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It’s pretty clear: Why I always pack 4 pairs of glasses while traveling

Jan. 25, 2022
4 min read
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I know some people wear glasses to make a fashion statement. I have over a dozen pairs of glasses myself. But it’s not just to have a pair to match every outfit in my closet.

Instead, I keep that many pairs of eyeglasses as a “just in case” — and even when I'm traveling, I pack more than a few backups.

Four, to be exact.

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As a seasoned traveler, I take packing for trips seriously. I ensure that, in addition to comfy shoes and a swimsuit, I pack a first aid kit, extra medication, sunscreen and four – yes, four – pairs of eyeglasses.

That may sound strange to some people, but life gets a little fuzzy without my glasses.

I have a pretty strong prescription (I don’t wear contacts), and when I’m not wearing my glasses, I can only clearly see what’s directly in front of me. That means if I only brought one pair of eyeglasses on a trip and something happened to them, my vacation would quickly become a disaster.

Without assistance, I wouldn’t even be able to get myself back to the airport, let alone through security screening. Reading signs? Impossible. Navigating busy streets? A guaranteed one-way trip to the emergency room.

Because my vision is so poor, I’ve taken what may seem like drastic measures to ensure I always have a backup pair of eyeglasses while traveling. And a backup for my backup.

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You may not have thought about what could happen if you’re stranded on vacation without a clear way to see, so here are some tips that have worked for me over the years.

Keep your prescription handy

Trying to find an optometrist in a foreign country can be pretty tricky, especially if you don’t speak the local language. Even if you do manage to find one, you may also be out of luck if you lose your eyeglasses and don’t have your prescription on hand.

I suggest keeping a copy of your prescription where you can quickly locate it, if necessary. I keep a copy on my cell phone, but it may also help to keep a copy where you hold other essential documents such as your passport and travel itinerary. If you find an optometrist abroad, it’ll be helpful (and speed things along) if you have your prescription.

Get travel insurance

We’ve talked a lot in recent months about travel insurance and how it can help you while traveling during the coronavirus pandemic. But some travel insurance plans may also come to the rescue if you find yourself in a pinch and lose (or break) your eyeglasses.

For instance, Trawick International has a partnership with On Call International that provides travel assistance during your trip. This service can assist with replacement medication, medical devices and eyeglasses or corrective lenses. On Call will arrange for the shipment of replacement eyeglasses or corrective lenses, according to Trawick. Note that you are responsible for payments of all costs related to these services.

Other insurance providers such as Atlas International offer vision benefits for travel purposes. This insurance provides an emergency eye exam up to $150 with a $50 deductible per occurrence (plan deductible is waived).

If you’re looking for a plan that may cover replacement eyeglasses or contact lenses, insurance marketplace websites like InsureMyTrip and Squaremouth can help you pick a plan that best fits your travel needs and budget. Just make sure to read the fine print, as many insurance plans don’t offer this option.

Keep your eyeglasses in separate locations

I’m nothing if not an over-planner, and I tend to plan for the worst-case scenario. When it comes to my vision, that means keeping my pairs of glasses in several different places while traveling.

I keep one pair, obviously, on my person, and one back at my hotel room or Airbnb. I store one pair in my carry-on luggage when traveling, typically in my backpack. And while I rarely check bags anymore, if I’m forced to gate check, then I’ll stick a pair in my checked luggage.

That way, in case I lose or break my glasses or my bag is misplaced or stolen, I have at least one backup pair somewhere close by, and my vacation isn't completely ruined.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more