Which looks better, 1 or 2?

Half the time when the optometrist asks me that question, I don’t see a difference. How about you? Personally, I think they like to mess with us!

Contact Lenses

Rachel and I both wear contacts every day. Rachel can get by without them, but my eyes are pretty bad…as in anything more than 12 inches from my nose is blurry if I’m not wearing contacts or glasses. This would definitely infringe on the experiences I hope to have on our round the world (RTW) trip! Therefore, we need to ensure that I definitely have an ample supply of contacts with me to last the year. Here are a few things that we did and plan to do:

  • Both of us wear daily disposal contact lenses. They are great, but would take up a huge amount of space in our 30L backpacks, so we switched to bi-weekly disposable contacts. This required a visit to the eye doctor so they could do a fitting with the new contacts and give us a new prescription. 
  • We made sure to order extra so that we had a 3 month supply here in Virginia for when we return from our RTW trip. This way we won’t run into a situation when we return of not having contacts, having no vision insurance, and having expired prescriptions. 
  • Although we switched to bi-weekly lenses, we also have a good supply of daily wear contacts left over. We’re each going to bring some of those with us in case we ever are in a location where we run out of contact lens solution and can’t locate any. 
  • One of our destinations is Finland. Rachel has a friend that we will be visiting, and this will be around the mid-point of our trip. To limit space in our backpacks, we are likely going to send a care package to her that has a supply of contact lenses that we can then pick up for the second half of our trip. 
Random Tip!

This might come in handy for someone else. When I went to the eye doctor, we discovered that my prescription changed in one eye. As a result, I had a 6 month supply of contact lenses for that eye that were no longer the correct prescription. The original online retailer associated with my vision insurance company would not accept them back (the boxes were completely unopened) because it was outside their return timeframe. It was going to be like throwing money in the garbage! Guess who took them back? 1800Contacts.com. All they did was verify that the expiration dates were far enough out and that the boxes were unopened and in new condition. Done! They issued me a credit and I ordered the new contacts with the updated prescription. 

RTW eye chart

Glasses

As anyone who has flown knows, eyes can dry out pretty quickly on an airplane. Neither one of us like sleeping with our contacts either, so for long bus/train/plane rides, glasses would be more ideal. Both Rachel and I had old glasses, but the prescriptions were no longer correct and the styles were, shall we say, a la 2005

Several people we know had good luck with ordering their glasses online, which we had never done before. Two companies, Warby Parker and Fetch Eyewear, offer free “try at home” programs where you choose frames online, they ship you the frames, you try them on, and then ship the frames back (prepaid by them). If you like a frame style, you then order them with your prescription and a few weeks later they arrive on your doorstep. Both of us liked frames from Fetch Eyewear and went that route. The prices were great and 100% of profits are donated to animal welfare – nice!

It has been a long time since either one of us has regularly worn glasses, and we generally stick to contact lenses. However, we both like our new pairs and suspect we may wear them on a more regular basis while on the road. 

Prescriptions

We have scans of our new prescriptions that way we will have accessible on the road. This way, if we run into a situation where our contacts or glasses are damaged, lost or stolen, we can get our prescriptions filled. 

Any thoughts about travel healthcare? Please include those below or contact us!