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Best way to carry prescription sunglasses without a purse?

I do not carry a purse when traveling but usually do carry a small backpack for such things as a water bottle,
Kleenex, sunblock & my prescription sunglasses.

The October forecast for Andalucía will be much warmer ( 76-78°F) than I expected, so carrying a backpack may be
I have a light jacket with hidden pockets in the lining, but given above temperatures, I will not be wearing it.

I can do away with the items listed above, but I do need my prescription sunglasses.

Any ideas?

Thank you in advance!


Posted by
2458 posts

Hmm...I can't imagine traveling without some sort of bag, be it a purse, backpack, or tote bag. You could, of course, wear your sunglasses on your head and just pull them down when needed (like how people push them up when entering indoors from being out in the sun). However, I would suggest finding the smallest possible purse/backpack and taking it. If it's so hot and sunny, you will want your water and sunblock as well. A tote bag that you carry on your arm will be cooler than a backpack.

Posted by
4556 posts

Hi Mira,

Thanks for your ideas!
The problem is that I wear prescription glasses all the time then I switch to my prescription sunglasses when outdoors.
I never wear my sunglasses on my head because I'd hate to break them if they fall.

I guess I can get one of those necklaces that hold glasses...

I thought about a small tote bag, but it may be taken for a purse by pickpockets, & don't want to lose my glasses!

Posted by
2258 posts

Priscilla, I always carry my microfiber RS Civita Day Pack, and always over my shoulder, never as a back pack. It is extremely light when empty, almost nothing. So, with very little in it, like a small towel, sunscreen and sunglasses, it is no burden at all. On the other hand, when needed it can hold a book, sweater, water bottle, and on and on.

Posted by
168 posts

There are wonderful infinity scarves available now with hidden pockets in them! That's where I plan to carry a cell phone and a credit card. Mine is from a company called Speakeasy, but there are probably others.

Posted by
2672 posts

Also They can be used instead of money belts also. I've been hinting around this house for a while for one, thinking I need to just buy it myself! I'm in the same predicament as you, Priscilla, always having eyeglasses in one form or another with me. This will work great.

Posted by
5575 posts

Or clip-on sunglass lenses to use on the glasses that are on your face all the time -- not as elegant looking as prescription sunglasses, but much cheaper to replace if the lenses get lost or scratched on the trip. And you never take your glasses off so no worry that they will get stolen from your bag.
(By the way, carrying a spare pair of glasses in your suitcase plus a copy of the prescription is not a bad idea. )

Posted by
3489 posts

About 6 years ago I finally got so fed up with constantly changing glasses that I started getting transitions lenses.

Another problem I had was that my RX sunglasses were always too dark. The transitions darken and lighten perfectly. Yes, they are pricey, especially since they are also progressives, but they are worth the money to me.

I'm not exactly a fashionista, but I have a blue pair and a purple pair with the same RX. My silver backup pair is currently 1 RX behind.

I wear/carry a smallish crossbody purse. I don't think I will ever be mistaken for a local, but IMHO walking around with a backpack or without some kind of a purse or tote or shopping bag indicates that a woman is definitely not local. Local women will not be wearing a backpack, but they will be carrying something.

A few years back I got some mesh shopping bags from Reuseit. They weigh nothing and smush into a small pocket built into the bag. My husband's comment was that people could see what was in the bag. Mine was, that's the point. What they'll see is groceries.

Although it wouldn't be totally hands-free, you could do something like that in combination with a very small soft fabric purse or glasses case on a cord that goes around your neck, preferably crossbody. Most of the ones I've seen were in world folk arts and crafts kinds of stores like Unicef.

Of course, you will have your valuables in your moneybelt, right?

Posted by
4556 posts

Thanks for all your ideas!

Larry, I will probably end up using my small backpack & just sling it on one shoulder as you do.

Terri, I've seen those scarves but too hot to wear when it's close to 80°.

Wray, The sholdit looks like a great idea but I would think it's better for cooler weather.

Laura, I used to wear clip-ons before I got my prescription glasses but it's something to think about.
I do pack an extra pair of glasses, just in case!

Emma, I may just have to pick up one of those lovely leather bags!

Thanks again!

Posted by
12013 posts

Priscilla, I am like you in that I use prescription sunglasses. Transitions lenses and clip-ons do not work for me. I carry mine, along with map and water bottle, in a small ( fashionable) leather shoulder bag with top zipper. Not the kind that dangles from a long strap,,but the kind with a short strap so the bag fits against my side under my arm, just above waist level. It is very comfortable and not hot. I have never had anyone try to get into it in Italy, Spain, or anyplace else, but in thick crowds I casually hold onto the strap. I also keep my husband on the side where the bag is. And my valuables ( passport, cash, cards etc. are not in this bag.

Posted by
637 posts

Last summer we ending up canoeing in France, so I bought one of those little necklace things for my prescription sunglasses. Turned out to be the handiest thing! Wore it all over Europe and saved me from constantly putting my sunglasses in and out of a case.

Posted by
14235 posts

I don't know how easy it is to find a cotton backpack, but look for one. I picked one up in Bangkok several years ago and I use it here at home all the time, even in summer when temps are well above 80F and humidity is over 60%. It isn't very big, so it's often my "handbag" when I fly. Since I use it all the time, I know exactly where everything is, instead of riffling through compartments when I need something.

Posted by
21028 posts

I have a glass case that has a neck strip - primarily use it when skiing but it would work in your situation. It is clearly a glass case and would not be mistaken for some type of purse.

PS - Found it. It is actually a eyeglass case with a big plastic clip. Probably originally designed to clip to a belt loop, backpack, etc., so that it would not get crushed since it is also padded fairly well. I think I added the neck strap. But it rides very comfortably at the elbow level on my side. I am assuming I bought the case at any outdoor or ski related store but I don't remember.

Posted by
4556 posts

Hi Chani & Frank,
Thanks for your ideas!

I actually ended up buying one of those necklaces that holds eyeglasses but then it broke after a week!
When visiting Granada, we were enjoying a deliciously creamy ice cream at, 'Los Italianos', when my mom spotted a cute cotton, small (cross-body) purse that a young woman was carrying. I asked her where she got it, and we found the same one & I bought it!

I only carried my glasses (& mom's), chapstick & tissue in it (nothing valuable) and carried it in front of my body at all times.

My trip to Andalucía was 2 months ago & I find it amusing that my post resurfaced.

Someone deleted their response perhaps when he/she realized the date of the post (I received an email notification)

Happy Holidays!