How To Travel With Eye Drops That Need Refrigeration?

Summer holidays are when families are excited to embark on adventures, visit families, revisit beloved locales, and discover new travel destinations. However, for those of you who must travel with eye drops like artificial tears or atropine that require to be kept within a specified temperature, how do you travel with eye drops that need refrigeration?

While understandably, most people probably pack all their belongings and essentials like clothes, snacks, toothbrushes, and other toiletry items in their carry-on baggage, what about the prescribed eye drops? 

How to travel with eye drops that need refrigeration is a question we will be exploring in the following article, trying to propose a proper travel method to all our readers. 

How To Travel With Eye Drops That Need Refrigeration?

To begin with, we would like to start with a clarification regarding the transportation of eye drops on a plane. Under the categorized list of allowed and un-allowed items in checked or carry-on bags, fortunately, TSA lists eye drops beneath allowed items. How To Travel With Eye Drops That Need Refrigeration

Eye drops on a plane are considered aerosols, gels, or liquids and are subsequently subjected to the three-ounce rule, where no liquid beyond 90 millimeters or three ounces is permitted to be carried in a carry-on bag. 

Nevertheless, returning to the focal point of our discussion- how to travel with eye drops that need refrigeration, the proper travel method is to pack them in a medically designed and approved cooler with ice packs. 

Either you can go ahead with a medical travel bag, which will keep your refrigerated eye drops cool, or as an alternative, you can reach out to your doctor and ask them to prescribe you preservative-free artificial eye drop tears that are not to be refrigerated. 

Ice Pack Cooler 

Whenever you travel to any destination that is anticipated to have a warmer climate, the most wise and highly advisable thing to do is to purchase yourself a cooling pouch, otherwise known as a cooling wallet or an ice pack cooler. 

Whatever the product’s name is, do not bother yourself with it; instead, try and focus on obtaining an ice pack cooler that will keep your eye drops refrigerated and at a desired temperature. 

Usually, ice pack coolers are a convenient method to opt for when wanting to maintain and surround eye drops with a consistent temperature. Such products effectively store the eye drops and keep them cool within the range of 64.4-78.8Fº for up to several days.

They are also easy to use, and all you have to do to activate an ice pack cooler is simply keep it soaked in water for some minutes, preferably 5-10 minutes. 

But remember to monitor the basic nature of the ice pack cooler before you board a plane. This is because the liquid form is crucial to remain solid and icy to avoid issues during security checkpoints. 

If ice is melted during airport screening, the TSA security agents will consider the ice pack a liquid and will mandate you to follow the 3-1-1 liquid rule. 

General Guidelines To Follow For Eye Drops 

While preparing to board your flight, when carrying refrigerating eye drops, you must familiarize yourself with screening regulations to save yourself from headaches and worries at the last minute. 

For this, we bring some general guidelines for eye drops and their packaging in your luggage. 

Use TSA Approved Medicine Bag

You will need a medicine bag to pack your favorite eye drops requiring refrigeration. Do not purchase any medicinal case, but opt for a medicine bag approved by the TSA authorities. A recommendation is 4ALLFAMILY Voyager Refrigerated Medication Bag   

Your checked luggage is always supposed to be first declared safe by airport authorities before permitting you to get on the plane, and for this, all bags are thoroughly checked at screening terminals.

Therefore, to ensure no problematic situation materializes, refrigerate your eye drops in a medicine bag constructed per TSA guidelines. Also, just in case, carry your doctor’s report and a medical certificate.

Place Eye Drops In Hand Luggage

Eye drops typically are counted as liquids on a plane, which means they should not be packed in checked baggage, so seek the other bag in your luggage, which is the carry-on, and place eye drops there to keep the medication safe during your air travel. 

3-1-1 Rule

As eye drops are liquids, they are mandated to follow the 3-1-1 rule. Under this, many countries, along with the USA, permit its passengers to carry gels, liquids, and aerosols as long as they are in containers not exceeding the limit of 100 ml or 3.4 ounces and contained in quart-sized bags. 

Do not fret about your eye drops exceeding the liquid limit because they usually come in 5ml packaging, but keep them in a plastic, clear, quart bag. 

Pack In A Reliable Case

To make sure that none of your eye drops leak during transit, creating a mess in your luggage, you must pack them in a reliable case with layers of padding, such as the YOUSHARES Medication Cooler.   

If not, pack eye drops in a ziplock bag and place the bag in a sock for added protection. Also, when carrying multiple kinds of eye drops, label each bottle to avoid confusion in identifying them later. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

How do you keep eye drops cool while traveling?

Keep eye drops cool by placing them in an ice pack cooler.

How do you fly with medication that needs to be kept refrigerated?

Carry a refrigerated medical travel bag with you for such medicines. 

Do eye drops have to be kept in the fridge?

Depending on the type of eye drops you have been prescribed and its formulation, you might have to keep eye drops in the fridge. 

What happens if eye drops are not refrigerated?

When eye drops are not refrigerated, they stop being effective. 


The one-stop solution to your worries concerning how to travel with eye drops that need refrigeration is to keep them in an ice-pack cooler. Several of these are available online, so rest assured, you will not have a problem purchasing one! 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *