Traveler's guide: how to pack your sunglasses

A traveler’s guide to packing sunglasses

Along with phone chargers, watches, and headphones, sunglasses are among the easiest items to misplace or forget. But they’re essential, especially when traveling to a sunny destination. Here are some tips to make traveling with your trusty shades less stressful, and free of mishaps.

Tip #1: The backup

When flying, taking a train, or boarding a long bus ride, is to double up on your sunglasses. Put one pair (your more expensive, or favourite pair) in your carry-on bag and the other in your luggage; with this, you have a backup pair in the event of a baggage loss/delay. Another reason a pair of shades in your carry-on is essential is because of protecting your eyes during the ride, a task often neglected. Reminder, courtesy of Web MD, plane windows, car windshields and glass in general block UVB but not UVA rays so don’t skip the shades (or the sunscreen for that matter) just because you’ve boarded a vehicle.

Tip #2: The hard case

When it comes to packing away sunglasses, always opt for a hard case, especially for the pair of sunglasses that gets packed into your luggage. We all know airport staff are sometimes less than gentle with luggage, and this extra precaution prevents unpacking a pair of smashed shades when you arrive at your destination. If possible, even the sunglasses in your carry on or purse should be in a solid case as well, to avoid that sinking feeling that follows sitting on your lenses. Bonus tip: got a surplus of those squishy soft sunglass cases? Use them to put wound-up phone chargers, headphones and small cords to avoid tangled or missing electronic cable items.

Tip #3: The repair kit 

This next tip is an easy one to come by: always pack a tiny, portable sunglass repair kit when you take to your travels. Make sure it includes backup screws and a tiny screw driver in the standard sunglass size. The most common issue with shades is a loose or detached arm and earpiece, so these are the most essential tools in these kits (available anywhere that sells eyewear, drugstores, and online). The easiest way to avoid loose earpieces on your shades is by never hanging them off your shirt collar, which stresses one arm more than the other. And remember, it’s easier to fix a loose arm than one that’s fallen off your sunglasses completely, so keep the kit in your bag, and tighten screws as soon as you get a moment to.

Tip #4:  The lense cloth

The final tip is the easiest. In every sunglasses case, as well as in your repair kit, keep a microfiber lens cloth. You’re less likely to neglect wearing shades in the sun if they aren’t a smudged-up detriment to your vision. Plus, having these on hand means being able to clean a camera’s lens at the drop of a hat for crystal clear pictures on vacation as well. Happy travels!