Why Travelers Should Buy Cheap Sunglasses

As a backpacker, and a guy who has visited more than 100 countries — I’ve realized how important it is to travel light and cheap.

Of course, it’s necessary to travel with a few expensive items (i.e. electronics) such as iphones, laptops (if you work remotely), kindles, etc — but when it comes to apparel and clothing accessories, you can leave all your expensive items at home. It’s not worth taking the risk of getting them lost, stolen or damaged.


Over the years, I’ve lost the following items on the road:
– $160 Ray Ban sunglasses
– $300 North Face winter jacket
– $350 JORD watch

… amongst many others.

As a result, my entire wardrobe from head to toe + accessories is under $150USD.  Now I don’t have to worry about losing items, or getting them damaged because I can buy another one without breaking my bank account!

Out of all the clothing items and accessories, I think it’s most important to travel with cheap sunglasses.  I have seen dozens of travelers (including many of my friends) who have lost their expensive sunglasses abroad.  It’s almost inevitable, beacuse they are so small and light-weight, that they can easily get misplaced or forgotten.

Especially those times when you are doing fast-paced activities, like jet skiing, riding on a motorbike or an ATV, your sunglasses are vulnerable to escaping your head and being lost forever.

Not only for extreme sports, but you can also lose your sunglasses at the dinner table if you put them aside and forget to grab them when you walk out. This actually happened to me in Florence, and when I went back to retrieve them 30 minutes later, they were gone.  In most cases, people will steal your nice pair of sunglasses if given the opportunity.

Here are 3 main benefits of traveling with cheap sunglasses

1. You Can Replace Them Easily

Lost them in the ocean?  Left them at your friend’s house?  You can easily replace your sunglasses at a cheap price.  If you’re an anxious person like I am, this will take some stress off your shoulders because it’s one less thing to worry about.  Over the last 2 years, I have gone through 4 different pairs of sunglasses (lost one in Bolivia, one in Fiji, one in Prague and one in Seoul).

2. You Can Bring More than One

What’s better than one pair of sunglasses? Two pairs!  Even three pairs!  The options are unlimited when you travel cheap — you can pack new styles, colors and frames in your backpack and pull them out for any occasion.  If you only bring one expensive pair, then you are limited to wearing them every single day and that’s boring!

3. You Can Feel More Relaxed

With a cheap pair of sunglasses, you can feel more relaxed.  It just feels good to know in the back of your mind that your eyes are safe.  Let’s say you’re at the beach, one of the places where everyone needs sunglasses — you can take a snooze without worrying if someone is going to come by and snipe your glasses off your head.   Or what about if you’re walking around a city in the hot blistering sun, and take a pit stop/rest on a bench?  Same story – you don’t have to worry.


I hope you’ve learned a thing or two about why it’s so important to travel cheap, and especially, why you need to bring cheap sunglasses with you on your next adventure!

2 thoughts on “Why Travelers Should Buy Cheap Sunglasses

  1. I’ve lost expensive Oakley’s having a quick in Waikiki and having a few beers cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo. I’ve also lost various cheaper pairs and most recently mudfest in Korea. Lately, I just buy a couple pairs of $15-20 whenever I see a pair that I like. I still have other pairs but I try not to wear them so often when out carelessly.

  2. Drew, I have to respectfully disagree. I own multiple pairs of Vuarnet and Ray Ban sunglasses and I make certain I hold onto them. In my thirty plus years of travelling I have only lost one pair of sunglasses and they were an old scratched pair of Vuarnet’s (but I was still very bummed). Because they are expensive and top of the line sunglasses I always attach croakie retainers around them so they never leave my possession. When you treasure sunglasses like I do, I make certain I hold onto them. Cheers!

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