Travel Hack: Contact Lens Cases

I know I’ve talked quite a bit about efficient, organized, and minimal packing when traveling. I’m certainly not perfect, but I’m WAY better than I used to be.

I assume I would be categorized as an over-packer, and that might be true. However, I don’t usually over-pack because I want lots of clothes and shoes. I over-pack because I travel much the same way I live my life—I want to be prepared for any possible scenario. And that usually means taking items ‘just in case’. Like . . . in case it rains, even though the forecast is sunny for a million days into the future; in case I get a blister; in case I get an eye infection; in case my backup battery stops working and I need a second one; in case the screw falls out of my glasses; in case I lose my medicine; in case we randomly decide to go hiking, horseback riding, or anything else ending in ‘ing’ that would require special clothes or shoes; in case the only plug in the room is 6 feet away; in case I need 8 Ziploc bags; in case I need to do laundry; in case, in case, in case!  Welcome to my brain; please don’t be scared. 🤪  So if my luggage is overweight it’s not because of clothes, it’s all the random stuff I might need, which of course weighs more than clothes!

Like I said, I’m way better than in the past, and I’m continually working on doing better or at least making everything else as minimal as possible. Toiletries are one area that can be easily simplified. I was recently talking to a few people about the contact lens case ‘method’ that I thought everyone knew about, and it was brand new to them. So I’ll share here in case it’s new to you also.

First, if I can get sample-size packets of regular toiletry items, I always do. Sometimes you get them in the mail or attached to a magazine . . . sample envelopes with shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. I save those for travel. I often check websites of items I use regularly and see if they sell travel envelopes or if they offer free samples (and they often do!) And for years I’ve always asked skincare stores or kiosks for samples, offering to pay a small price if they don’t usually sell them. I’m a consultant for Rodan + Fields, and they sometimes sell travel-sized items, and consultants can get or buy samples as well. (If you’re a customer or want to be, let me know if you need some samples for traveling.)

The next best thing for taking up minimal space is a contact lens case. They are inexpensive to buy, even in bulk. (I restocked recently and those above were $5.35 for 12 cases at Target.) They seal tight and don’t leak. They’re small and don’t take up much space. I often use them for creams and makeup where a little goes a long way and the regular container is fairly large and takes up a lot of space. It may not make sense for longer trips or specific products, but it’s the perfect size for a weekend trip and sometimes even a week-long trip.

Think: eye cream, Vaseline, moisturizer, foundation, hand lotion, cleanser, antibiotic ointment, hair gel, face serums, and sunscreen. Yes, even toothpaste and mouthwash work. And depending on your product and trip length, shampoo and conditioner work also. But also think about various medicines – a few ibuprofen, Tylenol, vitamins, etc. And I haven’t done this, but I’ve seen people use them even for small dose condiments they can’t live without – mustard, hot sauce, etc. Hahahaha! And lastly, if you aren’t taking much jewelry, a few pairs of stud earrings, small bracelets, or rings fit well in a contact lens case.

And if you’re like me and have this overwhelming desire to label them, there are several options. I use a label maker, of course! But if you don’t have one, I recommend writing on washi or masking tape with a Sharpie. I do not recommend writing directly on the case with a Sharpie because you may want to use it differently next time, and it often rubs off while you’re traveling.

So now you know! Maybe this is new to you or maybe you’ve been using lens cases for years. I recently heard about another method like this . . . a new one to me. So stay tuned for a report on that. 🙂


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