It is difficult to make a choice on the type of sunglasses to bring when traveling because it really depends on the place you are going to travel. There are many pros and cons of traveling with either prescription or regular sunglasses. If you’re still unsure which you should be bringing on your trip, see analysis below.

Prescription Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes Better

Regular or Prescription Sunglasses

You might not think about it, but the sun is dangerous for your eyes. UV rays can cause cataracts, macular degeneration and even blindness if you’re exposed to them too much. Prescription sunglasses can help protect against this by filtering out harmful UV rays.

Prescription Sunglasses offer Enhanced Clarity

The biggest draw of prescription sunglasses is their enhanced clarity. Regular sunglasses don’t block out 100% of UV rays and can make it harder to see things clearly when you’re out in the sun. Prescription sunglasses will block out more UV rays, which means you’ll see better and have less eye strain while you’re outside. This can be especially beneficial if your eyesight is already impaired from cataracts or macular degeneration.

Prescription Sunglasses Block All UV Light

If you’re considering prescription sunglasses, the best way to ensure they’ll protect your eyes is to get a pair that blocks 100% of UV light. The American Optometric Association has strict guidelines for what constitutes an eye-safe sunglass lens: A lens should block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays and have no visible distortion at any angle or distance (see image below).

Prescription Sunglasses Provide Protection Against Glare

The most common reason people wear prescription glasses is because they haven’t been able to find contact lenses that fit well enough to provide adequate vision correction without causing irritation or pain in their eyes. While contact lenses can be an excellent solution, they aren’t always practical β€” especially if you work outside or participate in sports like skiing or snowboarding where goggles would be too big and uncomfortable to wear over them constantly throughout the day.

Bring Prescription Sunglasses

Regular Sunglasses Are Easier to Replace

If you break or lose your regular sunglasses, you can easily pick up another pair in your destination city. You might not even have to buy them β€” if you’re staying at a hotel or resort with a gift shop, they may have a few pairs available for guests to use while they’re there.

Regular Sunglasses Can Damage Your Eyes

If you wear regular sunglasses, you might want to reconsider bringing them on your trip. While they might be good for protecting your eyes from the sun and keeping them from drying out, they aren’t as effective at blocking other types of light. For example, if you’re driving at night or walking along a street with dim lights, those lights will still be able to enter through regular sunglasses and cause glare.

Regular Sunglasses Make You Look Terrible

If you wear prescription glasses, you probably already know that regular sunglasses don’t fit over them very well. What’s more, they often make you look terrible because they’re too dark or don’t fit correctly. This can be especially noticeable if you have a large head or an unusual shape.

Regular Sunglasses Do Not Provide Eye Protection


If you wear regular sunglasses, they provide protection against UV rays, but they do nothing for your vision. If your eyesight is poor without glasses or contacts and you need vision correction, then you should consider bringing prescription glasses along with your regular sunglasses on your trip.


In some cases, the choice is obvious. If your regular sunglasses have UV protection, there’s no need to bring prescription sunglasses. But if you’re concerned about how well your current frames protect you from the sun, you’d be wise to do some research and find out what’s best for your individual needs. Or, you can simply replace your old frames with a new pair that offer 100% UV protection.

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