Whether you own sunglasses or not, this post is for you. Imagine that here you are all ready for your trip to sunny ‘wherever-it-might-be-land’ and you reach for your travel bag to realize you don’t have any sunglasses. Perhaps you lost your pair of sunglasses recently and need to make sure you get some before you arrive. You might even already have a go to pair of sunglasses but want another pair for the beach. I’m not going to tell you what kind of sunglasses you might need. Only you will know that. What I can do is give you some advice on how to make sure that you find the best sunglasses for you at the best price.
What I’ve learned when it comes to buying travel sunglasses is that in general, don’t cheap out. What I mean by that is that you want to ensure your glasses meet the following classifications.
- They are the style you want (colour, design, and maybe even brand)
- They fit you
- They are safe
Let’s start with the first item, style. This is entirely up to your tastes. Do you want big aviators that make you look like Johnny Law? Maybe what I call ‘bug glasses’ that so many of the tiny Hollywood starlets wear that make them look like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. Whatever your style, make sure that you listen to your friends that you are with, or even a stranger (friend you haven’t met yet?) when trying them on, rather than the salesperson that may be only looking for a commissioned sale.
Secondly, make sure they fit and are comfortable. Travel sunglasses may be put into a variety of situations. Will these sunglasses handle parasailing 200ft in the air, dropping off of a scooter in Koh Phangnan, kicked in a beach volleyball match. You name it, they might be there.
Lastly, make sure that the sunglasses are safe. You might be laughing, thinking that sunglasses are for safety, how could they be unsafe. Well, I didn’t believe it either but..
Cheap sunglasses can be worse for your eyes than no sunglasses at all!
Here’s why! When you are not wearing sunglasses, your eye naturally controls the amount of light it will let in and this minimizes harmful uv light. Wearing quality sunglasses will not only shade light from your eye so that you don’t have to squint, but will also protect you from harmful ultraviolet light and may even be polarized. “Polarized lenses contain a special filter that blocks this type of intense reflected light, reducing glare “(Source). Cheap sunglasses, however, will shade your eye from the bright light, opening your iris up…BUT LETS ALL THE ULTRAVIOLET IN! What this means is that if you get those cheap knock off ray bans, you might be doing yourself a world of hurt, even if you look great and it seems like a super deal. When I was in Laos, you could find these for about $5 USD. I bought so many. I lost so many. It wasn’t until after that I realized that I should have invested in one decent pair of quality glasses rather than ones that could eventually blind me (cue dramatic music here)..
Let me be clear…Cheap does not refer here to the cost that you pay, but the quality of the sunglasses. You can pay heaps of money for cheap sunglasses and pay next to nothing for quality ones. You only get one pair of eyes..I think…well, who knows what science truly holds. Let’s work under the assumption that you only get one pair of eyes, okay? Take care of them and you’ll be able to see what this world has to offer