One Item I’d Never Travel Without

Health & Safety, Packing & Wardrobe — By on June 18, 2010 at 2:00 pm

by Holly C. Corbett
LG Executive Editor

One of the biggest questions you’ll ask yourself before any big trip is, “What should I pack?” While what you ultimately decide to cram into your backpack or suitcase is as individually personal as your fingerprint (for example, I’ll schlep around books and moisturizer while my fellow Lost Girls would never consider them travel essentials), there are some things that are just necessary.

One of those items I wished I’d brought with me during my RTW adventure is something I didn’t think much about until I was doing my nightly getting-ready-for-bed ritual in group bathrooms inside hostels: disposable contact lenses. I’m pretty much blind without my contacts, but I’ve long worn monthly lenses. Looking back, it’s no surprise why I got a few eye infections during my travels with all the new kinds of bacteria I was exposed to that probably multiplied in my plastic lens case. Plus, my eyes were often bloodshot and irritated from getting dust and grime in my eyes during dusty bus rides in Peru or chicken-filled matatu vans in  Kenya.

Since returning from the trip, I’ve started using daily disposables (no more carrying around disinfectant solution and cases!), and my eyes look and feel so much healthier. I really like 1 day Acuvue moist contact lenses because I don’t get dry-eye even after long plane rides, and they have UV protection to help shield my eyes whether I’m at the beach or on a hike (of course I still wear sunglasses!). They cost about $2 per pair, and are so worth it because I don’t have to buy solution anymore and rub my eyes a lot less (which also lowers my risk of getting infection-causing bacteria in my eyes). Who would have thought something so simple would affected how I felt so much?

Do you have any items nobody told you were essential but found them to be invaluable once you were on the road? Or any items that you wish you had why traveling because they would have made your life easier/more comfortable? Tell us—we want to know!

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  • Melissa says:

    Contacts became such a pain in the butt, so I decided to just go get LASIK. Do it! Best thing ever, then you’ll never have to worry about glasses or contacts while traveling! 😀

  • I cannot see without contact lenses so they are just as critical for me to pack than my passport. I have only been asked once what they were, but I do wonder what would happen if they removed a box of contacts because they float in liquid!