One of the most important travel accessories you should always travel with—regardless of your destination—is a good pair of shades.
Sunglasses aren’t just important to pack for that warm Caribbean escape—they’re also vital when you’re hitting the slopes. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you should take a break from protecting your eyes from sunlight.
UV rays can be up to eight times more powerful in snowy conditions because of the reflective properties of snow, according to the College of Optometrics. People with light-colored eyes, like blue or green, are even more at risk of sunlight-related eye damage. And not to get too dramatic here, but eyelid cancer accounts for five to ten percent of all skin cancers. So wearing sunglasses is just as important as applying sun lotion (which you should also be doing).
But what exactly does a “good” pair mean? First of all, you’ll need sunglasses that block harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. It’s important to know that not all polarized shades have UV protection: Polarized lenses will shield your eyes from the sun’s glare, which is great, but that has nothing to do with UV protection.
Opt for sunglasses that are comfortable and appropriate for where you’re going: Make sure the frame is not too tight but instead comfortably snug. You don’t want to be running after your sunglasses in case of sudden high winds.
Of course, design is important, too. Thankfully, there are many quality options on the market that you won’t have to search long to find a pair that looks cool and protects your eyes. Investing in a classic style, like the aviator or the wayfarer, is always a good idea. Opting for a statement pair with mirrored lenses and a bold colored frame, on the other hand, is a great way to add some fun to your travel outfits.
Keep scrolling to see 17 cool shades to bring on your next trip.