Anyone who loves their sunglasses (and you know that includes us) understandably wants to ensure they don’t get damaged during travel. Our best advice? It comes as a rhyme: If they’re not on your face, keep them in a case!

In this handy guide, we’ll provide all the sunglasses-packing tips you need to put your mind at ease.

Can You Bring Sunglasses on a Plane?

Yes, you can definitely bring sunglasses on a plane. You can bring sunglasses in your carry-on bag, or you can keep them in your checked luggage.

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6 Helpful Tips When Packing Sunglasses for Travel

With a little care and planning, you can rest easy knowing that your sunglasses will make it to your destination unscathed. Just keep the following packing tips in mind.

1. Wear Your Sunglasses or Keep Them in Your Hand Luggage (Carry-On Bag)

While it’s perfectly acceptable to pack your sunglasses in a checked bag, we recommend keeping them with you. 

Wearing your sunglasses or having them in your carry-on is helpful because:

  • It’s nice to have your sunglasses available when you get where you’re going—especially if they’re prescription or your destination is sunny.
  • In the unlikely event you’re separated from your checked luggage, you’ll have access to your sunglasses.
  • Eyewear is more likely to get damaged in a checked bag than in hand luggage.

If packing your sunglasses in a checked bag is the only option, just be sure to pack them safely in a case. You can also give them a little extra padding by placing the case in the middle of a stack of clothes.

2. Use a Rigid or Hard Case

Cases for eyewear are generally either hard or soft. Soft cases will indeed protect lenses from getting scratched, but they don’t offer as much protection for the frames during travel. Choosing a sturdy case that holds its shape will help ensure your sunglasses don’t get smashed or bent if you accidentally sit on or drop your bag. Plus, having your sunglasses in a hard case makes them easy to find and grab in a large or crowded carry-on.

See some recommendations for hard cases below. Packing multiple pairs of eyeglasses and sunglasses? Consider a travel case designed for carrying more.

Parker Case in Midnight

Parker Case

Midnight

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Parker Travel Case in Walnut

Parker Travel Case

Walnut

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3. Pack a Repair Kit

Unless you’re bringing a back-up pair of sunglasses, it’s a good idea to pack a glasses repair kit. We know it might sound over the top, but travel repair kits are typically quite small and inexpensive. If your sunglasses pop a screw in the middle of your trip, it’ll be an easy fix and will help you avoid buying a new pair or having to go without sun protection for your eyes.

4. Bring an Extra Pair

Bringing extra sunglasses on your trip means you’ll have backup if something happens to your other pair. (There are some things a travel repair kit simply can’t fix, unfortunately.) It also means you’ll have multiple frame styles to choose from while you’re away.

5. Pack a Cleaning Kit

What good are sunglasses if they’re too smudged up to see through clearly? Remember to pack a cleaning kit so that you can enjoy the sights on your trip to the fullest (we can help you clean your sunglasses the right way, too). A kit that includes a microfiber cloth and lens-cleaning spray is ideal.

Clean My Lenses Kit with Anti-Fog Spray

Clean My Lenses Kit

Multicolor

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6. Have Your Prescription Info Handy

If you have prescription sunglasses, don’t forget to bring a copy of your prescription with you—either physically or saved digitally. It’s always best to be prepared, especially if you’re going overseas, since traveling doesn’t always go precisely as planned. Having your prescription information handy means that you can get yourself another pair if you find yourself staying longer unexpectedly and your sunglasses break or get lost.

How to Pack Sunglasses Without a Case

Remember: A sturdy case is best when you’re packing sunglasses for travel. But if you’re reading this article too close to departure, you might not have time for eyewear case shopping—we get it. 

There are two main things to keep in mind when traveling with sunglasses: protecting the lenses from scratches and keeping the frames from breaking or bending. If you need to pack your sunglasses without a case, here are a few tips:

  • Slip your sunglasses into a sock to help prevent scratches.
  • Put your sunglasses in a hard container like a small box or Tupperware.
  • If your sunglasses would tumble around too much in the container you choose, you can pad extra space with socks or similar soft items.
  • If you’re packing your sunglasses in checked luggage, place your makeshift case between clothing items for additional, cushy protection.

Alternative Options for Glasses Wearers

Have you considered alternatives to traditional sunglasses? If there’s enough time before your trip, you could look into one of the options below that are popular amongst glasses-wearing travelers.

Light-Responsive Lenses

These lenses go by many other names. You may have heard someone refer to them as “light-adaptive,” “photochromic,” or “transition” lenses. These are eyeglass lenses that look like standard, clear lenses indoors, but when they’re exposed to sunlight, they darken and serve as sunglasses.

Light-responsive lenses are a great option for travel because they eliminate the need to pack two different types of eyewear.

Clip-On Sunglasses

Clip-on sunglass lenses are another alternative to traditional sunglasses. These tend to be favored by those who wear prescription eyeglasses daily. The big perk of these sunglasses is that you only need one pair of frames. But when traveling, you’ll still want to ensure these are safely packed in a hard case to avoid damage.

Travel lighter

Consider light-responsive lenses or Clip-Ons in lieu of traditional sunglasses.

Now That You Know How To Pack Your Sunglasses…

You’re ready to embark on your travels without worrying about damaging them (or your eyes from lack of sun protection). 

In fact, why not bring along some extra pairs? There’s no such thing as too many sunglasses. 😉

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