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Travel is an incredible experience. The sense of freedom is exhilarating as you escape the confinements of your job and monotonous everyday. But unfortunately travel can be just as expensive as it is exciting.

Of course you want to look good as you wander the streets of Paris, or relax on the beach in Phuket, but purchasing high-end designer labels can really eat away at your travel budget, and less budget usually means eating ramen noodles out of a youth hostel!

So we’re in favor of ditching the designer for the destination, and thoroughly enjoying your travel experience. There have been many experiments conducted that prove spending money on experiences instead of things result in more overall happiness. And a great place to start is with your sunglasses.

The Best Cheap Sunglasses for Travel: Spend More on Travel and Less on Material Things!

Your face is by far your greatest feature. It shows the world who you are and allows you to communicate your uniqueness. Your sunglasses are not only an extension of your face and personality, but they also protect your stunning eyes.

Our favorite brands for sunglasses, Sunglass Warehouse or recognize the importance of travel and how expensive it can get, and have created a fabulous range of designer-like styles at budget prices (under $15) to address this.

Travel can be adventurous, fast paced, and even a bit rough at times. I can’t tell you how infuriating it is to lose or break a pair of sunglasses that cost the same as a night in a 5-star hotel. I’ve made the mistake of falling into the designer label trap and always end up leaving them on planes, in hotel rooms, and one is probably being worn by a very stylish crab which I lost swimming off Bondi Beach. Never Again!

So choosing cheap sunglasses allows me to stock up on the latest styles so I can easily and affordably bring several pairs on every trip. This not only saves a lot of cash by not buying designer labels, but means you avoid the dreaded trip to the local gas station to grab a replacement pair (we’ve all been there!).

Traveler pool sunglasses RF

Why Sunglasses are So Important

Of course a good pair of sunglasses will have sex appeal, but what’s even more attractive are the health benefits they bring. Sunburn of the eyes is a real thing, and it’s PAINFUL!

Travel has a way of putting us in environments that can be harsh on the eyes whether it be a beach escape, snow skiing vacation, or high altitude mountain trek. And protecting your eyes while you’re traveling is vital for making sure you can continue to see the world with clarity.

We all know the importance of applying sunscreen, but equally important is having a quality pair of sunglasses with UV protection. Our eyes are particularly susceptible to sun damage, especially light-colored eyes. Long hours in the sun or the reflecting rays of a lake, beach, or the pavement during a road trip can all lead to some nasty eye complications.

Vision loss, cataracts, eye related cancers, and even blindness can be repercussions of not wearing eye protection. Even if you’re traveling on a winter getaway, you should travel with proper eye protection, as snow blindness is a thing (and it sucks!!!)

Traveler safari sunglasses

UV 400 Prtotection

With eye protection in mind, it’s important to look for sunglasses that are rated UV 400. UV 400 sunglasses have been optimized to block both UVA and UVB radiation, and are capable of blocking the smallest of light rays thereby blocking 99-100% of the sun’s harmful radiation.

All styles from the Sunglass Warehouse range come equipped with UV 400 protection. The following are a couple of things to consider when you’re making your pick.

Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses block out intense light reflection and glare, improving both comfort and visibility.

Those who enjoy outdoor recreation such as golfers, skiers, runners, and bikers will benefit from having polarized lenses. They can aid with sport performance and safety.

Traveler safari sunglasses

Size and Fit

It’s of course important to choose a sunglass style which fits your face and doesn’t cause any physical stress. Sunglasses which are too tight can cause ear and nose discomfort as well as inflict nasty headaches.

Choosing sunglasses with larger lenses or ones that wrap around your face will provide better coverage against the sun’s rays and its ill effects.

Why Buy From Sunglass Warehouse

No matter what your loveable face shape is, Sunglass Warehouse offers the perfect shades to match your personality. Their easy to use website allows you to search for and select the style that is truly right for you. Easily choose your preference of shape, lens color, lens type, frame color, material, size, and of course style.

I’ve seen countless sunglass ads claiming their brand is made for travel with indestructible material design and gimmicks such as “Sportsflex”, “Prizm technology”, or “Pro Ultra- UV Protection”. While travel can be rough at times, you’re not going into battle, and at a cost of hundreds of dollars you could break or lose dozens of Sunglass Warehouse styles for the same price.

Purchasing a pair of quality shades at a low price also allows you to easily and affordably change up your style or keep up with the latest fashion trends.

While the low price alone was enough to grab my attention, their easy ordering and returns process along with wide range of shipping options both within the U.S. and internationally really sets them apart.

Sunglass Warehouse Benefits

➡ Hundreds of quality styles priced $15 or less.

➡ Exclusive designs found nowhere else.

➡ All sunglasses equipped with UV400 protection, the highest in the industry.

➡ Easy to use website makes finding the sunglasses you want fast and simple.

➡ Frequent sales and discounts on already incredibly low priced sunglasses.

➡ Free shipping for orders over $25 within the U.S. ($45 within Canada and Australia).

➡ Same-day shipments for orders placed Mon-Fri before 2pm EST.

➡ Easy returns & exchanges up to 365 days from purchase so long as they are unused and not abused.

The Sunglasses I’m Sporting

Soprano: Cat Eye Sunglasses

Always a sucker for a classic, I chose Sunglass Warehouse’s Soprano design.

Made famous by the legendary Audrey Hepburn in her role as Holly in the iconic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, they have continued to grace the faces of celebrities today. You’ll see the style worn by stars like Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, Miranda Kerr, and Scarlett Johansson to name a few.

The cat eye style of today has come a long way from the 60s version which had far more exaggerated details. Today’s cat eye sunglasses have bigger and rounder lenses that flatter just about every face shape imaginable. This makes them a prefect option when you are unsure of what style will suit you.

Sleek, stylish, and extremely affordable make for the all-around perfect pair of travel sunglasses.

Meg Sunglasses

Rowdy: Matte Flat Metal Front Sunglasses

As I’m not one to cause a big scene, the Rowdy design was perfect as it isn’t too flashy and goes well with just about anything. It combines an image of the cool cheerleader captain with the quiet but confident librarian.

Sadly if you were hoping to copy my style, you’re a bit too late. The Rowdy has been discontinued and will not be restocked. It proves the importance of jumping on Sunglass Warehouse styles while you can. Many designs are made exclusively for SW and are available in limited quantities.


If you happen to be travelling through Greenwood, Indiana you can pick a pair from Sunglass Warehouse’s actual warehouse, otherwise you’ll have to settle for your shades being shipped to you. Online ordering is easy although you can order over the phone if you’d like to talk to someone.

Whether you’ve scored an impromptu trip or tend to procrastinate a bit when it comes to packing, Sunglass Warehouse has you covered. Within the contiguous U.S. you have the option to get your shades in as little as 1-2 days with the reasonably priced Priority Mail Express option. Even the Standard Priority and First Class Mail options should get your sunglasses to you in under a week.

Even if you find yourself overseas, don’t let that stop you from glamming up your eyes with SW’s awesome styles. You can have your new collection of shades shipped internationally with the Priority Mail Express International option which will have you looking great in approx 5-10 days.

For more information visit


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.


  1. I’m the worst when it comes to keeping sunglasses. I used to buy designer sunglasses all the time but always ended up losing them. Great tips on finding cheap sunglasses that are stylish and functional and don’t look like you bought them at a gas station!

    • I’ve lost so many pairs of designer sunglasses that it got to the stage where enough was enough! Glad you enjoyed the post! I really love Sunglass Warehouse – they’re a fabulous balance of everything you need without throwing money away!

    • Yes, we feel you, Jessica! You should check out KZ Gear! Their sunglasses are affordable and they offer a replacement program!

    • Thanks for the tip Lizzy, will have to check them out :)

  2. This is literally one of my favourite blog posts I’ve ever read. It’s not just filled with amazing tips but with amazing experiences too. Thanks again for sharing your experiences with everyone.

    • Thanks Richard! Glad you enjoyed it :)

  3. Snow blindness is the worst. Most people don’t realize how bad snow can be at reflecting sunlight. At least until they end up with a sunburn under their chin. These look like a good place to get some nice sunglasses. I love only paying 15 bucks for glasses.

