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Whether you are heading out for quick city break in North America, are off on a 2-week vacation to the Caribbean, or are packing for a long term backpacking trip to South East Asia, there is one travel accessory, you can’t leave home without. We are talking about sunglasses!

We’ll be honest, for years, we didn’t pay much attention to sunglasses. We would grab the cheapest pair upon arriving at our holiday destination without much consideration. We’d wear them for a few days, lose them, and repeat the cycle all over again.

Rocking our old cheap sunglasses while kayaking in the Galapagos

Not only was it a wasteful practice, but it also did absolutely no good to our eye health and comfort. This year, we decided that it was time to upgrade our sunglasses and as we discovered after spending hours picking out the best pair from Vision Direct, there were a few things to consider.

Things To Consider When Choosing Sunglasses


First and foremost, is comfort. Wearing sunglasses that are too tight or too loose will drive you crazy, so take the time to try on a number of styles and shapes before you choose one that fits just right. 

Slovenia Holiday: Ljubljana
Oksana & Max traveling around Ljubljana Slovenia


Let’s get back to basics and remember that one of the main reasons why we need sunglasses is for eye protection. What many of you may not know is that the coating which blocks UV rays is actually transparent, so the darkest colour lenses do not always provide the best protection.

Max rocking his Costa Del Mar Copra Polarized Sunglasses from Vision Direct
Max rocking the Costa Del Mar Copra Polarized Sunglasses from Vision Direct

Instead, UV rays protection is divided into 4 UV Protection Categories, ranging from 0-4.

    • UV 0 lenses let in 80-100% of UV light and do pretty much nothing to protect your eyes.
    • UV 1 lenses let in 43-80% of UV light and are considered to be a fashion accessory more than anything
    • UV 2 lenses let in 18-43% of UV light and provide sufficient protection on cloudy days
    • UV 3 lenses let in 8-18% of UV light and are considered an ideal UV rating for everyday wear
    • UV 4 lenses let in only 3-8% of UV light and are actually considered to be suitable only for high altitude activities on activities on the water.


Durability is an important factor to consider when choosing sunglasses suitable for travel. High quality goes a long way in ensuring that your sunglasses last you for more than just one trip. Remember that they’ll spend a good amount of time in your backpack, on your neck, or sun chair.

You’ll take them to the beach, wear them while hiking or exploring the city. A good pair, like frames made with plastic or acetate, should be able to withstand some wear and tear.

Sunglasses on the beach, Costa Rica
Are your sunglasses durable enough to take to the beach?


If there is one thing we advocate for the most in sunglasses it’s polarization. Polarized lenses eliminate glare and enhance color contrasts, making them a perfect choice for outdoor activities, particularly those on snow or water.  Here is a cool video that explains exactly how the polarized lenses work: 

Finding a good pair of polarized sunglasses was at the top of our consideration list, so we did a lot of research to find the best-rated brands and technologies. We ended up going with Maui Jim’s, a brand that’s known for their patented, colour-infused lens technology that wipes out 99.9% of glare.

Max wearing the Costa Del Mar Copra Polarized Sunglasses from Vision Direct
Max wearing the Costa Del Mar Copra Polarized Sunglasses from Vision Direct


If you wear prescription glasses on a daily basis, it’s worth considering getting a pair of prescription sunglasses as well. If they are expensive to get back home, consider purchasing a pair while you are abroad. You’ll be surprised how much more affordable they are in places like China, Vietnam, or even Eastern Europe!

Bring your prescription or a pair of existing glasses with you and the optician in any country around the world will be able to replicate it. No matter the brand or model of your favourite sunglasses, virtually any pair can be fitted with prescription lenses for a fraction of what you would pay at home.

Add that to your list of travel perks!

Looking for a great place to buy high-quality sunglasses?

We grabbed ours from Vision Direct, an online eyewear leader in over 20 countries worldwide and found lots of great high-quality sunglass options for a great price! 

What are some of your favourite sunglass brands? 



Disclaimer: This post was brought to you by VisionDirect.com.au, but all opinions expressed in this article are ours.


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