Festival Travel Tips with Your Contact Lenses
With festival season coming up, it’s time to start thinking about what you need to take with you to make the most of it. If you’re a contact lens wearer or travelling with someone who is, this checklist will make your festival experience go smoothly and keep your eyes safe. With just a bit of preparation and awareness, it’s easy to wear contact lenses even at a festival. These easy to follow tips will help prevent infections and eye problems from forming and will ensure you can really enjoy every moment of the festival without irritation or pain.
Switch to travel-friendly dailies
Festivals typically aren’t the most hygienic of environments, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your contacts at home. If you usually wear monthly lenses which you clean and store each night, then switching to daily lenses will make life a lot easier while you’re on the go and spending a long weekend at a festival. Because dailies don’t need to be stored, you don’t need to be worried about keeping them safe each day – you can just take them out at the end of the day and throw them away. If you will be hitting a few of the festivals this year, why not buy a travel pack to make it easier? Travel packs cut down on the amount of space you’ll need to allocate to your lenses and will also ensure you have everything you need in one place while you’re away from home. Remember to pack a few extra pairs in case they get lost or damaged.
Bring a case
This tip might seem contradictory given the recommendation to switch to daily lenses but bringing a lens case with you can actually be helpful as it will give you somewhere to clean your lenses if you get something in them during the day. Keep a bit of lens cleaner in the bottom of the case so you can clean them quickly and wash off any dirt that has got stuck to them. Also, if you’re getting in the festival spirit by wearing different coloured lenses, an extra case will keep them safe in between wear.
Festival season coincides with the summer months so hopefully you will get to enjoy plenty of sunshine, but this comes with some problems if you’re not well-prepared. UV rays don’t just affect your skin – they can also damage your eyes and while some lenses can provide a little protection from the sun, they’re not a suitable alternative to sunglasses. So, in addition to sun tan lotion, make sure you bring a pair of shades with you.
It can be easy to get dehydrated at a festival – the combination of sunshine and drinking alcohol can result in your body gasping for water. But this can also impact your eyes – when you become dehydrated, so do your eyes which can lead to them becoming dry and itchy. When you’re packing for the festival, stash a small bottle of eye drops in your bag to remedy this and add moisture to the surface of your eyes (just be sure you can use them on top of lenses). This provides a quick fix if you find your eyes are getting irritated but stick to drinking plenty of water throughout the day to prevent it occurring entirely.
Maintain proper hygiene
If you’ve ever attended a festival before, you’ll be well aware of how quickly your surrounding environment can become a haven for dirt and germs. It’s vital that you wash your hands properly before touching your eyes and lenses and use a bottle of antibacterial gel, or wet wipes if they’re all that’s available, to keep yourself clean and bacteria at bay. If you will be wearing make-up, wipes specifically for your eyes are a great way of conveniently cleaning make-up, sweat and dirt from your face while maintaining good ocular hygiene. They’ll also help prevent dryness and tiredness as well.
Don’t change your lenses outside of your own tent
Public toilets at a festival are never going to be considered sanitary, nor are they usually close to the campsite, so don’t handle your lenses in the toilet – any switching out or cleaning should only take place in your own tent. As long as you keep your tent as clean as is possible when you’re camping, it will most likely be the best place to apply or remove your contact lenses. It also means you can make use of a compact mirror to make the process easier rather than trying to apply them. Just make sure you thoroughly wipe your hands using an antibacterial wipe before touching your eyes, as you don’t want to get any bacteria or dirt in your eyes.
Prepare for hay fever
Summer brings with it the dreaded pollen count and if you’re spending long days outside at a festival, you’ll feel the effects in the form of irritating allergies and itchy eyes. Before you set off, check what the pollen count is expected to be so you can take the right amount of antihistamines with you. Eye drops also help to alleviate any redness and soreness quickly – just check with your optician before you go to make sure your lenses are suitable to be used with drops, removing them beforehand if not.
If you plan well enough, you shouldn’t encounter any problems with wearing your contact lenses at a festival. Just be cautious if an unexpected situation arises like swimming in a lake – if you wouldn’t wear your contact lenses while taking part at home, don’t risk it at a festival and just take your lenses out instead, as it could lead to an eye infection. As a final tip, bring your glasses with you in your suitcase as a backup option in case you run out of lenses or wind up losing those you brought with you – this way, you won’t miss out on any of the fun.