Subtitle: A travel tip for those who wear contact lenses, or know someone who does.
I hate traveling with more than a backpack. I like to feel free and unencumbered and there’s nothing worse than fighting your way onto a Circle Line train dragging a suitcase behind you. For years I have tried to balance my desire to travel light with my tendency to be very specific about what toiletries I will use. I like things to be natural and the funny thing about using natural products for years is that everything else, all the ‘normal’ lotions you can purchase, suddenly smell awful. Really awful.
For me, my natural toiletries are non-negotiable. I prefer life when the things I put on my skin aren’t potentially carcinogenic, leave a nasty residue (really, natural bar soap washes off so cleanly compared to body washes) or send my allergies into overdrive. It’s a shame then that most products come in large, unwieldy bottles and jars. Enter the contact lens case.
I’ve been doing this for years, maybe a whole load of other people have to, maybe I’m the only one, but the day I discovered that the middle bit that holds the lenses is removable, everything changed. With most types of monthly contacts, you change the case every 3 months. For a long time, I have been keeping them like a squirrel pursuing nuts before winter. If you want to travel light, I suggest doing the following with your old lens cases:
1/ pull out the central part that encloses the lens.
2/ wash the case and lid.
3/ refill with shampoo, condition, moisturiser, coconut oil…
4/ if your lotions are all roughly the same colour, label the pots with washi tape and a marker.
I find that one of those little pots is good for 3 or 4 applications (more if it’s a facial moisturiser) of whatever is inside, so a few of those, along with cutting off a chunk of bar soap, will last me for over a week of travel all the while taking up next to no room. Whenever I have embarked on longer travels, I pack more pots of each. I have even filled a pot with hand-washing liquid so that I can take fewer clothes and wash as I go.
Added bonus: those pot are miles beneath the 100ml flight limit, so you don’t even need to think about it.
Anything in the name of backpack-only travel.