    • Yes it is!!! People totally underestimate the reflection of the sun bouncing back off a light surface like snow – you actually get burned twice – once as the UV rays beam down, and then again when they reflect back up at you. Haha thankfully I haven’t had the underneath of my chin burned … but going to be extra vigilant about applying sunscreen there now!! Thanks for the tip :)

  4. $15 is a great price for good looking glasses. I would take one / pack one just in case anything happens. There are many times on a trip that my backup glasses saved the day. (which goes back to why it’s so important to have cheap glasses to begin with). I would definitely go for the polarized option. All of our vacations end up being by water or snow, and each one reflects polarized light. As a bonus, it makes rainbows more intense too.

    • Isn’t it! I have about 4 different pairs at the moment, one main pair, one I keep in the car, a spare pair I keep in my handbag – it’s great to have spares just in case!

      Polarized is a really great option if you’re spending a lot of time on the water / in the snow. And you’re right about it making rainbows look epic! Happy travels :)

  5. Thanks for this great tip, Meg. I didn’t know anything about Sunglass Warehouse. I tend to spend a lot on sunglasses (and shoes). When it comes to my eyes (and my feet)I don’t spare any expense. There is nothing more important than having a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. Especially if you travel to the tropics or spend a lot of time outside.

    • You’re welcome Anda, glad we could introduce you! Totally agree that there is nothing more important than quality when it comes to protecting your eyes – it’s so fantastic to have brands like Sunglass Warehouse who guarantee quality without the high price :)

  6. I do agree a pair of sunglasses is really important and I could not NOT traveling to anywhere without it, thanks for the sharing and that’s a good reminder that I have to bring my pair of sunglasses for my next trip! @ knycx.joyrneying

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Knycx – definitely check out Sunglass Warehouse for the next time you have to stock up :)

  7. Fun post especially the importance of protecting your eyes. I’m a sucker for cheap-ish sunglasses as I lose, scratch or break most while on the go. Need to stock up and this might just be the place.

    • Sunglass Warehouse is a fabulous way to stock up – can highly recommend them – I go a bit overboard and probably get too many lol but they’re so cheap and they look so good!

  8. You rightly mention that it is more worthwhile to spend your money on experiences rather than things which are after all tangible and are short-lived. On the other hand, experiences make memories that stay for a lifetime. We too love our sunglasses, don’t we! We have our designer ones and also a few which are lesser priced but no less attractive. These are the ones that we can easily change as fashions and trends change. The Rowdy range of sunglasses look trendy and seem to be real value for money too.

    • It really is funny isn’t it, when you buy an expensive pair of designers and then put them next to a $15 and can’t tell the difference!! I really love the Rowdy pair, Sunglass Warehouse have some really beautiful designs, can highly recommend them :)

  9. Ok, now these are sunglasses I’m okay with spending money on. The truth is, I’ve always wanted designer sunglasses and although I could buy them, I can never bring myself to. Like you said, they can be the price of a hotel room. Anytime I want to buy something expensive I tell myself the same thing! Heck, I can even buy a plane ticket with that money haha. But hey, $15 I can do. Love the Soprano design ones in black :)

    • I’m like you – I look at an expensive price tag and think of all the travel I could be spending the money on instead!! But you can’t beat $15! They’ve done a great job on the Soprano design – love my pair!

  10. Excellent, thankyou, I’ve been trying to figure out whether or not I invest in a pair of sunglasses, and I might go with a couple of pairs of these first to see how they work. Appreciate it!

    • Awesome Lynsey, glad we could help :)

  11. Wearing sunglasses even in a pool does not seem like an applicable idea, does it? I think that a lot of misinformation about the qualities of sunglasses going to spread this way.

    • I’m not sure I follow your logic here. I wear my sunglasses in the pool all the time, as do many people. Obviously not if you’re doing laps or swimming, but most people relax in the water without going under, and since you’re in the sun, you put your eyes at risk of sun damage. Not quite sure how this has anything to do with the information we have shared about sunglass quality.

  12. I have a good pair for driving and a cheap pair for drinking.

    • Super clever, I like that approach :)

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