Splice Reversible Jaisalmer Tunic


Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes
Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes


tom bihn 3d organizer toiletry bag
Tom Bihn 3D Organizer Cube


Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack - Fits in the palm of your hand!
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack


Turkish Travel Towels


Travel Resources

HPL Learnables

Handbag Packing Masterclass – Learn to pack your lightest bag ever in this revolutionary packing class run by HPL founder, Brooke.

Creative Ways to Minimize Your Toiletry & Beauty Kit – Practical tips alongside DIY recipes designed to help you pack lighter, smaller & with fewer liquids. (Also included as a bonus to Handbag Packing Masterclass.)

Book Your Trip

Viator – Enhance your trip experience by booking from thousands of tours across the globe. – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply