Should you take monthlies or dailies? How much contact lens solution should you take? Should you take your usual glasses?
Before I embarked on my Round The World adventure, I asked my optician what he thought and his advice served me well so I thought I would share it with you:
Monthlies vs. dailies
The first piece of information my optician parted to me was that if you are happy with your lenses, stick with them. Travelling with lenses you’ve never tried or tested before is risky because eyes can be very sensitive, and it could be one or two months before you realise that a new pair is causing problems.
However, if you’re reading this with plenty of time to spare and have the opportunity to try a more travel-friendly lens, definitely consider the following:
- If you wear monthlies, opt for a pair that you can sleep in. Long days that roll on well into the sociable night, overnight buses, and air conditioning make 8 hour lenses less practical. You want to ensure that if you accidentally fall asleep in your lenses or if you have a long day out, you won’t be left gouging your eyes out.
- Dailies are great for backpacking trips lasting three to four months, especially where sanitation is poor and quality contact lens solution is difficult to buy. Bottles of solution will only weigh you down, even if they’re travel sized, and dailies are more hygienic than monthlies. Plus, if you lose or damage a lens it’s not as troublesome as you’ll be due a new pair the next day.
- My optician recommended that for a year-long trip I should continue using my monthlies. He didn’t think that I would want to carry a large expensive box of lenses backpacking. My monthlies took up next to no room, and I carried two bottles of solution to last me four month until I could buy more.
- Dailies can be almost double the price of monthlies. For me, the bottom line was that I couldn’t justify the extra expense when my monthlies were working just fine.
I wore monthlies for the entirety of my trip. My only regret is that I didn’t upgrade to a pair that could be worn night and day (24hrs).